Start setting your life goals with financial planning

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Most people are good at handling their finances - they ensure that their bills are paid on time, they manage their grocery shopping, they leave aside some money for entertainment, etc. But when the term ‘financial planning' is mentioned, they either feign indifference or pretend that they have it all figured out.

But the million-dollar question is - are they doing the right thing?

What is financial planning?

Financial planning involves looking at the big picture with regard to one's short term and long term financial goals. One identifies certain life goals such as saving up for their children's education / marriage, saving for one's retirement, buying a house or a car, etc. Having done so, one needs to follow it up with a systematic financial plan to reach these goals.

Why is financial planning necessary?

According to a well-known phrase -If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there. The reverse of this is also true, if you have certain life goals, you must ensure that you start planning or else you might not be able to retire with a nest egg or be unable to afford your children's educational expenses.

Financial planning is not one of the most exciting of activities; however, by doing so and sticking to your plan, you will be rewarded with less hassles and tensions, especially during your old age.

When should one start financial planning?

It's never too late to start financial planning. However, the earlier you start doing it, the more beneficial it will be for you. If you are a student or a professional in the early stage of your career, make sure you do not delay financial planning until later.

How does one go about planning their finances?

You do not have to be a financial wizard to start financial planning. Here are a few steps through which you can begin financial planning:

  • Maintain a notebook, wherein you must write down your long and short term goals. Another way of doing so is by maintaining an online journal.

  • Take an inventory of your current financial position. Calculate how much saving you have and also how much is your monthly income and expenditure. Also note down all the assets that you own and the debts that you owe.

  • Ensure that you have sufficient insurance cover as well as medical insurance for yourself and your family. See to it that loved ones will be taken care of, in the event that something were to happen to you.

  • Lastly, you can pick a goal and create an action plan for achieving it. For eg: If your goal is to buy a house, find out how much you will need for the down payment and what is your current financial position. Then, you can work out the difference and accordingly create an action plan to make up for the shortfall.

  • Do revisit your diary and track your progress regularly.

Having understood the importance of financial planning, it is essential that one starts doing so at the earliest. However, if one finds their financial situation complex or is unable to make decisions, then they should consult a professional financial planner.

Visit Fullerton Securities to learn more on various financial planning and online stock trading options in India.

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