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5 Steps towards a secure financial future of your family

5 Steps towards a secure financial future of your family

Family’s financial security is a continuous effort. You can make sure that your family can survive bad health, loss of life or disability of the breadwinner. However, financial security is not just for emergencies, it must cover every aspect of life. While a life insurance plan is one of the best ways to ensure long-term arrangements of security, financial safety during the normal course of life is also important and will, perhaps, consume a majority of your time and effort.

Following a step by step, the approach can make your task easier to navigate and can help you achieve more. Here are five simple steps to simplify your journey towards a secure financial future for your family:

1. Budget Your Expenses

The first step is obviously to budget your expenses so that you can plan to spend your money more productively. How you budget the expenses is the most important part. Initially, you may find each expense to be important on your expense sheet.

So, what does the budget means for you? Budgeting usually refers to postponing of non-urgent expenses for a later date and increasing your current savings. It is seldom about eliminating expenses.

How long you can postpone the non-urgent expenses depends on your and your family’s resilience and lifestyle. However, the long-term consequences are equally rewarding for those who can stay patient.

Common Methods of Budgeting

Here are a few common methods of budgeting household expenses which experts use:

  • Urgent-Important Matrix: Helps you separate urgent outflows from the non-urgent ones. You can use this method with any other methods, as this method does not assign any limit to any of the expenses.
  • Kitchen & Lifestyle Classification: Helps limit the frequency of lifestyle expenses to limit the outlay and organise it better. Kitchen expenses can be grouped and assigned to one shopping list in the month.
  • Budget Everything: This method is best suited for singles or double income couples with no children. You remove the savings from your monthly income first and then assign the remaining money between the other expenses. In this method, you can assign a personal budget for self and use that as your pocket money.

The best investors who use budgeting as a ladder to step up their wealth building, spend about five to ten minutes daily listing their spends throughout the day.

2. Schedule a Time to Revisit the Bills

This may sound like budgeting, but this is not the initial budgeting exercise. Rather, it’s the revision on your expenses and this step is most important for those who use credit cards. Credit cards can be a source of much frustration and financial drag if not managed properly.

You should schedule a time at least once a year to revisit your credit card and other expenses. This is to consider those expenses which may not show up on your expense sheet every month.

These expenses like, subscription to OTT services, news and media services, TV channels etc. often go unused. Since most of these services while the charge for the entire year you may easily forget the unused subscription. The subscriptions, on the other hand, will keep on charging your credit card automatically every year.

Take this time to remove such unwanted subscriptions from your credit card bill. Even better is to not opt for automatic renewal altogether so far as you can avoid.

3. Buy Adequate Health & Term Insurance

Once you have started the budgeting exercise, you have a monthly surplus. The first thing you need to do with this surplus is to start planning for contingencies and secure health and term insurance policies for your family.

Here is a list of insurance covers you need for a complete contingency umbrella:

  • Mediclaim Cover (preferably family floater cover if you are married)
  • Health cover for critical illnesses
  • Accidental death & disability cover (they are inseparable, and both are important as accidental case need urgent medical care)
  • Term life insurance at least 10 to 15 times your annual income

The best term insurance plans will provide both critical and accidental covers as added benefits. Term plans from Canara HSBC Life also offer increasing term covers with the following increment options:

  • Increasing cover at a fixed rate
  • Option to increase cover upon important life events such as marriage and childbirth

If you are married and already a parent, you should opt for the first option so that your life cover keeps up with your income automatically.

4. Build an Emergency Pool

Once you have secured your family boat against the contingencies, it’s time to stock up the emergency fund pool. As you may have noticed, contingency plan costs money, even if small amounts, and there is no insurance for loss of income due to job loss.

In the absence of insurance, you need to retain this risk, and emergency fund will do exactly that for you. You can aim for reserving three to six months of salary in this pool. However, given the circumstances from COVID-19, you can aim higher.

Do remember though, that funds lying in the emergency pool may not help you in building wealth due to the low rate of interest on savings.

5. Plan & Start Investing in Long-Term Goals

Once your contingency and emergency plans have been executed, it’s time for investing in your family’s future financial goals. Also note that so far most of the investments you have made, except the insurance, do not provide you with any tax savings.

If you have subscribed to provident fund contribution through your employer you already have one tax-free saving plan going for you. However, given the inflation and your growing lifestyle, you will need additional investment for your retirement goal.

Here’s the order of goals you should start saving for now:

  • Retirement Goal
  • Child’s higher education
  • Child’s marriage goal
  • Wealth goal
  • Other short-term goals like, vehicle, second house, home loan pre-payment, etc.

Saving for short-term goals is important as these goals may end up interrupting your long-term savings if ignored for long. You can start a single investment plan like a ULIP to accumulate money for these goals. ULIPs provide you with the following advantages:

  • Investment up to Rs. 1.5 lakhs is deductible under section 80C
  • Partial withdrawals (after five years) and maturity are tax-free
  • You can invest variable amounts after the minimum premium. Keep the maximum investment up to 10% of the sum assured in the policy to continue availing the tax-exemptions.
  • Invest a small portion of the money to equity. So that you can achieve better growth for goals you end up postponing for longer

Using ULIPs for Other Goals

Additionally, ULIP plans are the best child investment plans, as you can ensure the maturity fulfils the child’s goal, even when you are not there.

For example, Invest 4G plan from Canara HSBC Life has the goal protection feature. If you opt for this option, the insurer will invest the due premiums on your behalf till maturity in case of your early demise.

Your family will receive a lump sum at your death and the investment part of the policy will continue till the intended maturity. This option is best when you cannot afford to compromise on the goal.

Plus, ULIPs give you the option to invest in equity and debt, so you can create your portfolio as per your risk appetite. In the end, don’t forget to revisit your investments once in a while.

Speak to an insurance specialist now!

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