5 Money Moves To Take Control Of Your Finances
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This season, we celebrate the achievements and empowerment of women around the world on International Women’s Day. What better way to chart a course for empowerment than by taking control of your finances? After all, making better financial decisions can help you reach your goals, improve your well-being, and take charge of your life.
Here are five money moves you can make to be financially self-sufficient.
1. Manage your money
The first step to financial empowerment is to manage your finances. It means having enough for emergencies, spending less than you earn, and managing your debt wisely. Here’s how to get started:
- Keep an emergency fund. Unforeseen events, such as sudden job loss, can be costly. Having an emergency fund can help cover these costs until you get back on your feet. Typically, experts suggest keeping aside an emergency fund that covers three to six months of living expenses. You’ll want to keep those savings somewhere where you can access them quickly, like in a savings account that earns you interest.
- Have a budget. Having a budget and sticking to it helps you avoid overspending and helps you reach your savings goals. A popular budgeting method is the 50/30/20 budget, in which you spend 50% of your income on necessities (like rent), 30% on needs (like dining out) and save the remaining 20%. . If you’re having trouble staying on budget, try setting up automatic bank transfers that transfer a portion of your income to a separate savings account each month.
- Pay off your debt. If you have high interest debt, you will need a plan to pay it off. Decide how much you can afford to set aside each month to pay off your debt, and think about the need to consolidate it under a personal loan to save on interest.
2. Invest for the future
Do you want to achieve big financial goals such as early retirement or an education abroad for your child? Investing can help you achieve these goals. When you invest money in assets that generate income, your money grows faster, for example, here is how investing can help you grow your money:
Invest RM500 per month for an annual return of 6%
|10 years||81,632 RM|
|15 years old||144,154 RM|
|20 years||227,823 RM|
|30 years||489,628 RM|
Note: This is an illustration of a calculation based on an annual return of 6%. The actual performance of your investments will vary depending on your portfolio.
In the example above, if you invest RM500 per month and receive a 6% return each year, you could potentially grow your portfolio to almost half a million ringgit after 30 years. On the other hand, if you don’t invest at all, saving RM500 per month over the same period would only amount to RM 180,000.
Investing for the future, especially as a woman, is crucial. On average, Malaysian women live longer than men, which means you’ll need to save more for retirement.
If you’re new to investing, consider investments like unit trust funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These investments pool the money of many people to invest in a group of assets such as stocks, bonds or commodities. These are considered to be more beginner friendly than investing directly in the stock market as they allow you to invest in many assets at once. This reduces the risk of significant losses if any of the assets underperform.
3. Increase your income
Having more income – or multiple sources of income – can help you pay off debt, manage the cost of daily living, and reach your financial goals faster. Here are some ways to make more money:
- Earn a raise at work. If you’re a full-time employee, probably the easiest way to earn more income is to get a raise. It could mean learning new skills or being more proactive at work to demonstrate your value to your employer. Use sites like Glassdoor or JobStreet to find out what other people in your role are making – it helps you negotiate a fair wage.
- Look for a better paying job. If earning a raise at your current business doesn’t work, it might be beneficial to look for a new position elsewhere. Employees who change jobs are more likely to be able to negotiate larger pay increases.
- Start a business. Starting your own business (even if it’s just something on the side) can be a great learning experience, as well as a potential source of income. Companies don’t always have to be huge investor-funded projects. You can start a small home-based business (like a web development company or one that sells homemade baked goods) and grow from there.
4. Take an active role in your family’s finances
If you’ve left the financial planning for your household entirely to your spouse, consider taking on a bigger role. Being aware of your household’s financial situation can help you and your partner work together to achieve your family’s financial goals. Here are some things you can do:
- Be open with your partner. Sharing details of your savings, debts, and spending habits helps you plan your household finances effectively.
- Create a family budget. Just like a personal budget, earmarking your household income helps your family avoid overspending.
- Decide how to share the household expenses. If you and your spouse earn income, decide how each of you contributes to household expenses.
- Share your financial goals. Year-end vacations, raising the kids, or buying a new property – being aligned with your spouse on your family’s financial goals means being able to prepare for those goals together.
5. Take advantage of good deals
Part of making better financial decisions is taking advantage of good business and financial products. To celebrate International Women’s Day, Alliance Bank is giving women more opportunities to spend and save wisely.
Get cash back rewards of up to RM338 when you sign up for these products:
|How to be eligible||Cash Back Reward|
|Alliance SavePlus account||Open an account with the allianceonline app and maintain a minimum of RM250 until the end of the account opening month.||RM138|
|Alliance Bank Credit Cards||Apply for a credit card through the allianceonline app and get approval no later than April 15, 2021.||RM238|
|Personal loan / Alliance financing||Apply for a personal loan / financing through the allianceonline app and get approval no later than April 15, 2021.||RM338|
Note: Only customers who are new to the bank are eligible for cash back.
With Alliance Bank, now is never the best time to increase your savings, find the right credit cards for smarter spending, or get financing to start your projects.
Financial empowerment is in your hands
If you’ve already taken these steps to improve your finances, that’s great! But if you haven’t, that’s okay – now is the time to start. Being financially independent can be rewarding and should be a part of every woman’s journey. Happy International Women’s Day!
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