A lot of us are ill-equipped to deal with financial matters. Mentioned below is a list of things to do to take control of personal finances.
Keep a notebook and a pen ready before we journey down the rabbit hole!
- List your monthly expenses
Look at the table below. It is important that you spend enough time analysing the content within each grid. These are designed to help you become aware of the smallest of your expenses.
|Groceries, Fruits, Vegetables, etc.|
|Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Internet, Phone Bills, Cable, Newspaper, etc.)|
|Domestic Services (Household, Car Wash, etc.)|
|Leisure & Entertainment|
|Commute (Petrol/ Train Fare/ etc.)|
|House/ Vehicle Repair & Maintenance|
- Assess your assets using the table below:
|Life Insurance Policies|
- Know your liabilities:
|Premiums, Investments, Bonds, Deposits, etc.|
|Home Loan EMI|
|Car Loan EMI|
|Education Loan EMI|
|Personal Loan EMI|
|Loan Against Property EMI|
|Business Loan EMI|
|Credit Card Bills|
|Private Loan EMI|
- Assemble Your Financial Documents Folder
Though most of us shirk from paperwork, it is necessary to keep a track of all of them. The importance of having all the papers, down to the receipt of staple pins, in place cannot be emphasised enough. Look at the table below to check if you have your documents in place.
|Tax Documents||Tax Return Acknowledgements|
|Tax Paid Acknowledgement Forms|
|Other Tax Related Documents|
|Bank Documents||Fixed Deposit Documents|
|Recurring Deposit Documents|
|Terms, Conditions, Policies Booklet|
|Password and Other Slips|
|Other Bank Documents|
|Insurance Documents||Original Life Insurance Policy Document|
|Life Insurance Premium Payment Acknowledgement|
|Original Health Insurance Policy Document|
|Health Insurance Premium Payment Acknowledgement|
|Other Policy Documents – Original|
|Other Premium Payment Document|
|All Written Communications/ Insurance Related Documents|
|Other Investment Documents||Demat Account Documents|
|Mutual Funds Documents|
|Stocks Related Documents|
|Post-office Related Investment Documents|
|Other Investment Documents|
|Loan Related Documents||Title Deeds|
|Home Loan Documents|
|All Written Communication|
|Car Loan Documents|
|Education Loan Documents|
|Business Loan Documents|
|Loan Against Property Documents|
|Personal Loan Documents|
|Insurance Papers for the Loans (Home, Car, etc.)|
|Other Loan Related Papers|
|Monthly Bills/ Utility Bills||Electricity Bill|
|Paper/Magazine Bill/ Receipt|
|Other Important Documents||Passport|
- Make copies of all the documents
Just as you got big, colourful folders for the originals, get similar folders for the copies. Store them with your parents or in-laws or trusted friends.
(If you got through point two, then this should be a cakewalk.
- Scan all the important documents
It would do you good to scan all important documents and mail them to yourself and your spouse so you can access them from anywhere in the world.
(No, you are not overdoing anything. These are precautionary measures we all tend to overlook!)
- THE Diary
Meant not just for teenagers to vent their anguish, the diary is, also, a tool for adults to store important information. It can be a source of significant financial data for your family, in case calamity strikes.
Make sure your diary contains all the following information:
- Name and contact details of your lawyer, CA, insurance agent, financial planner, tax consultant, doctor, dentist, etc.
- Information about the location of important documents, digital locker password, locker keys, locker numbers, other passwords, codes, etc.
- Portfolio of loans and investments
- Any other important information that can be helpful to your dependants/ family in your absence
- Complete pending tasks
An attitude like the ostrich is most unhelpful in financial matters. No matter how cumbersome a financial task is, it needs to be done. Putting it off for later will only ensure it remains unfinished.
- Set reminders for paying premiums and EMIs, investing anywhere, updating information and taking financial action steps you need to take in the short term and in the long term
If you have finished reading through and are trembling at the big mountain you have to climb, then tremble not. Pick a weekend to begin with project ‘Finance’. List the tasks you will finish that weekend and, at the end, give yourself a treat for having completed it. You can book an hour long spa session, or go on a long drive, or enjoy a night out with friends, or devour a Valrhona chocolate soufflé with raspberry brandy sauce, topped with caramelised banana and hazelnut gelato. Your choice.