Boot Camp For The Financially Disorganised

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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!

  1. 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.

                                                  Expenses       Monthly         Yearly
Rent
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.)
Medical Expenses
Educational Expenses
House/ Vehicle Repair & Maintenance
Other Expenses
                                                                                                               TOTAL

 

  1. Assess your assets using the table below:
                                  Assets                                       Value
Mutual Funds
Life Insurance Policies
PPF
EPF
Fixed Deposit
Recurring Deposit
Gold
Real Estate
Bonds
Cash
Stocks
Other Investments
                                                                                TOTAL

 

  1. Know your liabilities:
                                               Liabilities           Monthly          Yearly
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
                                                                                                       TOTAL

 

  1. 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.

       Category              Documents               Check (bullet-tickmark)
Tax Documents Tax Return Acknowledgements
TDS Certificates
Tax Paid Acknowledgement Forms
Other Tax Related Documents
Bank Documents Fixed Deposit Documents
Recurring Deposit Documents
Cheques
Terms, Conditions, Policies Booklet
Password and Other Slips
Locker Document
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
PPF Passbook
EPF Acknowledgement
Will
Bonds/Debentures
NSC
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
Phone Bill
Gas Bill
Water Bill
Internet Bill
Cable Bill
Paper/Magazine Bill/ Receipt
Domestic Help
Car Wash
Grocery Bill/Receipt
Other Important Documents Passport
PAN Card
Aadhar Card
Ration Card
Birth Certificate
Voter ID
Driving License
Vehicle Registration
Marriage Certificate
Miscellaneous Documents

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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!)

 

  1. 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:

  1. Name and contact details of your lawyer, CA, insurance agent, financial planner, tax consultant, doctor, dentist, etc.
  2. Information about the location of important documents, digital locker password, locker keys, locker numbers, other passwords, codes, etc.
  3. Portfolio of loans and investments
  4. Any other important information that can be helpful to your dependants/ family in your absence

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

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