How to Plan Financially for the Future

Well, living in today is alright but we also have to think about tomorrow and hence, it is important to plan for the future. Since there is apparently only one thing that seems to control the world, that is money, one has to plan his or her finances wisely to have a secure future after retirement. Though, everything that one needs to ‘live’ cannot be bought with money, certain things that one needs to ‘survive’ have to be bought in exchange for money. So, one has to carry out meticulous financial planning for the future. If you are also of the same opinion, then you must read this article further.

Financial Planning for the Future

Well, there are many things one needs to consider while planning for the future in terms of finances. Given below are some of the factors you need to look into:

Current Economic Status: You must analyze your current economic status including your annual income. It will give you a direction towards financial planning for the future.

Expenses: You must also consider the expenses you make on a yearly basis. It is suggested to make a list of your ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ and determine how you decide your priorities and make expenditures accordingly.

Asset Analysis: Yes, this is one of the important aspects of financial planning. You must know and ascertain the number, or quality, of your assets before you start financial planning.

Liabilities: Liabilities are as good as expenses. So, you must pay attention regarding how you would deal with liabilities, and how you would manage and sustain them.

These were some of the crucial factors one has to consider when it comes to financial planning for the future. Now let’s take a look at some of the ways and ideas that can help you plan well for the future.

Financial Planning Ideas

Given below are some tips cum ideas that would answer how to plan financially for the future, take a look:

Saving is one of the most important steps to ensure a prosperous future, especially when you carry out financial planning for the future. The early you start saving the more time you give to your money to grow. It is never too late, so start saving as early as possible.
Once the significant savings are there in your account, there are many things you can do to invest these savings wisely. You can either buy gold, or invest money in assets that guarantee continuous income in the future as well. You can also think of investing money in stocks and bonds too, for long term benefits.
Learning to plan a budget for daily day-to-day expenses is a key to financial planning for the future. You must try to balance between the income and expenses every month so that you save a certain amount.
Along with a budget, one has to plan one’s lifestyle as it can have a major impact on your financial planning. You must learn to alter your lifestyle according to a stipulated amount every month and save the rest of the extra money for unexpected financial expenses in the future.
Insuring important assets is also an important aspect of financial planning. Health insurance and car insurance are some of the must have insurances for greater security in the future.
Another interesting way of investing in future is working after retirement. Yes, you can think of starting your own small business after retirement that guarantees income even after retirement. It can help you earn not only money but it would also help you kill the boredom and time, which many retirees are faced with.

These were some of the tips and ideas that can help you plan your finances well for the future. Go ahead and implement the aforementioned ideas and tips, and have a financially secure future.

 

How to Financially Survive the Wedding Season

Research suggests that attending one wedding can leave you $500 lighter (spending on yourself, your clothes, the gift, and other miscellaneous expenses). And this does not include travel expenses in case you have to travel to another city for the wedding. While insurmountable expenses are inevitable for the couple headed into wedded bliss, for the guests attending the wedding, the day(s) can be saved. You are obviously going to have to shell out a few bucks for the gift, your attire, and the parties before and after, but these can be controlled significantly by one simple measure – planning! Head into the wedding season without a plan, and you won’t know what hit your savings. On the other hand, a little planning, even though it may end up with you going slightly out of budget, will keep you within spending limits and help you get through the wedding season financially. To make a plan, consider the following questions:

How many weddings have you been invited to?
How many weddings do you absolutely HAVE to attend?
How many involve the same group of guests?
How many people are you close to among the guests?

Why is this important you ask? So that you can prepare a budget, your wardrobe, choose a gift, and make travel plans accordingly.

Is Attendance Necessary?
Bombarded with too many invitations? Choose the weddings you genuinely want to attend above the ones you know you could give a miss. You don’t have to feel guilty for missing someone’s wedding. Wouldn’t you rather spend more on your buddy’s big day than for someone you’re not so close to? Just politely decline the invitation at the appropriate time so that the couple can make arrangements accordingly.

Dress Up or Dress Down
Most of us end up spending a lot of money on clothes for the wedding of someone we may not be very close to. But there are ways in which you can look your best at a wedding without having to make a hole in your pocket. Consider the following factors when deciding on your outfit for the event.

The Venue:
This will decide whether you are going to wear a simple, light floral dress, or a designer cocktail dress; a pair of linen pants and a simple, light shirt or a formal suit, and how much you technically have to spend.
Can You Repeat your Outfit at Multiple Weddings?:
This is possible if the group of guests attending one wedding are unlikely to be present at another wedding. This makes it easier for you to repeat your outfit. (Of course, you may have to deal with being tagged in multiple pictures on Facebook in the same outfit.)
Can you Borrow?:
So if you know that the same group of guests will be attending, or if you can’t stand the thought of being tagged in the same outfit at different weddings, consider exchanging outfits with your friends so that you have something new to wear without having to spend much.
Your Closeness with the Couple:
You are expected to dress in a particular way if you are closer to the bride or groom or both of them. For a wedding where you aren’t so close to the couple, you may tone it down a little and save some bucks.
Mix and Match:
If you can fish out a good skirt and accessories, then all you have to do is find a good blouse. Or if you have a simple dress, you can jazz it up with a good belt and a nice pair of shoes. If you find the right jacket, you can get a good shirt and trousers to go with it. Sometimes even a good tie can make all the difference. If you can find even one item in your closet, it saves you that amount, and you get to sport a unique look at every wedding.
How Good You are at Doing Your Own Hair and Makeup:
This one is specific to women. If you aren’t good at it, learn from online tutorials. There’s no way you can survive the wedding season on a budget if you go for professional services all the time.
Why not Rent Your Outfit?:
If you can’t afford to buy a different outfit for different occasions, you don’t have clothes that you can mix and match, and you can’t wear the same outfit at different weddings, rent your outfit. You’ll find it at half the price as compared to retail stores, and can hence save a lot of money.

What about the Gift?
You just can’t go to a wedding without a gift. But there are lots of things that count as gifts and don’t cost too much. Try out these ideas.

Rush to the Gift Registry:
If the couple has signed up at a gift registry, try getting there as early as possible to get the good and the less expensive stuff for them.
Chip in for a Bigger, Better Gift:
This is why you need to know lots of other people who will be attending the wedding. Get together and buy a gift that will truly wow the couple! This way you don’t have to spend too much money, yet you get to give them a great gift!
Make Something Yourself:
If you are really close to the couple, and you know they will appreciate the effort, make something for them yourself. Use your knowledge or learn how to do it through the Internet, and give them your love and affection through your handmade gift.
Offer your Help/Services as a Gift:
If you think you can’t afford expensive gifts, offer to help the couple with the wedding arrangements and ensure that they know this is your gift to them. For instance, if you know people and can pull strings to get one of the many things they badly want for their wedding (such as a particular decorator, a band, or even an ice sculpture at a discount), this could be a perfect gift for them. Also, if you are involved in the planning, you can help save the couple’s and your own costs in certain areas, e.g. if it is a destination wedding, you can get bulk discounts by making bookings for the entire group.

When the Wedding is Out of Town
This is when it can get real difficult. While some couples are generous enough to make arrangements for all their guests, there are some that can’t. In such a case, you’re left to fend for yourself. How do you make the most of this situation?

Chip in for Bulk Discounts:
Yet another reason knowing other people attending the wedding can help. Bigger bookings help get better discounts. It’s as simple as that.
Be the Early Bird and Save:
The sooner you make your bookings, the cheaper they will be. This may not be feasible for everyone, but if you can travel on an off-peak day, you can even save flight costs to a certain extent. Lots of websites offer packages at discounted rates which you can make the most of in the financially burdening wedding season.
Stay with your Friends/Acquaintances:
If you know someone in the place you are traveling to and who will willingly put you up for a couple of days, you my friend, have struck gold and saved a LOT of money. Of course, remember to repay your friend/acquaintance with a nice gift, or offer to do the same for them when they come to your town.

The best way to avoid getting hit unawares in the wedding season is to plan, and to save. You have to keep some amount aside if you know weddings are coming up and you just can’t avoid them. Finally, don’t let the expenses bog you down. Just go and have a good time at these weddings and give yourself a break!