We have already reached that time of the year when we start building our own excuses for not being able to meet our JAN 1ST resolutions…so here are some steps which are a little compromise on the resolutions…

1. Know what are your Goals: I thought about this a million times, but hey there are no short cuts to this. You have to know where you want to go. So make your financial goals, and please keep them simple. The very purpose of this blog is to tell you finance (like life!) is simple, and we should keep it that way). Goal clarity is a MUST. Or even reading ahead is a waste of time.

2. See where you stand : Make your Balance sheet: However crude. Again a must.

3. Make a budget. You find this painful? Ok here is a short cut. Keep 4-5 boxes – Essentials. Repay loans faster. Building for future. Entertainment. Know what %age of your income goes into each box. Broadly the %age rule. Call it the 50:30:20 rule or 40:10:30:20 rule, does not matter. Do it. All your cash outflows have to be put into one of the 4 boxes. This will save you a lot of time and effort. Also do not cane yourselves if you went wrong on one or 2 days – treat life as ‘week blocks’ and not ‘day blocks’ – this is also useful.

4. Identify your spending triggers: Identifying itself is part conquering. Do not take your credit card with you. Go with an X amount of cash and once it is over, stop. Find a buddy to go along – and he should be excellent in stopping you. Let HIM/HER carry your wallet. Say you will BEG OF HIM if you wanna spend! Anything to stop you from your addiction. Save that money.

5. Identify your Investment crooks: See who are the people who are cheating you off your hard earned money. Stop taking calls from that bank manager. Or IFA. Or ex boss. Again keep it simple. Say no. Say I have all the products in d world, do not need your help.

6. Out of the money saved because of steps 4 and 5 start a SIP in an Index fund – maybe a cheap ETF of the Sensex / Nifty…DO IT TODAY…

7. Evaluate your goals: If it is UNREALISTIC the mind will give you very quickly. So it has to be reasonable and achievable. Re set if need be.

8. Allow for some mistakes. Remember to err is human. But try to make it up next day or week…do not kill yourself over mistakes.

9. Write as much as possible. Even if you have not written for a week, catch up.

10. Read www.subramoney.com….

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  1. Can you suggest one good index fund for beginners like me who don’t understand MFs or equity markets much?
    Can you also provide advise(and education) on managing my finances and investments?(I live in Hyderabad)
    If yes, Please provide your contacts, and I can send my full details

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