5 Ways To Be More Prudent With Money
Prudent management of money can help us to stay on track financially and meet financial goals. But it’s easier said than done. It’s inevitable that our finances are scattered to thin across many places due to payments, bills, loans, and commitments. That’s why it’s extremely important to be aware of your expenses. SalamToday reached out to the Chief Executive Officer of RinggitPlus Malaysia, Liew Ooi Hann on ways to be financially prudent. RinggitPlus.com is Malaysia’s leading financial comparison website.
KNOW WHERE YOU STAND
“The first thing you should do is to figure out where you stand. This means knowing how much you earn and how much you spend,” said Liew. If you don’t know, then it’s time to be aware as it will help to manage your finances better. Perhaps you can make your own balance sheet and note down the things that you have spent on. From there, you can visually see your transactions. This will make it easier for you to identify what or where you can save more.
IDENTIFY YOUR SPENDING HABITS
Once you have established how much you earn and spend, it’s time to analyze your spending habits. It’s extremely important to know what you’re spending on identifying where the money goes. “Look at your what you’re spending today and where your spending patterns are. Whether it’s going out or eating too much or even on transportation or housing. It’s about identifying where you can save money. Go deeper into your spending brackets,” said Liew.
(Photo courtesy of Zeno Group)
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
It’s easier said than done, but it’s all about the mindset. As human beings, it’s normal to want to buy things for ourselves with our hard-earned money. But Liew advises to ask yourself these three questions – do I really need it? Can I afford it? Can I get it cheaper elsewhere?
A lot of us have experienced purchases made from impulse decisions. Before you purchase something, think about how it will affect you in the future. Will, it put you in debt? Will it last long? Is it worth it?
But despite that, having a healthy mindset to achieve financial stability doesn’t mean you should compromise on your lifestyle and go completely frugal either. “Most advice would go straight to this, which is to stop your life. This should be the last thing you do.
“However, we still have to address that there is something you can stop doing like buying things you don’t need,” he said.
LOOK AT YOUR FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
“If you’ve got a personal loan and a credit card with high interest, find if there is there a way you can consolidate all that into less interest every month.
A the end of the day Liew said you’re not doing anything different, you’re still paying your installments only at a much lower rate but you get to save money and still live your life.
If you’re wondering whether there is a way to increase or maintain savings despite living your life how you normally would? Liew said there is away. An example would be earning cashback from spending via your credit card.
“If you are disciplined about getting a credit card, you can earn cashback when you spend. You can immediately put saving back into your pocket,” he said.
BE MORE PRODUCTIVE
There are many ways to supplement your income, and most people would resort to doing more than one job or work longer hours.
“That helps, yes, and a lot of people have to resort to doing that, but for me, it’s about how do I make myself more productive at work?
“It’s about increasing your productivity at work. I’m in control of how much I learn how much I can work, how productive I am. In many countries, increasing productivity increases income. If you are more productive you will be rewarded with more income,” he said.
Liew was met at a press conference by RinggitPlus where he discussed a survey conducted in Malaysia by RinggitPlus and Visa called the RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey 2019 (RMFLS 2019).
The survey found that while close to 70 percent of Malaysians indicated that they are in control of their finances, an alarming 53 percent of respondents admit that they are not able to survive more than three months with their savings. The findings further revealed that about 43 percent of Malaysians spend exactly what they earn or more. This statistic has increased by 10 percent compared to last year.
Check out our interview with Liew below:
Cover photo: Michael Longmire / Unsplash