If you have just recently joined the workforce or you are going to graduate soon, and want to get a solid hold of your financial moves in 2024, you are at the right place.
Managing finances efficiently takes a few years, a few hiccups here and there, major and minor slip-ups as well as regretful moves. But, what are the first few right moves or key points you should know?
Learn all you can about personal finance
Don’t just leave it to your family, friends, advertisements and Instagram influencers to tell you about debt repayment, credit cards, loans and budgeting! Personal finance, like its name suggests, is highly personal.
For instance, your budgeting style is going to be exclusive for you. While you may follow well-known budgeting rules such as the 50-30-20 rule made popular by a US Senator, you will find yourself tweaking the budget as per your needs and wants over time.
Having the right mindset on budgeting, loans, credit scores, and investment as early as possible in your working life.
If you are not a book person, here’s a simple way to start your journey towards financial knowledge. Just head to our Learning Centre to find out more about money management and all things related to personal finance. You will return a changed person, we guarantee you!
Make your financial move right away
Sure, you are still in college but starting a budget template right now will get you ready by the time you get your first paycheck. Treat your weekly/monthly allowance as your paycheck for now and budget around with it.
On the other hand, if you just started working, it’s best to not wait till next month or next year. We understand it may look all rosy now and you want to enjoy it, but when it comes to finances, things can spiral downwards pretty fast and all it takes is one wrong step.
You are working hard and earning a steady income. Your salary is in and you think you deserve to reward yourself. So, you go on a shopping spree: A brand new phone, a pair of designer shoes, a new watch, and a few expensive dinner outings with friends.
Conveniently, you swipe your credit card thinking you will pay it off once your next salary is in.
But, the credit card bill comes with a staggering total. You realise that you won’t be able to pay it off using your salary. So, you pay the minimum amount and start incurring interest.
You keep on paying the minimum amount for a few months. Your plan to build emergency fund remains a plan.
You are now hoping for a big fat bonus to pay off your credit card debt and start anew.
Know your insurance needs and choose the best plan for you
If your insurance is being provided by your tertiary institution or employer, you are taking a big risk on your finances.
You should also take note that insurance from your tertiary institution and employer may have low coverage values and you might need to fork out your savings, should your expenses exceed the coverage value.
Not to mention, once you graduate and embark on the job-hunting process or if you decide to quit your current job, you won’t be covered by any insurance.
Getting a health insurance policy when you are younger is a lot easier and affordable than when you are older and have health issues.
Read More: Basics about Life Insurance in Malaysia
Search for the best entertainment, food and travel deals
Let’s get real. Entertainment, food and travel are pretty much the top priorities for youngsters. And if unplanned and uncontrolled, you will burn quite a big hole in your pocket at the end of every month.
In Klang Valley, a weekend outing can easily rake up over RM80 to RM100.
|Watching a blockbuster movie + snacks
|Dinner at McD (Nasi Lemak McD Set)
|Catch up with friends at Starbucks
This is excluding your transportation or carpark charges which can add another RM10 or more . Spending RM80 per weekend means you will be spending RM320 per month. That is if you are going out only once per week.
On the contrary, if you make use of reward deals from e-wallets, cashbacks, and membership privileges, you will be surprised by the amount of savings you can get by taking advantage of what’s on offer.
Here’s how you can get better price tags for your indulgences:
Cultivate good money-saving habits and start to explore money-making opportunities
You will be surprised at how saving a ringgit here and there can add up to a big amount. How much can you possibly save by making your own coffee and how much difference could 100 GrabPay reward points make?
Well, quite a big amount.
If you are a student, you have a lot of free time which can be put to use to generate money.
A lot of opportunities don’t even require you to be present physically. Online freelance and part-time jobs make it easy even for those who have started a full-time job to generate income through side gigs.
These are just a handful of options available out there. You can choose to work on your hobbies before turning it into an online business or you can work on capitalising what you are already good at. Squeeze your creative juices and get to work!