3 Smart Ways To Make Your Money Work Harder For You This Year

3 Smart Ways To Make Your Money Work Harder For You This Year

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Being financially prepared for life’s unexpected events is something many of us put off doing until it is too late.

As we have seen in the past year filled with uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, being in control of our finances allows us to be better prepared. If something unfortunate happens and we are financially unprepared, the financial impact on our loved ones can be a very heavy burden.

Let’s start with managing our finances better and making our extra cash work harder as well.

So, how do you make your money work harder and smarter? Start by taking a closer look at your finances, and finding ways to make the most of each ringgit you earn and save.

Here are 3 simple steps you can take to improve your financial stability for long-term security.

1. Take control of your money

Understand where your money is going each month in order to make better use of it by budgeting.  

Here’re some easy guidelines to create a budget:

  • Track your expenses to see where your money is going towards each month.
  • Use the popular 50/30/20 budgeting system where you spend 50% of your income on ‘necessities’, 30% on ‘wants’, and put aside 20% for savings.
  • If you are overspending on certain areas, decide what expenses you can cut down.
  • Track your monthly budget regularly to see how you fare financially as well as your spending habits.

Budgeting helps you figure out how much money you need to cover your daily expenses and in the long term, to pay off debt and still save for other life and financial goals.  Getting charged for interest on your outstanding debts can take a big chunk out of your income each month and reduce the amount you can save.

Ways to pay off your debts:

  • If you have multiple debts, start paying off the one with the highest interest rate first. High-interest debt can eat up a lot of your monthly income because the unpaid interest adds up and increases the amount you owe every month.
  • Watch your credit card debt which is a common high-interest debt that can increase rapidly especially if you pay only the minimum amount each month.
  • Consolidate debts or focus on clearing off smaller debts first, so you have more funds to pay off larger debts.

Once you have a plan, be prepared to commit to it as it may take months or even years before you start to see the results.

2. Start saving and investing

When you start saving, putting money aside for emergencies is important because you never know when you may need to pay for unexpected events like your car breaking down, health emergencies or sudden household repairs.

What is an emergency fund?

  • A pool of savings you set aside to pay for unexpected expenses, so you don’t have to borrow money.
  • This is money you can get to quickly and withdraw from your account without penalty.
  • The amount should be three to six months of your living expenses.
  • If you have many financial responsibilities, you need to set aside more money for this fund.

However, money you leave in your savings account over the years can also lose value over time due to inflation. Once you have saved enough for an emergency fund, consider investing your money. Investments can potentially provide bigger returns over time and help protect the value of your money too.

How to grow your savings with investments?

  • Start investing as early as possible to take advantage of compounding interest to grow your savings over years.
  • Invest regularly even with a small amount of several hundred ringgit can make a big difference over time.
  • Create passive income through investing in lower risk investments like unit trust funds, exchange traded funds, REITs and some blue-chip stocks that can provide income in the form of interest payments or dividends.
Consider investment-linked insurance plans (ILP)

An ILP like Sun Shield Link can help ‘shield’ your money while growing it with investment funds based on your risk appetite.

When you invest in an ILP like Sun Shield Link, you also get financial protection if anything unexpected happens with a choice of 6 insurance riders to protect your individual needs or your loved ones.

3. Be financially and medically protected

Can your investments protect you financially and medically at the same time? With ILPs, you can make your money work harder and smarter by doing both at once.

According to the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM), ILPs account for more than half of active policies with on-going premiums in 2018. ILP is a popular choice for Malaysians who want to be financially prepared for unpredictable events and life challenges and at the same time make their money work harder for potential investment returns.

Sun Life Malaysia offers the Sun Shield Link, which is a flexible ILP that helps you protect yourself and your loved ones financially. At the same time, it provides the potential to achieve long-term financial health by growing your savings with an array of investment-linked funds.

Sun Shield Link offers:

  • a customisable protection and financial plan which gives you the freedom to scale up your investment through top-up and also the option to withdraw in times of need
  • freedom to choose your investment fund based on your risk appetite
  • options of expiry age for your coverage up to 60, 70, 80 and even 99
  • 2 types of bonuses to help boost your investment
  • legacy planning to ensure your loved ones are financially protected when you are no longer around

Additionally, Sun Shield Link gives you the freedom to protect what matters to you most with 6 optional protection riders to fit your needs at different life stages:

For your financial needsFor your healthFor your family
Shield Accident Care
Shield Disability Income Care
Shield Waiver
Shield Medi Care
Shield Multi Critical Care
Shield Payor Waiver

As you are going through life’s important moments like advancing in your career, getting married and having children, your financial protection needs will change. Don’t wait till it’s too late. Act now to protect your financial health and loved ones with one insurance plan that can give you all the benefits.

Find out how you can shield your finances, health, and family with just one plan.

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