Beat the lifestyle creep and save your bonus
It’s bonus time again! If you were lucky enough to be paid a sum of money in return for your blood sweat and tears, it’s a good prompt to revisit your financial plans (says that little voice on your shoulder). As an expat in Asia, it’s all too easy to give into the many temptations we might be faced with. So, we have created 5 simple tips to help you think about where that money might be better placed, verse say, the pub.
1. Pay off your credit card
Living beyond one’s means can result in a growing credit card debt, compounded with interest rates going upwards of 30%. A little tip; repay your credit card as soon as you use it, or instead use a debit/credit card. If you don’t have the funds to go on that trip or buy that bag, then the answer is simply, don’t!
2. Emergency cash
Ever been faced with a loss of income? It can be a scary thought, but with 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in cash, it’ll cushion the blow. If you don’t have this in place, consider using your bonus to set aside cash to protect from the unexpected.
No bad debt? Emergency cash holdings in place? Great, you can invest! Consider investing your money in a portfolio aligned to your time horizon and risk appetite. Be it for retirement in 20 years, or a sabbatical in 5. Just like you’re now contemplating your 2021 work KPI’s, do the same for yourself. And if you were also lucky to get a pay rise, beat lifestyle inflation. Save the additional amount, which you can efficiently implement via a dollar cost average strategy. Dollar cost average refers to the practice of investing periodically across a portfolio in an effort to mitigate volatility over time. That is, it takes the work out of timing the market and is a great tool for creating a disciplined approach to your cashflow management.
4. Protect yourself
No one ever likes to think they will get sick or meet with an untimely accident. But we all know someone who has. Revisit your insurance plan and assess whether you have enough in place to protect you and your family. That is surely money well spent.
5. Get advice
We’re not suggesting you just seek financial advice from a licensed financial planner (though the bias here is clear). There are many experts out there to ensure you have an appropriate plan in place, including lawyers. Do you have a Will in place? Do you have assets? If the answer is no and yes, we would recommend paying an expert to help you to address your estate planning needs. Finally, go out and celebrate! You have no doubt earned it. But remember to think about your financial goals and objectives when the party is done! Contact us to start a conversation today.
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