Personal finance is basically the financial planning that an individual or a household performs on a regular basis, to plan, save, and invest money over a period of time, considering various key financial risks and economic circumstances. It can also involve setting aside a fund for unexpected emergencies or protecting assets against depreciation that might result from inflation. In addition, it includes the strategic use of tax saving and investment options, to minimize the total economic impact on the household.
Although it has evolved over the years into a multifaceted discipline, managing personal finance remains a rather simple concept. The most important elements of it are budgeting and saving. Budgeting is an act of setting aside a designated amount for day-to-day expenses, in consideration of future requirements and income. Most households today utilize a monthly budget program, which serves as a guide for all financial decisions. Some even assign a finance adviser to help them in this process.
On the other hand, saving involves creating a fund of funds that will provide income in case of a sudden loss of income due to lay off, death, divorce, or other similar reasons. It can be done by putting aside money each month. However, a better option would be investing the saved funds, so that one could obtain a higher return on the initial sum invested, with relatively lower risk. This is where the concept of Personal finance and budgeting enter the picture. They are used together to achieve a balanced approach to personal finances.
The challenge faced by most individuals when it comes to planning for the future and managing personal finances is two-fold; first, they have to understand the importance of budgeting and saving, which means they have to develop financial literacy; and second, they need to be able to apply the concepts learned about budgeting and savings to their own finances. In order to achieve the first challenge, a number of programs have been developed over time. These include books on personal finance and budgeting, videos, online courses, personal finance workshops, and more.
Managing your own money is not as easy as it looks. It involves both money and attitude. Therefore, when it comes to developing personal financial goals and objectives, it helps to put yourself in the right frame of mind to achieve them. When it comes to actually implementing the various methods available, however, it helps to understand a bit more about the key elements involved in personal finance.
One of these key elements is determining your financial needs, which will guide you in determining your financial objectives, including what type of lifestyle you aspire to live. Another is setting specific, realistic financial expectations, which will determine your level of optimism regarding reaching those goals. Finally, identifying your personal finance goals and objectives will help you in creating a plan to achieve them. The creation of a free template for a three-month personal finance plan through an online service is one such tool that can help you in understanding the basics of personal finance.