The very first step toward creating the life you want is to become a blank slate. Allow yourself to be open to some new ways of thinking, a different perspective. This may require you to shift some old beliefs or let go of your current “personal operating system“.
When you begin to make small shifts in your thinking, you open big doors for new ideas and opportunities.
These five tips will help you hack your lifestyle to ensure you keep living the life you have always wanted:
#1. Save Money Every Month
According to the Employees Provident Fund, one in three Malaysians do not have a savings account. If you haven’t yet started saving, begin earmarking money for savings with your next paycheck. It is much easier to establish this habit before you get used to spending your “extra” money.
The easiest way to begin regular savings is to arrange an automatic payment from your checking account to your savings account. Set up automatic savings payments to occur as soon as your paycheck hits your account,
#2. Get A Protection Plan
Even if you are healthy and disease free, that doesn’t mean you wont need a protection plan. You can’t predict the future, anything can happen to you anytime. Your best bet, especially if you are working to pay off that mortgage or save for your child’s education, is to get an adequate protection plan such as Takaful.
Takaful is a type of Islamic insurance where members contribute money into a pooling system to guarantee each other against loss or damage. These plans ensure the lifestyle or wellbeing of the dependents are not affected should something happen to the certificate holder.
#3. Keep track of your investments
Even if you opt for mutual funds where someone else is doing all the tinkering for you, the onus is on you to ensure that your portfolio is constantly delivering based on your goals. When you set aside money for investments, there will always be risks involved. To help weather this, you need to allocate your assets properly and this is where goal-setting comes into play.
If you are in yours 30s with retirement or financial freedom as your goal, then opt for a moderately aggressive portfolio. Often referred to as a balanced portfolio, this option serves those with a longer time horizon, generally more than five years.
#4. Be Disciplined
Investing is a long-term game, a marathon not a sprint. Sometimes you could lose track of your investments or even be demotivated or distracted. To stay motivated, reward yourself. One way is to pay yourself a certain amount.
While this may seem counterintuitive, the idea is to keep you in the game for the long term. How to go about this is simple: set aside money for savings and personal spending. Do this before you set out to buy groceries or even pay the bills.
#5. Always Think Ahead
The problem with consumers is that many look for quick payoffs. But that would most probably lead you to debt. According to Asian Institute of Finance, the majority live on credit with 47% living on high-interest-rate credit cards, while 70% who own credit cards tend to pay the minimum monthly payment with 45% failing to meet the payment deadline.
One way to avoid falling into this frightening statistic is to simply spend and live within your means. If possible, delay consumption now for rewards later.