Thursday, February 2, 2012

Leak Proofing your Personal Finance to build Wealth - MANAGE your HARD EARNED MONEY !!

Many have a tendency to complain about inflation, taxes and EMI’s as deterrents to saving and investments. But the question is are we making a conscious effort to save and control spending? Do we have any financial leak and are we ignoring them?

My intention is not to confuse, but to emphasize that you need to fix these leaks. So that you can create and build wealth that can last for a lifetime.

Arun, a marketing professional earning Rs. 24lacs per annum post tax was surprised how his friend Girish who earned just Rs. 18lakh per annum and having similar family conditions could save and invest. Taking Girish into confidence he explained his problems. Girish gave him a patient and empathic hearing. Girish explained where Arun spent unnecessarily or created financial leaks and how these leaks could be plumbed. This could make Arun feel financiallt fulfilled in his life.

The financial leaks:

In addition to his necessary expenses, Arun spent a lot on things that were unnecessary and unhealthy. Some of the financial leaks or avoidable expenses included his smoking and drinking expenses. Since he belonged to the upper status of society Arun believed that drinking and entertaining his friends and colleagues with foreign liquor at least once a month was essential. This even took up about Rs.1.5laks to 2lakhs of his annual income.

In addition Arun dined in star hotels at least once a month, with dining out in other restaurants at least twice a week. This took up about Rs.1.5laks annually. The family believed in shopping in expensive malls and watching movies in multiplex that cost him about Rs.300000 per annum. In addition there was the yearly recreation and other lifestyle expenses.

Method of financial plumbing:

Girish emphasized to Arun to cut down on his cigarettes and alcohol to not only save money and invest, but also to care for his health. In addition Girish suggested that he find other healthy ways to relax like doing deep breathing, meditation and relaxation exercises daily. Next he suggested that he entertained his friends in more healthy ways and minimized his visits to star hotels and restaurants for a meal.

He told Arun that dining at home, experimenting on their new favorite recipes. Cooking together as a family provided the togetherness and helped to get the family’s cooperation in meeting the savings goals. Shopping just for essential needs, with entertainment in theaters or watching videos at home instead of visiting multiplex theaters saved money on tickets and in travelling to these theaters that were on the outskirts of the city.

I am sure we all could relate and find some that could identify with our spending habit patterns.

Your excellent life balance sheet:

Just have a look at how fixing financial leaks could help:

Your monthly unhealthy expenditure of Rs10000 on alcohol, if invested at 12% would give you a corpus of Rs. 23, 00, 386 in 10 years and Rs. 98,92,553, in 20 years.

 Next your unhealthy monthly expenditure of Rs.2000 on cigarettes will grow to
Rs.4, 60, 077 in 10years and Rs. 19, 78, 511 in 20 years at the same rate of growth!

 Similarly, your extra unwarranted expenditure of watching movies at multiplex and shopping in malls of Rs.5000 each month would grow to Rs.11,50,193, in 10 years and to get Rs. 49,46,277 in 20 years at the same growth rate!

 Cutting on extra dining out expenses of just Rs.5000 per month could accumulate Rs. 11, 50,193 and Rs. 49, 46, 277 in 10 years and 20 years at the same interest rate!

 Aren’t you surprised this amounts to 50 lakhs in 10 years and 2.17crores in 20 years with a mere cutting Rs.22,000 a month? You are more healthy and financially sufficient all your life!

 Plumbing some other financial leaks switching off fans, heaters, air-conditioners and other electric and electronic appliances when not in use would help make savings and the energy crisis!

 Avoiding financial leaks with avoiding the use of credit card unless very necessary would help avoid payment of high interest. Detesting the idea of just making payment of minimum amount on credit card outstanding balances is one of the worst financial leaks. This applies also to giving priority to paying off low interest loans in favor of high interest loans.

 Next avoiding the financial leak of paying high interests paid on loans, with earning lower interests in savings accounts and fixed deposits is important.


Hope you are set ready to fix your financial leaks and to channellise the extra savings in a fruitful investment option. Here’s the road map to riches. Fix your financial leaks; get extra savings; invest the extra savings properly; become wealthier.

The author is Ramalingam K, an MBA (Finance) and Certified Financial Planner.

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