In this blog, we wrap up the year by touching on concepts that we have discussed throughout 2021. Remember, knowledge is power and that it remains and empowers us the more we practice it.
Understand your habits, nurture yourself, and most importantly, love yourself. Having clarity of mind and a purpose to focus on is something we can all strive for in the new-year. As we’ve said earlier this year, becoming financially literate doesn’t mean becoming a mathematical genius.
It’s about a mentality of putting you first, and being aware of things that help you and harm you. Since money is our tool to have more options, it can only help us if we understand it.
Below are some concepts to consider on your way to becoming financially literate.
Why Understanding how Money Works, Matters
Knowledge is power
Rich for a moment or wealthy forever
A combination of reasons - all having to do with being the boss of your life. Mindful habits, understanding the why and how certain habits are valuable to have. Knowledge is power over our decisions, meaning the more we know about a subject, the more informed our decision making will be, and the more courage we will have to ask the right questions. Finally, empowering and stabilizing your mental health, as managing uncertainty can cause anxiety, unhappiness, and stress.
For those who are already rich, understanding how money works will ensure that your decisions nurture your wealth for the long term.
Top Money Concepts for Financial Well-being
Debt and guarantees
Saving is about forward looking cash flow and building resilience in your financial well-being. Debt is about knowing how much it is costing you, how it limits life choices, if unmanageable, how it erodes the value of your assets and of your credit worthiness. Investing is about creating value whilst you are asleep, making money work for you.
Compounding interest is important to understand as it can work in your favour when investing and saving and yet it can also widen the black hole of debt when you are borrowing. Credit worthiness is how your behaviour with money impacts your reputation in business and private life. Building wealth is about all of the above, your values and relationship with money for the long term.
Are you spending more than you’re earning?
Forward look on your cash
Don’t chase where money went, but tell it where to go
Pension, insurance, tax
Make money work for you. Tell it where to go through your forward looking cash flow. Emergency funds build resilience in our financial wellbeing and multiple saving wallets for all our fun projects. Lifestyle is about living life as we want it to be. Sometimes, your lifestyle may need to change to accommodate changes in your wealth, and that’s fine. We’ve been there and know that you’re not alone in those changes.
Build a safety net in life by starting early on planning for pension, understanding how tax can help towards these savings and how life insurance for young families is a useful tool for ease of mind. For each of these steps carefully read the fine print on terms of entry, exit and fees.
Matters of Life and Debt
How much is your debt costing you?
Short and long term debt
Debt is a serious matter. When committing to raising debt, whether for long term such as housing or education, or short term debt on your credit cards, it is not only the amount you borrow, it is the interest the bank charges you for it. Other charges are the service charges, the compounding of the interest (interest on interest or interest on the whole outstanding amount – depending on the terms).
It is how your assets are tied to debt by guarantees and implication on their value. You should be careful when tying assets to debt as they depreciate, AKA lose value. Your signature on debt implies that you commit to servicing it under the rule book of your creditor, so rules are set by others not by you.
Debt may also weaken your credit worthiness if you are not able to service it punctually.
Oh, and if you are guaranteeing someone else’s debt, - you are giving a promise that you are taking on this debt and all its costs, or some of it, if that someone fails to comply with their obligations. So ensure you read the fine and bold print before you commit to debt.
Goals, horizon, risk
Diversification across different asset classes
Buy low, sell high
Investment platforms (passive, active)
Wills and estate planning
Investing is about making your money work for you. It’s never too early or too late to begin, but the earlier you get into it, the better! The earlier you start investing the more risk you can take, as your life horizon is longer within which you can take risks and recover from market downturns.
You can choose to be an active or passive investor, to make trades or investments yourself, or trust your savings to an asset manager to do this for you. Either case, ensure that you are not risking emergency savings –you retain an emergency savings wallet on the side before you commit money to investing.
To be successful you need to know how to invest, where to invest, and terms of engagement. Diversification – “not putting all your eggs in one basket” – is a key principle. Timing the market is an art, and therefore buying low and selling high is the best kept principle.
Compounding interest in investment is about keeping your money and the interest (gains) earned invested for the long term in the pool. It is important to understand how tax in the country you are registered in as a tax resident can impact your earnings from investing. Estate planning and wills are equally important to ensure your wealth and your loved ones are protected for the long term.
Values and moral compass
Informed decision making
Regular reviews and check-ins
Whether starting fresh or inheriting wealth, understanding the principles behind nurturing your wealth is key to your financial wellbeing. It takes clarity in setting goals with short and long term horizon planning, consistency in reviewing outcomes and decisions, and keeping track of market conditions that shift values.
Habits in balancing exercising prudence and fun loving spontaneity is about creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself so that you can enjoy the things you do, while not creating detrimental habits.
Seeking experts’ advice with like minded values is an art - in terms of methodology and of moral compass. When you’ve decided to seek out the advice of a professional, don’t settle for someone who seems to sell you “the best deal”. They are experts at selling, so don’t fall for their charisma. Rather, agree with their perspectives, so that you can trust their investments to be aligned with your interests and values.
What does it take to be financially fit?
The moment, the future.
Our relationship with money is a reflection of our habits, our values, and how much we respect and love ourselves. It takes loving ourselves and respecting our right to wellbeing in order to treat money with mindfulness, prudence and humility. We live in a world of the unknown and building financial resilience through emergency funds, forward looking cash flows, manageable debt, and investments that nurture wealth requires time for learning and consistency with earning, saving and investing.
We are not investment advisors. The purpose of QueensofMoney is to provide a platform and community of learning that can point you to the right direction.
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