Each one of us has a different relationship with money. It means different things to different people based on many variables like your age, your income, your expenses, your dependants, your commitments, your stage in life, your up-bringing, your belief system, your inheritance and more. Given all of these variables and our personal financial goals, how mindful we are about money has a big impact on a key area of our overall wellbeing – Financial wellbeing.

The decisions that we make about our money don’t just affect our finances but also each aspect of our lives. While a great decision could make one lead a very comfortable life with not a worry in the world, a bad one could also cost great education for the kids, a house to live in, strain personal relationships and also effect one mentally.

There have been enough rags to riches stories that we have been inspired by and many more riches to rags stories that we have heard and overlooked. “It can never happen to me” is what gives us comfort, which in effect might be a false hope. If it can happen to “them”, it can happen to you, unless you are mindful of your decisions. We have seen biggest of the superstars and business tycoons going bankrupt owing to wrong money decisions that they made in life.

The golden rule: Pause, assess and act. Apply mindfulness to your monetary actions. How?

Mindfulness – the non-judgmental awareness of the present moment – when applied to how we manage our finances, allows us to –

  • ignore the media-driven emphasis on consumption (which never leads to durable happiness)
  • “beating the market” (something that is never predictable or controllable),
  • focus on simple, disciplined behaviours that have long-term impacts on our lives.

As the financial year 2021-22 comes to an end, review and prepare a road map for your financial success and independence for the coming year.

  1. Assess the current lay of the land for yourself: Acknowledge & be mindful of your Income, liabilities, assets, expenses, inheritances/ gifts, savings and insurances.
  2. Determine your financial goals: Know your goals, distinguish between needs & wants. Decide what your topmost goal for the next fiscal is, is it to –
    • Purchase a property
    • Get married & initiate a family
    • Ensure a good education for your children
    • Make your investment & reserves tax proficient
    • Retirement planning
  3. Identify alternatives for investment and savings basis your goals: Work on short, medium and long-term goals and integrate an investment strategy that would be based on the set of requirements. While working around your investments, there would be a number of factors to be considered like: Cash flow, risk tolerance, current insurance coverage, tax strategies & investment goals.
  4. Risk Evaluation: While making financial decisions, evaluating and weighing risk is very important. Always be aware of your own risk appetite without getting swayed by impulsive decisions.

  5. Review, Re-evaluate and Monitor the plan: The most important thing is to regularly assess your wants and needs.

With this approach, you can expect less anxiety, enjoy better outcomes, and earn your happiness dividend. Mindful Money is goal-focused and planning-driven and never ad-hoc and impulsive. Approach your financial goals this new fiscal year in a non judgmental and forward looking way to attain financial well-being.

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