If you want to make 2019 a gamechanger year in your journey to achieve financial freedom, you will most definitely need to revamp your strategies to ensure you make smart financial decisions.
Be it to improve your credit score or better manage your daily expenses or become debt-free or build your home down payment fund, you will need to have proper plans in place so that you achieve your targets.
And we’re here to help you in this journey. Make the most of our tips and hacks as we answer 19 critical ‘Hows’ for you to have a financially-savvy 2019.
1. How to improve credit score?
You cannot undervalue the importance of having a good credit score. From getting faster approvals for your financing applications to enjoying better repayment terms like lower interest rates and flexible tenures, the benefits are huge. But, more importantly, how do you improve your credit score if it’s not great?
Fret not. Read our blog for some really useful insights.
2. How to choose the right credit card?
Well, if you thought a credit card is a sure shot road to a debt-ridden life, you probably aren’t using it right or you’re yet to own a card whose benefits are in line with your lifestyle requirements and budget. Yes, key benefits like cashback on groceries or petrol, or reward points on most of your spends, will help you save more, not spend more.
But with so many cards out there, how do you know which one works best for you? What are the things you should keep in mind before zeroing-in on a particular credit card? Ace blogger Suraya, of Ringgit Oh Ringgit fame, has a number of pro-tips to share in her blog. Check them out!
3. How to get out of debt?
Getting out of debt may be difficult, but certainly not impossible. Many have done it, and there’s no reason why you can’t as well. You need to have smart strategies in place complimented by oodles of financial discipline. But most importantly, you need to stop getting stressed over it, and start acting on your counter-debt plans today!
We have a number of helpful suggestions to guide you on this journey.
4. How to steer clear of credit card debt?
Responsible usage is the bedrock of smart credit card handling. A few reckless spends, some missed payments or forceful overspends in the absence of adequate funds — and before you know it you’re under considerable debt with interest rates as high as 18%, or even higher.
So how do you ensure you steer clear of credit card debt? Don’t miss our useful tips.
5. How to decide whether a debt consolidation loan works or not?
A debt consolidation loan is often a tempting option to many debtors. Yes, these loans can provide relief to people as they can bundle multiple loans into a single monthly payoff with more favourable terms like interest-free periods and lower rates. However, it’s still a loan that needs to be repaid in full on time and failing to do so would probably deepen your financial crisis.
The bottom line is you must understand in full the pros and cons of different debt consolidation loan packages in order to make an informed decision.
6. How to take advantage of the new initiatives proposed in Budget 2019?
Budget 2019 has proposed a number of new initiatives and changes that can make a difference in your life. From unlimited 30-day Rapid travel pass to petrol subsidies and aid for first-time home buyers, there are some important things you must be aware of.
7. How to make the most of the new EPF-related changes?
Budget 2019 has also proposed a number of EPF-related changes. From segregating the tax reliefs for EPF and life insurance/takaful premiums to increasing the quantum of target EPF Basic Savings for age 55 by RM12,000, these changes can help embolden your core retirement savings.
8. How to boost savings now that SST is in effect?
September saw the dawn of the new Sales and Services Tax in Malaysia. While several necessary things, like most of the grocery items, have been exempted from SST, some personal hygiene products and a large number of services have been taxed (check out a list of commonly-used SST-taxed products and services here).
If you’re wondering how to save more with SST around, we’ve some simple tips for you.
9. How to know whether you’re ready to invest?
Yes, you must invest to grow your wealth, but only when you can afford them. Hasty, impulsive investment decisions certainly have the potential to sink your finances. You must take complete stock of your financial standing, set clear goals and understand the unique risks and rewards involved with each investment instrument before taking the plunge.
You’ll be well-advised to read this blog to prevent careless investment decisions.
10. How to build and grow a fund for a child’s higher education?
Higher education for kids is pricey and depending on EPF withdrawals or scholarships to fund them have obvious pitfalls. The best approach is to remain financially farsighted and have in place proper plans years in advance.
We’ve highlighted 5 options to help you build and grow your child’s higher education fund.
11. How to get funding for a business?
Getting funded is probably the biggest challenge faced by those who are planning to start a business. To make things a tad bit easier for you, we’ve listed down 7 options to get funding for your business in Malaysia. Consider your options carefully and choose the one that best suits your business requirements and financial standing.
12. How to improve financial knowledge?
The Bank Negara Malaysia said in October 2017 that financial education is a must in the country as more than 75% people found it challenging to raise even RM1,000 in cash during an emergency situation! Your best bet to up your money game is by reading quality personal finance books and form reasoned perspectives.
If you don’t know where to begin, check out our list of 15 recommended personal finance books.
13. How to curb shopping temptations and cut down on wasteful spends?
Yes, we all want to cut down on wasteful expenses to boost our savings. But then, many of us are often guilty of succumbing to temptations and making rash, impulsive purchases that can throw our finances out of gear.
Blogger Suraya had a very interesting suggestion in our ongoing video series Let’s Talk About It when she spoke about the concept of “delayed gratification” and explained how this can help us not regretting a hasty purchase ever again.
14. How to save more with day-to-day expenses?
If you carefully track every sen that leaves your account, you’ll most definitely identify a number of areas where you can cut down. From splurging on high fashion brands and fancy gadgets to booking a cab at the drop of a hat, there are so many expenses that can be easily avoided if you make a conscious effort.
Here are 15 such everyday habits that are making you broke. Know them, work on them and pave your own path to enhanced savings.
15. How to save more on your favourite purchases?
A really cool way to boost your savings when you go shopping is to check for preloved goodies. You do not just save more when you go for refurbished items but at times you get to buy rare beauties that you can’t usually find in fancy showrooms.
So, if you’re wondering where to find them, here are 6 places where you can shop for preloved goodies in Klang Valley.
16. How to make smart financial transactions with the help of e-wallets?
E-wallets not just make our financial transactions convenient but at times help us save more too. That being said, there are many e-wallets in the market today and you need to understand how they work to ensure you make your financial transactions smarter.
Do check out our list of 10 top e-wallets in Malaysia — from vCash and GrabPay to DuitNow — and get to know how each of them works.
17. How to make extra money through things you’re passionate about?
Truth be told, you can only save up to an extent with cost-cutting measures. You should also focus on increasing your income to be able to allocate more funds towards savings or to build investment capital. And it doesn’t get more motivating if you get to make extra money through things you’re really passionate about.
While the extroverts can upload videos on YouTube and monetise them, the talented cooks can host guests for dinner with the help of mobile apps and make a side hustle! The possibilities are actually endless. If you need some smart tips, here are 10 fun ways to make extra money based on your personality!
18. How to build a home down payment fund?
Owning that dream home is a goal millions of people across the globe are trying to achieve. And even if you want to take the home loan route, you’ll still have to come up with a considerable amount of money for the down payment fund.
If you’re unsure how to go about building one, you might find these 5 tips very helpful.
19. How to save on your home’s interior design?
For many, the words “interior designing” are synonymous to a breakdown of finances. But worry not. If you put in some effort and strategise smartly, you can actually get the things done in a way you love without jeopardising your bank balance. Do check out our 6 practical tips to save money on your home’s interior design.
That’s all folks! Hope our tips and hacks help you take better control of your finances in 2019. Wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!
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