Managing your income and expenditure is important to ensure savings for a rainy day, but many of us ignore it in the tangle of our day-to-day lives. This year, along with weight management and more travelling, it would be a great idea to include money management in your New Year Resolutions.

Sit back and relax by following these 8 smart money choices:

Start saving:
It is easy to fall into a habit of spending everything you earn each month. Cutting some corners and budgeting your income can help you save small amounts each month. This savings will come in handy when you have to deal with unplanned expenditures such as an illness or a broken smartphone. Apart from a savings account in a bank, you could opt for recurring deposits to ensure that you save a specific amount every month.

Invest in pension plans:
Retirement can be tough if you do not have financial security. Start early on a pension plan with benefits that would meet your post-retirement requirements. You could also opt for long-term fixed deposits or public provident funds.

Invest in a Life Insurance policy:
Life is unpredictable; anything can happen to anyone, anytime. Invest in a good, affordable life insurance policy. The policy should assure you a good sum at maturity and provide security to your family/nominees in case of your untimely demise. Ensure that the premiums are affordable and in line with your income and expenditure so that you do not lose the policy through defaulting on payments.

Buy yourself a Health Insurance:
With lifestyle becoming increasingly sedentary, we are prone to several health discomforts that would only rise with every passing year. A health insurance will ensure that your medical expenses – expected or unexpected – are taken care of. You will not have to deal with doctor’s bills out of the blue if you have invested in a safe health insurance. It is advisable to choose a comprehensive plan that also provides medical coverage for your family.

Make better transportation choices:
Private vehicles are convenient, but also expensive. Cars and two-wheelers consume a lot of petrol or diesel, and transportation is likely to be among your top spends of the month. This year, try moving to public transport, or if you are game for it – bicycle! These options are not only cheaper but also eco-friendly.

Reduce your personal expenses:
One of the most common components where we over-spend is personal expenses. This includes impulsive purchases related to fashion, personal grooming, or home equipment/furnishing at supermarkets or online stores. Control the urge to buy everything that looks appealing to you. If required, keep your ATM/Debit card out of easy reach to avoid the temptation of easy cash. Cutting down on expenses towards alcohol or cigarettes will also allow you to save large sums.

Scale down your food bills:
Working lunches, a sudden craving for the food of a particular restaurant, impromptu dinner meets with friends – food bills may not seem very huge while paying for them. However, refusing a restaurant visit for even one night a month could help you save over Rs. 1,000. Put this in your piggy bank or recurring deposit and it would accumulate to over Rs. 12,000 a year, which could be used for emergencies.

Budget your income and stick to the plan:
Make monthly budgets allocating money for regular expenses such as house rent, loan EMIs, children’s fees, policy payments, savings plans, etc. Keep aside fixed amounts for household expenses and personal expenses as well. Knowing how much money you have and how much is required will give you a clear idea of how much you can spare every month. Stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary expenses. Many money-management apps are available for Android and iOS phones that can help you keep track of your income and expenditure.

Make yourself debt-free:
It is easy to accumulate debt with credit cards or personal loans. Festival spending, a new car, important celebrations in the family, could all easily burn a hole in your pocket. Regular savings, budgeting, and scaling back unnecessary personal and household expenses will help you generate more savings per month. This could then be used to clear your outstanding bills, EMIs or credit card payments.

Adopting even one or two of the above resolutions will bring financial discipline into your life. Enjoying life will be easier if you have made provisions for the unexpected. Money management is not meant to restrict or inconvenience you, but to ensure that you are prepared for everything life throws at you.

Author's Bio: 

Sanjit Agarwal is a Financial Adviser by profession with an experience of around eight years in Personal Finance. As a Financial Writer, he has penned various write-ups on Insurance, Investments, Money Management, Retirement Planning, Savings, Tax, etc.