Top 10 Biggest/Worst Personal Finance/Money Mistakes Young People in India Make

What are the biggest and worst finance or finance mistakes:

I have observed that many young people who have just graduated or are just starting out in their careers care less about their savings and make serious financial mistakes. They will find out at a later stage, but the results of these mistakes cost them dearly and seriously.

1. Not having a Contingency/Emergency fund:

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Many young people, every time they receive their salary/income, spend immediately and have nothing left in hand at the end of the month. Imagine if some medical emergency or other critical cash pressure occurs at that time! It will borrow money from outside sources. Borrowing money is the worst and biggest financial mistake of your life.

How to prevent this error? Very simple, just keep a Contingency or Emergency fund that is equal to 6 months of your salary / net monthly income. An important tip here is to keep this amount in any good liquid fund, which will also earn some interest and be available whenever you want.

2. Insufficient life insurance:

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Most young people in India are easily attracted when an agent informs them about the benefits of an insurance policy. They end up investing in expensive endowment policies/money back policies, resulting in insufficient life insurance for them. For example, a 25-year-old takes an endowment policy to the tune of 1 lakh, he must pay the premium Rs. 10,000 approximately for a period of 12 years and at the end of 15 years, and you will only get around 2 lakhs after the expiration. During this insurance period, if anything happens to him, his family only receives 2 lakhs only. Making insurance an investment product is the second worst mistake in your life and because of this mistake, your family will be greatly affected.

How to prevent this error? Simply take out a term policy in the lump sum amount that is equal to 8 – 10 times your gross annual salary. For example, a 25-year-old can take out a term policy of 50 lakhs for a mere annual premium of Rs. 5000. If you take this policy online, you can get 15% – 20% discount on premiums. If any uneven event happens to him, his family receives Rs. 50 lakhs, which is a very comfortable amount to live on after that date.

3. Insufficient health insurance:

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Many young employees, especially those who work in private companies, think that their company offers group health insurance and that it is enough for their medical needs. This is the next biggest mistake that takes a toll on your pocketbook in times of need. Today’s job market is very volatile and you can’t be sure of your current job. You can change your job or you can lose your current job. During this transition period, if a medical emergency occurs, your existing group health insurance will not protect you and you will have to pay medical bills out of pocket.

How to overcome this error? You must have another Health Insurance policy from the market for you and your family. Don’t worry about the additional premiums you have to pay and they are worth paying. One more important tip here is that if your parents are there, you shouldn’t be listed on your Mediclaim policy, you should take out individual health policies for them. This will reduce your premium charges.

4. Not defining financial goals:

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Not defining your financial goals both long-term and short-term is another bigger and worse mistake that young people often make. They just invest in different products without any financial goal. This will lead to choosing the wrong product for the goals and results in insufficient funds for those goals.

How to mitigate this problem? Define your long-term goals, such as your children’s education and marriage, your retirement life, etc. and connect with a good investment product for this goal. Similarly, you need to define your short-term financial goals, such as buying a house/car, vacation, etc., and pair them with a suitable investment product. The definition of the investment product depends on the time frame and the financial objective.

5. Invest heavily in debt investments:

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Most of the young generation invests in gold, insurance policies, bank FD or postal insurance products. These are all safer products, there is no doubt about that. However, these products will not generate returns that exceed inflation and neither will investment products that are very efficient from a tax point of view. Finally, you will get insufficient returns for your goals.

How to handle this error? You need to invest in the Stock Market directly or indirectly. If you have enough knowledge about stocks or if you have any financial adviser, you can directly invest in good stocks for long term. Otherwise, you can opt for mutual funds and invest through the SIP approach over a long period of time. This is sure to generate returns above inflation in a tax efficient manner.

6. Keeping Lots of Credit Cards and Overspending:

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Nowadays, the young generation feels great to hold more credit cards and swipe them from left to right. This is one of the biggest financial mistakes that leads to your financial journey in bad shape. I know that many people (especially young software engineers) are using most of their earnings to pay credit card fees and high interest.

How to overcome this error? You should keep only 1 or 2 credit cards. Use them wisely and pay better cash payments that will reduce your unnecessary expenses.

7. Invest at a later stage:

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Many young people feel that investing is an old people’s concept and they don’t think about investments or savings in their initial stage. Suppose a 25 year old continues to invest Rs. 100 per month in a good mutual fund, can you imagine how much you can have by your retirement age? Alone

1 CRORE!!!!!!! That is the power of investing early. Investing early will have the compounding power and will lead to higher returns.

8. Investments are not diversified:

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You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one bucket. Many people invest all of their savings in savings products like FD, gold, real estate, etc. This is not a good idea and will not generate good returns over a period of time. During 2007 – 2008 times, many young people invested heavily in real estate or stock market. After 2008, the housing boom and the stock market crashed, and all these people lost all their savings.

How to overcome this? Investment diversification is the best medicine for this. You allocate your investment amounts across different investment products. This would not only average out your losses, but also maximize your profits over a long period of time.

9. Financial Illiterate / Lack of Tax Knowledge:

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How many of you know that the Section 80C limit is increased to 1.5 lakhs? How many of you know that the Section 24B (home loan) limit increased to 2 lakhs? I bet few people know about these amendments in the recent Budget-2014. Saving taxes equals saving your money. Therefore, each young person must be very aware of the current financial situation and knowledge of the taxes that are levied on her income. Then only then will you be able to manage your taxes efficiently.

10. No review of financial planning:

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This is the last but not the least biggest mistake of young people. Many of you are only investing in one product and will not look back on the progress of the returns of this investment product. That is not recommended at all. Everyone must review their investment portfolio at least twice a year and must make the corresponding modifications. It is better to be advised by experienced financial advisers.

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