BudgetingProbably the Term of The Year in today’s business and finance world is “gaining control”.

Today’s tight credit policies and financing woes leave your business and personal financial welfare at stake.

Control your business and personal finance well, you will survive, if not thrive; Lose control of your financials leave you and your business vulnerable.

What’s your decision?

Gaining control: all coming back to the comfort of your home

I believe you and I, if asked such question, will answer “I want to gain control of my personal and business finance.”

Like most things in live, everything is coming back to your ‘home’ – Your knowledge and policy in your personal finance, including your family finance will determine the sustainability of your personal finance facing today’s tough economy.

Not only that, your personal finance policy and knowledge will eventually affect your business.

How to gain control of your finances

I insist that your financial knowledge will command your ability to gain control of your personal and business finances.

What you know will affect your budgeting, spending and investing policies for your home and business.

Financial institutions’ help

Luckily, while you are doing your part, many big financial institutions do offer you a help in managing your finances.

Take mCash Prepaid MasterCard, as an example. From the website, mcashcard.com you can learn that Mastercard offer a solution in your cash management easily. Suppose you want to gain control on your children spending habit, you can ‘enforce’ budgeting through prepaid debit cards for kids.

80/20 rules

The 80/20 rules in Pareto’s Law help you break down what’s necessary and what’s a waste in your personal and business budgeting process.

Simply eliminate the ‘waste’, and minimise the spending on what’s necessary.

What includes as wastes? In your personal finance, they might include eating out, uncontrolled credit card uses, and so on.

In your business finance, they might include logistic issues, such as travel and delivery expenses, and (ahem) entertainment expenses, such as schmoozing clients in lunches.

The idea is break down to the smallest expense posts possible, and start prioritising from there.

Be careful: your investment vehicles

Investment should put money in your pocket.

While it seems obvious, many investment vehicles you choose for your personal and business investment endeavours are actually losing you money!

This might be controversial, but your retirement plan, to me, is an unknown – putting your hard earned cash in stocks means you ‘attach’ your fate to the economy. And the mutual funds. And your savings and certificates of deposit in banks. And other typical vehicles.

There are so many sad stories of people going for personal bankruptcy and lose most, if not all, of their years-worth of saving due to today’s stock market slump.

In my opinion, whether the market is up or down, you should always make money either way – this is the ONLY way to survive economic crisis.

My take on the safest investment vehicles of all time: the precious metal. Period.

Learn finance to gain control

To conclude, I insist you to learn finance, as understanding the basic of it is actually already can do a favour to gain control of your finances.

By learn finance, I’m not suggesting you should go to college for the sake of it. What I suggest you to do is to seek the right information, e.g. from the Internet or publications – tips and tricks from the practicioners and the basic concepts of the world of finance – that will aid you in your personal and business endeavours.

My take on the best source of financial education: Mentors (some of them are bloggers) that insist you NOT to save your money in an account and live below your means.

Good luck on gaining control of your finances.

Ivan Widjaya
Gaining control