While the debt and gold investors earned good returns in the year 2017, equity investors faced a fallback. Analysts believe that the poor condition of the equities shall continue in 2018 due to the impact of demonetization. Though the market scenario can never be changed, investors can improve their finances significantly by following the top 10 smart money moves mentioned in this article:

1. Invest in SIPs and focus on continued investing: For investors investing in mutual funds, SIPs are a smart and disciplined way to save money. However, studies show that many people withdrew their invested funds from SIP when the market was unfavourable. This shouldn’t have been the case because SIP is an instrument for long-term investment and investors shouldn’t be discouraged by temporary market fluctuations. SIP calculator is the best way to keep a track of your SIP funds. With the help of colorful graphs and pictorial representations, the SIP calculator instantly delivers results and displays how small investments done by you over the years shall be converted into a big amount. The use of SIP calculator comes with a user-friendly interface which makes it relatively simple to use. Since all the calculations here are automated, accuracy is the other factor that increases the importance of SIP calculators among investors.

2. Prep for tax season: Prepare for fiscal year-end tax filing. Prepare a separate folder for income, deductions, investments, and expenses. Analyze your tax situation. It is best to do this before the end of each month to keep expenses and finances streamlined so that you can file your taxes on time.

3. Cut down on tax bill: There are several steps you can take to reduce your tax bill by investing in various tax-saving instruments.

4. Set a financial plan for 2018: Take a thorough look at your expenses and earnings. Note down the unnecessary expenses that you can cut down next year. You must also consider increasing your savings in 2018. If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to set one. If you are approaching retirement, you can set up a meeting with a financial professional to review your expenses and make necessary adjustments at the earliest.

5. Check your insurance: Life insurance may seem to be a daunting topic, but it is equally important because it takes care of your family when you are not around. As a good rule of thumb, you must get coverage of up to 10-12 times of your current earnings.

6. Go cashless: You must also acquaint yourself with the emerging modes of cashless transactions in 2018. Teach your children, friends, and family to start making payments through payment apps and e-wallets so that they can easily go cashless. Also, tell them the side-effects associated with online transactions. Once they become proficient in using the cashless online transaction safely, consider further educating them about the right usage of debit cards and mobile banking.

7. Link Aadhaar with bank account: You may also consider linking your Aadhaar card with bank accounts to make your financial transactions easy and your identity verification seamless for all instruments.

8. Transfer your loan from base rate to MLCR: Many borrowers are paying higher EMIs on loans which are being serviced at the base rate methodology. To cut down the loan cost, consider switching your loan to MLCR linked interest rate methodology.

9. Use tax-exempt options such as PPF: Post-demonetization, banks have cut their deposit interest rates sharply. For this reason, it is good to save via public provident fund (PPF) and employee provident fund (EPF). These are some of the lucrative avenues for investors having fixed-income.

10. Reduce your holding in gold: Though people investing in gold earned good returns in 2017, experts believe that the portion of gold investment should not be more than 10% of your investment portfolio. If you have more than that, you may reduce some of the holdings in gold, except if you are holding it for your personal use.

Sumit Kumar

Author Bio: Sumit Kumar is a content writer with specialization in the field of personal finance. He has expertise in non-core financial products such as Aadhaar, PAN, income tax, etc. and is known for providing to the point solutions. He writes to educate people and solve common queries related to government schemes like public provident fund (PPF) and employee provident fund (EPF) and personal finance.