Smart ways to spend your bonus
Posted at January 23, 2013 in Financial Tips
Harvesting time, the fruits of your labour.
These are thoughtful words quoted by En. Ehsan Mohd. Amin, AKPK’s Head of Human Capital Department, when announcing the bonus pay-out for AKPK staff. Indeed, the fruit of patience and hard work is always sweet – the same applies to our jobs as well.
But have you planned what you are going to do with this money? I believe most of us have this already planned, but let’s see if your decision is able to produce the best results in terms of financial management.
It is important to have a designation for your bonus money so that it can be spent prudently to maximise the benefits received.
Here are some savvy ways to take advantage of a reasonably large chunk of income:-
Vacation – It is good to take a family vacation once a year. Our commitments at work often do not allow us to spend sufficient quality time with our loved ones and schools do not grant long periods of leave to students. Vacations, therefore, gives us the chance to spend time as a family unit. But bear in mind that your vacation should not depend on the size of the bonus received. Your family vacation budget should already be fixed without the inclusion of your bonus.
What about gadgets and electrical items? These may be important things that you have been delaying for some time. So think about the reason behind the purchase – is it a need or a want? The list of wants is usually endless but it is not practical to fulfil them all. Once you have zeroed in on one or two of such things, attach priority tags to them. Purchase the item that is on maximum priority.
Pay off loans/debts – Why not repay your loan(s)? Why keep liabilities? If you have a home or car loan, receiving bonus money can be a good opportunity to reduce your liability to some extent. For example, the average interest rate for a credit card is between 17% and 20%. Since there are hardly any investments that give you a return of 19.5% without taking a high risk, get rid of high interest credit card debts. Use the monthly payments, which you would otherwise be spending towards that debt, for savings or investment purposes. In fact, if you are running any liabilities, the priority of the bonus money should be to reduce the liability rather than going for a vacation or spending money on something else.
Start saving with the Skim Simpanan Pendidikan Nasional (SSPN) for your children’s tertiary education or other tax saving expenses to reduce your tax
If you have children and expect them to further their tertiary education someday, the SSPN saving is a wise investment. From 2012, RM 6,000 is given as personal tax relief for the SSPN saving. While it acts as a forced saving towards your children`s future education funding, it will also help reduce a substantial amount of tax besides earning an average return of 4%. For instance, if you fall in the 20% tax bracket, you can save RM 1,200 (RM 6,000 x 20%) in addition to an average 4% earning from SSPN. In other words, you will be able to enjoy a total of 24% returns per annum with or without the minimum risk. It is almost impossible to find an investment scheme that yields a 24% return without any risk.
Self-Development – Buying books for self-development in addition to children`s school books is much encouraged. Again, you can enjoy a tax relief of RM 1,000.
Last but not least, let us all make prudent financial management a way of life. May the new year of 2013 bring lots of happiness to everyone.
Membeli kereta baru atau kereta terpakai?
Posted at May 02, 2013 in Financial Tips
Petikan artikel dari Berita Harian, 27 Februari 2013
Sebaik sahaja anda mula bekerja, salah satu keputusan penting yang anda akan ambil ialah membeli sebuah kereta. Walaupun kereta merupakan kaedah pengangkutan yang selesa, namun perlu diketahui bahawa memiliki sebuah kereta bukan setakat membayar ansuran bulanan sahaja. Ia juga melibatkan kos lain seperti petrol, bayaran tol, bayaran parkir kereta, cukai jalan, insurans, kos penyelenggaraan serta kos membaiki apabila kereta anda rosak.
Seandainya anda boleh membayar segala kos yang disebutkan tadi dengan selesa, anda masih perlu bertanya kepada diri anda sama ada kereta itu merupakan suatu keperluan atau kehendak?
Apabila kereta adalah keperluan, anda perlu membuat keputusan sama ada ingin membeli kereta baru atau kereta terpakai. Ramai orang beranggapan bahawa membeli kereta baru adalah lebih baik kerana kos penyelenggaraannya rendah, tetapi pada hakikatnya memiliki kereta baru juga ada kelemahannya.
Ketika memutuskan jenis kereta yang diperlukan, anda hendaklah terlebih dahulu menilai kemampuan anda. Jika didapati membeli kereta baru boleh membebankan, belilah kereta terpakai yang masih berkeadaan baik. Lagipun, kereta hanya sebuah kenderaan yang membawa anda bergerak dari suatu tempat ke tempat yang lain.
Tip bijak membeli kereta
• Buat perbandingan untuk mendapatkan kereta yang boleh diharapkan dan memenuhi keperluan anda. Ada baiknya jika anda meminta nasihat daripada ahli keluarga atau sahabat yang mahir/pakar mengenai kereta.
• Jika anda ingin membeli kereta terpakai, dapatkan khidmat mekanik yang boleh dipercayai atau melakukan pemeriksaan kereta tersebut di PUSPAKOM.
• Pertimbangkan harga jualan semula atau nilai tukar beli kereta sekiranya anda bercadang untuk menukarnya kelak.
• Sekiranya anda mengambil keputusan untuk memohon pinjaman kereta, cari pakej terbaik berdasarkan kemampuan anda. Dapatkan maklumat mengenai kadar faedah efektif yang akan dikenakan.
• Rangka bajet mengikut pendapatan anda. Ambil kira ansuran bulanan kereta dan kos-kos lain, seperti kos petrol, bayaran tol, parkir kereta, perbelanjaan lain, termasuk cukai jalan, insurans dan servis biasa.
• Cuba tingkatkan tabungan untuk bayaran pendahuluan supaya pinjaman yang diambil lebih rendah dengan tempoh pembayaran yang lebih singkat. Perlu diingatkan bahawa semakin panjang tempoh pinjaman, semakin banyak faedah yang anda perlu bayar. Ini mungkin akan menyukarkan anda untuk menjual kereta tersebut kerana nilai pasaran kereta jauh lebih rendah berbanding dengan baki pinjaman.
• Jangan gunakan kad kredit untuk membuat bayaran pendahuluan kerana anda terikat dengan pinjaman pada kadar faedah yang sangat tinggi.
• Bersedia untuk menanggung perbelanjaan di luar dugaan seperti membaiki kereta sekiranya berlaku kerosakan atau kemalangan. Ada baiknya untuk mengetahui tentang kemudahan mendapat alat ganti serta kos untuk menggantikannya.
• Pastikan kereta anda mempunyai perlindungan insurans komprehensif yang mencukupi atau sekurang-kurangnya mempunyai perlindungan insurans pihak ketiga.
The Credit Counselling and Debt Management Agency, or commonly known as Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), is an agency set up by Bank Negara Malaysia in April 2006 to help individuals take control of their financial situation and gain peace of mind that comes from the wise use of credit.
AKPK offers the following services to individuals, free of charge:
Financial education on the responsible use of money and credit management skills
Counselling and advice on financial management
Debt management programme to assist consumers to regain financial control.
To promote financial wellness by empowering individuals through financial education, credit counselling and debt management programmes.
Making Prudent Financial Management a Way of Life.
The twin curved strokes represent the consumer and the agency (AKPK). Its combination of a blue stroke (AKPK) and grey stroke (consumer) signifies AKPK’s guidance and assistance in helping consumers overcome barriers of financial issues and ascend towards better money management.
At the height of the financial boom in 2006, with consumer credit under control, Bank Negara Malaysia took a pre-emptive move by setting up Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK), an agency now benefiting countless Malaysians.
Agensi Kaunseling dan Pengurusan Kredit (AKPK) was established as part of Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) Financial Sector Master Plan, a 10-year plan aimed at developing and boosting the country’s financial sector. AKPK was put in place to provide financial counselling and advice, debt management and financial education to help Malaysians take control of their finances. Along with that, we at AKPK aim to help all individuals seeking our services to not only take charge of their financial situation, but to further gain peace of mind from living life through the wise use of credit.
In a focus group study we conducted, we observed that the lack of knowledge in personal financial management was the main reason many individuals, both young and old, found themselves in debts they could not manage. Bad money-managing habits stemming from the lack of understanding of the basic principles of finance was the main cause for individuals getting into financial difficulties. The biggest challenge now was to structure an approach that would complement a public that is varied in racial, educational and socioeconomic background.
We realised that in order to curb potentially surmounting financial issues among Malaysians, we would have to first educate the public to be financially savvy; and to further support this, we provide an avenue where they can turn to for advice and counselling on personal financial-related matters. Along with that, we also have to provide individuals, deep in the clutches of debt, an opportunity to get their life back on track through the provision of structured debt management services.
We have since been successful in constructing an approach to educate the public through the 3 services which we provide: Financial Education, Counselling and Debt Management Programme (DMP). AKPK, centered on meeting the demands of Malaysians seeking financial counselling and advice, ensures that all our services are absolutely free. We value our role as financial educators and realise its importance in building a financially literate society. In order to remain at the forefront of financial education, the agency will continue to introduce innovative ways to enhance consumer financial knowledge. With this, we strive to make prudent financial management a way of life for everyone.