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Business News/ Money / Personal Finance/  How to manage your anticipated salary appraisals?
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How to manage your anticipated salary appraisals?

Receiving a salary increase is a notable achievement and reason for celebration, but it’s essential to approach your enhanced financial resources with careful consideration and strategic planning.

How to manage your salary appraisals? (iStock)Premium
How to manage your salary appraisals? (iStock)

A salary increase serves as a clear indication from your employer that they acknowledge your efforts and are committed to retaining you as part of their workforce. Recognizing the appreciation for your diligent efforts can fuel your motivation, resulting in increased productivity and commitment. When exploring potential roles, salary increments provide a solid foundation for negotiating a more favourable compensation package.

This season marks the period when employers are actively evaluating their employees’ performance before determining their respective appraisals. The appraisal review often results in a salary increase for many, creating opportunities for financial growth. Achieving a salary increase is a significant milestone, but it’s crucial to employ a strategic approach in utilizing those extra funds. Consider the following steps to optimize the influence of your increment and fortify your financial outlook:

Settle debts: Focus on repaying high-interest debts such as credit cards. Clearing these obligations opens up financial resources for pursuing other crucial financial objectives. Initially, steep interest rates can rapidly accrue and substantially augment the total expense of your debt. Prioritizing their repayment ultimately saves you money. Clearing these obligations releases funds that can be directed towards alternative financial objectives, such as saving for retirement, investing, or establishing an emergency fund.

Elevated credit card balances and overlooked payments have the potential to adversely affect your credit score. Settling these obligations can enhance your creditworthiness, paving the way for more favourable loan rates and improved financial prospects. The weight of debt often brings stress, and prioritizing high-interest debts can offer a sense of achievement while alleviating financial pressure.

Establish an emergency fund: Strive to accumulate a reserve equivalent to three to six months of living expenses in a readily accessible emergency fund to address unforeseen circumstances. Being equipped with an emergency fund readies you for the unforeseen. Life presents unexpected challenges, and having an emergency fund allows you to navigate events like job loss, medical emergencies, or sudden car repairs without accumulating debt or depleting your savings earmarked for long-term goals.

Being aware of the presence of a financial safety net can substantially alleviate stress and anxiety during difficult periods. Possessing an emergency fund enables you to concentrate on addressing unexpected situations instead of being preoccupied with financial concerns.

Enhance retirement savings: Augment your contributions to your retirement account. Even a modest percentage increase can have a substantial impact on your future nest egg, courtesy of compound interest. Leveraging your salary increment to enhance retirement savings through increased contributions is an excellent strategy for long-term financial security.

By contributing to a retirement account, your funds not only benefit from your own contributions but also accrue interest on the accumulated sum. This interest, in a cascading effect known as compound interest, further generates additional interest. The compounding power over time means that even a minor uptick in your contribution percentage can have a significant impact on your future nest egg.

Broaden your investment portfolio: Smart investing is founded on diversification, and the exploration of diverse asset classes is crucial for constructing a comprehensive portfolio. Investigate various asset classes such as stocks, bonds, real estate (via REITs), or mutual funds to diversify risk and potentially enhance returns. It may be worthwhile to consult with a financial professional for a customized strategy.

Various asset classes respond distinctively to market fluctuations. By distributing your investments among different assets, you mitigate the impact of any one investment underperforming. A well-rounded investment portfolio has the potential to yield superior returns in an extended period, given that distinct asset classes may excel in different market phases. Diversification empowers you to customize your portfolio based on your risk tolerance and long-term financial objectives.

Contemplate long-term investment opportunities: Delve into extended investment possibilities such as real estate or entrepreneurial ventures, ensuring they align with your goals and risk tolerance. Although diversifying across various asset classes is essential, investigating long-term investment opportunities can also serve as a means to potentially enhance your wealth and attain your financial objectives.

Establish a budget: Revise your budget to account for the augmented income and allocate funds toward your financial objectives. Crafting or revising your budget becomes essential upon receiving a salary increase. Begin by gathering your pay stubs and bank statements to grasp your present income and expenses. Subsequently, scrutinize your existing budget (if applicable) to pinpoint areas that may benefit from enhancements.

Deduct taxes and other withholdings from your gross income to calculate your net income. This represents the actual amount of money you receive after accounting for compulsory deductions. Incorporate your salary increase into your prior net income to ascertain your updated net income.

Classify your expenditures into fixed categories (such as rent and utilities) and variable categories (like groceries and entertainment). Examine your spending patterns to pinpoint areas where you can reduce costs or streamline your expenses.

Last but not least, use budgeting tools or applications to monitor your income and expenditures about your budget. Consistently assess your progress and make necessary adjustments to your budget throughout the month.

Guard against lifestyle inflation: Refrain from substantially increasing your spending merely due to an uptick in income. Prioritize saving and investing for your future instead. Steering clear of lifestyle inflation, defined as elevating your spending in tandem with your income, is crucial when experiencing financial growth, such as receiving a salary increment. Escalated spending can diminish the funds available for vital financial objectives like building emergency savings, planning for retirement, or making future investments.

Excessive spending can result in dependence on credit cards and the accumulation of high-interest debt, impeding your financial advancement. The greater your expenditures, the more prolonged it takes to accomplish essential financial goals, such as homeownership, clearing student loans, or achieving a comfortable retirement.

Optimal utilization of your salary increases hinges on your specific circumstances and financial objectives. Adopting a strategic approach allows you to harness your augmented income to fortify your financial future and attain your long-term aspirations.

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Published: 29 Feb 2024, 12:51 PM IST
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