Top of main content

Steps to personal financial management

The decisions we make about money and how we manage, save and spend affect our financial wellbeing.

Financial wellbeing is about feeling secure and in control of your day-to-day finances. Knowing you have enough money to pay the bills and manage the unexpected will make you feel confident about the future. 

It’s a good idea to have a personal financial plan in place, starting with a budget.

Create a budget

A budget is a spending plan for your money. It monitors your income and expenses over a period of time. A budget can help you keep track of your spending habits. This will give you greater peace of mind about your personal finances.

Review your income and expenditures

Do you know how much money you have coming in on a regular basis? If your income is different month to month, work out the average over the last 3 months. Stay up to date via mobile banking – the HSBC Vietnam app allows you to check your transactions easily, no matter where you are. 

Then, looking at your bank statements for the last 3 months, work out your average monthly spend. Don’t forget cash purchases that won’t show up in your transaction history. You'll see if you're living beyond your means or have money to spare by comparing your income and expenses this way.  

Determine your financial goals

Setting specific financial goals can give you a clearer picture of where you want to be financially in the short, medium and long term. Ask yourself the following question to narrow down your goals: 

  • What do you want or need to buy in the next 12 months?
  • What are your medium-term plans (e.g. saving for a home deposit)?
  • How much will you need for your long-term future?

When you need to save a specific amount, use our savings goal calculator to quickly learn how long it will take to reach your goal.

To stay focused on your goals, write them down. They may be more manageable if you break them into smaller goals.

Lastly, share your financial goals with your family – they can motivate you when things get tough.

Make a personal financial plan

Once you’ve set your short and long-term goals, explore different personal financial plans. For example, with the 50/30/20 rule budget plan, you would aim to spend 50% of your income on essential living expenses; 30% on things you want; and 20% on savings or paying off debt. In Secrets of a Millionaire Mind, T. Harv Eker teaches us about the ‘6 Jars money management system’ – splitting your income into 6 separate categories, including education and giving. 

Evaluate and adjust your spending

Review your personal financial management plan regularly. Your income and expenditures may fluctuate, leading you to adjust your budget or financial goals. You’ll want to make sure your goals are still aligned with your current financial situation. If not, take time to tweak them.

Save and invest to grow your money

It's important to start good financial habits early so your money has more time to grow. 

Keeping your money in savings might be less risky but investing can produce greater returns. However, these returns are not guaranteed. Because the market can fluctuate, you may find that you get less back than you put in – or you could grow your money.

Manage your money in different ways

Want to make your money work harder? Then start by making small changes and creating new habits. Let’s say you’re buying a coffee for VND25,700. Round it up and put the extra VND300 into your savings account. 

You could also: 

  • set up Direct Debit to save from your monthly income
  • consider investing long-term to ride any dips in the market
  • put your money in a time deposit account for greater savings
  • keep emergency savings separate

Put away enough emergency funds to cover 3 months of essential expenses. This might be just the buffer to prevent you from borrowing or using your savings when you need cash quickly. 

Learn more: 8 challenges to help you save money

Explore financial investments

Your personal financial management plan will depend on your priorities and may include a mix of saving and investing. It's important to find investments that suit your risk profile. 

Types of investments include:

Time deposits

A time deposit is a type of savings account that pays interest after a set time. With the HSBC Time Deposit, this could be from 1 week to 36 months. If you withdraw your money before the time deposit matures, you’ll forfeit the full interest payment. The HSBC Step-up Time Deposit gives customers flexible withdrawal options. This might be a better savings product if there’s a chance you may need to take your money out early.

Manage bills and debt

Dealing with debt can be a challenge for many people. First, you need to take stock of what you owe. This will make it easier to prioritise your debts and come up with a repayment strategy.

If you're struggling to keep up with your bills, you may be tempted to ignore them. But bills, once they pile up, can be difficult to manage. Here are 5 things you do to stay on top of your payments.

1. Check if your bills could be cheaper

Spending mindfully can save you money. You could also:

  • check your bank statements and credit card bills for mistakes
  • have your electricity meter checked if you think it's running high
  • use energy-efficient appliances
  • flat share to divide household bills
  • take public transportation instead of calling for a Grab taxi
  • check and apply discount codes before paying bills

2. Choose the best way to pay

Set up Direct Debit to have your bills automatically deducted from your Vietnamese dong bank account. Your HSBC Credit Card, Current or Savings Account can be used to pay your bills, including utilities, cable TV, internet, phone and other services. There's no charge for paying your bills through HSBC Online Banking or the HSBC Vietnam mobile banking app. 

3. Make sure you pay your bills on time

Review your bill due dates so you don't miss a payment. The electricity and water bills in Vietnam, for example, must be paid at the end of every month. Set up autopay and it's one more thing you won't have to worry about.

4. Use budgeting tools

Budget planning tools are a great way to track expenses. The HSBC Vietnam app allows you to check recent bill payments and banking transactions. And if you've set up AutoPay, we'll notify you by email when bill payments have gone through. 

See what works best for you. The goal is to keep it updated and stick to it so you can effectively manage your bills. 

Learn more: How to make your HSBC credit card payment

5. Choose your debt repayment strategy

Mapping out a debt repayment plan that's realistic enough for you to follow may be also be easier to stick to. You could consider one of 3 strategies.

The HSBC Spend Instalment allows you to break up your HSBC Credit Card bill into more manageable payments of up to 12 months with 0% interest. You can choose the longer repayments tenor of 24 or 36 months, but these plans will incur monthly interest charges. 

A Personal Instalment Loan can be used to fund a wide range of expenses. Instead of paying multiple loans, you may be able to take out a personal instalment loan at a lower interest rate. We offer HSBC unsecured loans that use the reducing rate method to calculate interest. As you pay your loan, the principal gradually increases and the interest decreases month by month. For more information about how to calculate interest rate on a loan, see our guide on unsecured loans.

A Secured Overdraft will give you access to more credit from your bank account when you need it. This type of loan should only be used as a short-term option to protect you from fees if you go over your account limit.  

With each method, you'll need to work out how much you can afford to pay back every month. No matter what, you still need to make the minimum payments on all your debts. 

How to apply for HSBC Spend Instalment to manage your debt

How to apply online for Spend Instalment

apply for a Spend Instalment plan on the HSBC Vietnam app.
Follow these easy steps to apply for a Spend Instalment plan on the HSBC Vietnam app.

Plan for retirement

It takes some planning to retire in good financial health. With the right preparation, you can feel confident about your future.

Create a retirement planning checklist

It can help to ask yourself a series of questions to understand your financial goals: 

  • When do you plan on retiring?
  • How much will you need to save?
  • What will you spend your money on?
  • Will you need to continue to support family?
  • Do you want to leave the workforce entirely?

Write these down and revisit them regularly to stay on track.  

Start your financial provision early

Because it's hard to know just how much you'll need to fund your retirement, it's even more important to start thinking about these things early. 

Run through your retirement checklist and set your short and long-term savings goals. If your plan is to have your mortgage paid off by the time you retire, use a Home Loan Calculator to see how much you'd need to pay monthly to achieve that goal. Consider investing your money to grow your wealth over the long term.  

Protect yourself with insurance

Different life goals require different protection needs. You might feel you're too young for insurance now but remember that you're planning for the future where you or your family might need it. 

Take care of your health now for a happier retirement. A good healthcare plan will provide protection for you and your family. At HSBC, we offer 5 different Medical Care Insurance plans with comprehensive coverage of up to VND3 billion.

When you're deciding on life insurance, calculate how much coverage you'll need. An insurance advisor can help you choose the right plan for your life stage and budget. The HSBC Good Life 2.0 Insurance gives you the flexibility to amend your policy when needed. 

Preserve your legacy

Legacy planning is about deciding how to pass on your assets and estate to your loved ones. In Vietnam, the inheritance law will apply if you don't leave a will, or if the will is considered to be unlawful. Your estate will be distributed in order of heir priority and not necessarily according to your wishes. With early financial planning you can protect what you've built and preserve your legacy. 

You might also be interested in

Make saving money fun again. Check out these 8 challenges to spend less and take control of your finances.
What are credit card interest, finance charges? Read to learn more about credit card interest, fees, how they are calculated, and how to avoid incurring them.
If there's something confusing on your credit card statement, our guide may be able to help.