In simple terms, Financial Stability is the ability to ensure that you have enough financial reserves for a rainy day. It is a matter of significant importance for both men and women, however, for women this becomes a doubly crucial factor for consideration as the ‘rainy day’ occurs quite frequently and in most cases, in an unplanned manner.
It has happened to me a couple of times and believe me I have not only been severely drenched by the sudden shower but have also caught the chill quite unexpectedly. Experience is the best teacher. Hence, I always adopt the Plan – Change – Re-plan (P-C-R) approach to help me keep myself well- perched on high ground, safe and dry from the deluge.
The first thing I do is to Plan a budget. It took me a good many years to realise the importance of a monthly budget and how it can keep your finances well within check. Once the budget is defined, I chart out a path along which to direct my finances in order to make them stay aligned to my budget. However, we are all mere mortals and can seldom refrain from indulgences. Nevertheless, if such sins do creep in make sure that you do not go overboard. An occasional splurging for an expensive jewellery shopping, Dinner at a fancy restaurant or even a luxury vacation is fine. Ensure that you do not tend to make these a regular item in your budget or else it is sure to go haywire.
A good way to ensure you do not waver too much is to set yourself definite goals. These goals should be quantifiable so that you can track and measure them. For example, goals like ‘Reduce credit card usage’ is vague. You need to define the frequency of usage in order to enable yourself to measure it and know whether you have actually been able to reduce it, and if so by how much. Therefore, the same goal can be redefined as ‘Reduce credit card usage to 1-2 transactions a month’ or ‘Limit my credit card purchases to X amount’. This will help you keep a track on how well your finances are moving along the path defined by you.
While a budget is mandatory, however, it is not necessary that it remains fixed. Fixing the same amount as your monthly budget is not a practical approach. As every month will have a surprise party or an anniversary you may have forgotten or a premium to be paid, you should be able to adjust your monthly budget to accommodate these new expenses. These changes will require that you exclude certain items from your last month’s budget and include new things. For example, the washing machine can wait for this month as you need to complete the online course before your membership expires.
Changing your monthly budget ensures that you are able to make the long awaited purchases or additions that you have been postponing for a long time. It has a huge psychological impact and helps to keep up the motivation to persist in maintaining a highly effective monthly budget.
An obvious outcome of this change in monthly budget is the need for you to Re-plan your budget. Which means you need to start all over again. Pull up an estimate of the expenses you have incurred in the last month, check the inflow you are expecting this month and draw up a list of items you need to do for this month. Prioritize on the list and include the mandatory ones that you simply cannot miss out. For example, a premium that is due, car insurance renewal and of course your mother-in-law’s special day. Exclude all that can be pushed out into the next month and finalise your budget. This will help you stay on track with sufficient resources to back you up when needed.
A budget is probably the best thing to ensure you maintain financial stability in your life. The P-C-R trick that I follow is just one of the ways. Devise your own ways and ensure a happy walk all the way to the bank every month. Believe me it is not only satisfying but also a big relief to realise you can well afford to have the extra cheese topping to go with your Pepperoni Pizza.
You may also want to read other article written by the same author ‘Tips To Knowing Yourself Better‘.
About the author:
Amrita is a freelance writer currently based out of Pune. She has worked with organizations as a Technical and Web Content Writer. Her short stories have been published on Amazon and on Juggernaut books. She is an avid traveler and her travel stories are available on her blog – Amritawrites.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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