Why Financial Fitness Needs To Cover Uncertainity As A Factor Too
These last few months, the uncertainty of life has dawned on us like never before. No on knows what is in store for us tomorrow, or even the very next hour. We are locked within our homes, and stepping outside to even buy something as basic as a packet of milk seems like a risk that needs to be assessed twice before taking. The ordeal is only worse for people struggling with financial uncertainty. Job and pay cuts have been announced, the bonus and increments you may have been expecting may not come in, at least this coming few months. Especially if you are a freelancer with payments pending, this could be a tough time. But this uncertainty has also given me perhaps the biggest takeaway for planning my finances: don’t just prepare for what you can plan, prepare for the unplanned as well.
What if my life doesn’t turn out as I have planned, I ask myself more often these days?
Being a working wife, who is financially independent but a secondary earner in the household, I was strong armed into taking my financial planning seriously by the men in my life. My father and husband don’t manage my money, but as soon as I took up a steady job they advised me to start planning the growth of my money and to not splurge it away. Courtesy their encouragement I have been taking calls on my financial planning for three years now. Retirement, daughter’s education, family holidays have been my primary goals so far, but coronavirus pandemic has changed my outlook now, and perhaps forever.
What if my life doesn’t turn out as I have planned, I ask myself more often these days? While most of us are fortunate enough to walk through this crisis with minor discomfort, the situation may not remain so comfortable always. After all, this isn’t the only unannounced crisis that can hit us, is it?
Holidays, elective surgeries, purchase of a property are some expenses that one can plan for. But what about a tragic death of a near one, or a sudden health crisis, or a situation such as a pandemic? What is your strategy to beat that? If you feel that you do not have enough knowledge to plan for such contingencies, reach out to a financial advisor. Ask them about investment buckets that you should put your money in, to improve your planning for uncertain times.
We must learn to overcome that inhibition, especially in this case, because planning for uncertainties needs a broader understanding which can only come through frank conversations on money.
An open conversation with your loved ones and an advisor is a big part of this planning because, even when planning for uncertainty, there are certain factors that may escape one’s attention. I think this is where us women lag a lot. We do not like to talk about money, be it with our friends, a professional or with our family members. Call it hesitation instilled by our conditioning or a sense of inferiority regarding financial awareness, women often don’t reach out to others, to have their doubts regarding investments sorted. We must learn to overcome that inhibition, especially in this case, because planning for uncertainties needs a broader understanding which can only come through frank conversations on money.
Once this pandemic is over, I am planning to invest to proof my future against events of life that I have no control on, because I have learned that creating a cushion for myself for such situations is something that is in my control, while such events may not be. What about you?
AMFI and SheThePeople Financial Fitness campaign aims to give women a voice to raise, a thought to toss around in their heads and just the boost they need to roll up their sleeves and get their hands into financial planning. And the more voices there are to this conversation, the better. Share your view here.