It was the Sunday we were waiting for; driving out with the family after a long time. We weren’t sure of the destination but the plan was to undertake some kind of a physical activity in the throes of nature with the kids and the dog.
We wanted to keep it as spontaneous as we could and yet be somewhat prepared for a day outdoors. The outcome was that we left a tad late from home (albeit we didn’t define it as late because it was meant to be a day with no time limits). We had already decided the general direction we would drive out and enroute we firmed up the idea of doing a short trek.
As things unfolded, we started a trek dead in the afternoon sun and carried ourselves up a hill for the better part of two hours. While us two adults didn’t seem to mind the brilliant sun shining down, burning the ground to a good 31 – 32 degrees Celsius, our 10-year-old twin boys couldn’t stop groaning about the heat and wanting to go back to the air-conditioned luxury sedan. Typical city boys.
This is where things got interesting, while we were prepared with a liter of water and juice, it was nowhere enough for the thirst brought upon us by the hot sun and dry climate we faced while making our way to the top of a 500-meter hill.
It was 3.5 hours before we reached back close to the car. All the juice and water got over by the time we reached the top, which meant we had nothing for the decent. At more than one point during the climb up, the boys felt they couldn’t go on just with a rationed sip of water each. We kept encouraging them to rely on the resilience of their bodies, keeping our fingers secretly crossed and hoping that they don’t dehydrate.
Along with the sheer joy of spending agenda free time with family, out in nature, where the only thing that matters is the magic of what’s immediately around you, I realized the importance of being prepared. Being prepared for the long run and for the now.
When it comes to your money life…
It’s not just for the trek, but in our daily money lives, being prepared is often underrated. Preparedness is not just about having what you need for immediate consumption, rather its as much about putting aside that little effort every day towards a prepared future.
Daily effort in future financial preparedness
Let’s first tackle future financial preparedness through daily efforts and then get to the immediate preparedness.
After the high of reaching the top, my kids forgot about the difficulty that came with the climbing, especially the rationed sips of water. Thanks to the scarcity, my husband and I didn’t drink a sip throughout the climb up and decent.
The next morning, I was prepared to tend to various aches and pains that the boys would wake up with. To my pleasant surprise, neither them nor us had any aches or pains from the impromptu trek.
The only reason that comes to mind is that we are physically active, which meant that our bodies were able to manage well despite the harsh conditions. While we run at least 25-30 kms a week, along with doing some leg strengthening and core work outs, the boys have fitness lessons as part of their squash training at least thrice a week and they play a physical sport 10-15 hours in a week.
As a result, the legs and core was relatively well prepared for each of us. So was our stamina and this ability to endure extreme pressure on the body.
We were all parched with thirst, but our bodies were upright and comfortable.
In your life’s financial journey, there will be times where you are tested to the extreme and have to make choices of whether to carry forward as it is or turn back. The choice you make will depend on how financially prepared you are.
Let’s say you are faced with a job loss situation at the age of 30 or 35 and honestly, you don’t mind because you weren’t enjoying the corporate culture anyway. Your choice of going back to another job or setting up your own venture, will be influenced a lot by how financially prepared you are. This financial preparedness is nothing but having an accumulation of savings and efficient, low-cost insurance plans for the other aspects of life where you need to.
Listen to this conversation to understand how you can build a financial foundation before taking on the risk of a proprietary venture or following your passion.
The key to building future financial preparedness into your daily life is doing these three things –
- Spend less than you earn; build daily savings and avoid borrowing
- Invest your savings in wealth creating assets with a 10 year plus An investment is made to give you a return. You make an investment if you use your money to buy either physical assets like property or financial assets like bonds and equity with an aim to receive income or gains... More period
- Get your life and medical insurance in place; takes care of large unforeseen money needs
Being prepared for the immediate circumstances
This requires a lot more focus on the choices you make every day and also the events that come up on a daily basis which may be out of your control.
On the trek we found ourselves unprepared for hydration on a hot afternoon. All we needed to fix this was a couple of extra liters of drinking water and perhaps an earlier start to the day. This was needed to have an even better and more enjoyable experience.
In your money lives remember being prepared for the immediate outcomes is a lot about your behaviour, it is more about restrain than abundance. It means making choices around when to stop swiping your credit card, when to say no for a coffee date you will spend at least ₹1000 on or when to add to the piggy bank.
In the immediate, you need to be prepared for any kind of eventuality too. You may have all the insurance plans in place, but if you don’t have enough saved up for an emergency, then in the event of a job loss you will find yourself borrowing. You may have to borrow from relatives or friends or take an expensive personal loan. An immediate emergency can come in any form or shape and you shouldn’t be surprised that it did. Job loss is just one such emergence, what happens when your relative needs money urgently or you have a sudden car accident or school fees get hiked beyond expectations or an elderly parent gets diagnosed with cancer?
Prepare for this by creating an emergency fund which equals at least 12 months of expenses.
This along with what you do for future financial preparedness is going to ensure that your money experiences today, tomorrow and ten years later bring you less anxiety and more comfort.
Never underestimate the value of being prepared. Risk will never shout out a warning, rather it will hit you when you least expect it to. You may get lucky and never have to face the risk but what if that’s not the case?