In 2-3 days, we will say goodbye to this year 2020! Another year coming to an end but with lot of learnings, experiences and stories to share with. Year 2020 is really special and king of all the stories is off course ‘COVID-19’ and experiences around it.
Its all about perspective and hence let’s look at some positive takeaways from year 2020. I will share some of my personal experiences and stories here; which we can relate to our personal finance!
- Never take anything for granted:
It was 1st week of march 2020, when I travelled to my hometown for some work. When to return back to Mumbai, which tasks to finish in march was all scheduled. All we knew about COVID-19 was that, it’s a decease which is spreading fast and no fixed medicine or cure is yet discovered.
Soon it started showing its presence in India, and lockdown started! Everyone thought it will be short term but covid-19 started spread its wings and lockdown continued.
Obviously, all the plans got shelved. We soon adjusted to the situation, started taking all precautions and once again realized that ‘health is wealth’!
Like me, everyone has their own story to share about lockdown but we all learnt one thing, we should not take anything for granted.
Likewise, we all should not take our incomes, income flows, income sources, returns on investments, etc for granted. If we do, we become either overconfident while spending money, or do not consider planning our finances or do not bother about reviewing our portfolios.
So, we should understand importance of ‘contingency fund’, financial planning and managing our personal finance properly.
- Practice gratitude:
Though my plans got cancelled or postponed, I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my parents at my home after so long! It all happened due to lockdown.
I could spend time on reading, Yoga, gardening and cooking, playing cards & antakshari, learning small yet important things on life and health.
I could manage working through ‘online’ mode yet could do so many things.
But every day, we were getting horrific news of thousands of people getting affected by Covid-19. While praying for the world to come out of this pandemic, I still say “thank you” to almighty.
When, we start earning money, we always aim for higher earnings, high standard of living. When we start getting successful, we unknowingly start spending more on luxury, try to show – off, we never consider financial planning seriously , we start taking loans for purchasing items which we want to possess. In this silly competition to become ‘material rich’, we lose our solace and inner peace.
So, please be ‘grateful’ for what you have and feel content with what you possess. You should always aim for high, but never loose yourself in the process.
- There is a joy in ‘giving’:
Yes, it is! I have been taught the same since my childhood and I practice it. Whatever good things we have, good thoughts or good vibes, we should ‘give’ and ‘share’. When we do with right people, they reciprocate the same.
This year we saw lakhs of people, thousands of NGOs and organizations coming forward to help people who were stranded, were admitted to hospital and fighting this decease, were alone at home. Many NGOs or groups of young people, helped senior citizens staying alone at their home to get groceries, vegetables and medicines. Everyone helped others in way possible and this wave of humanity was overwhelming.
I also could connect with many people through social media platforms, helped many to review and revive their personal finance elements, could share what I know about personal finance. As a ‘fee only financial planner’, I always find myself responsible to spread financial awareness and take pride in it; but this year is indeed special.
As I am a finance professional, I could do it easily, but everyone has their own share of understanding on money, investing and cash flows. We can open up and share that with our friends and family. If you have planned your finances, you can ask them to do so. You can give them direction on how to do it or whom to approach.
You can talk ‘money and investing’ with them and you never know, it can help them in awesome ways..
There is surely a joy in giving!
- ‘Safety’ is important and so ‘right and adequate’ insurance:
Many people were thinking that, as I am young and healthy, covid-19 can’t affect me! But, many people young in age lost their lives in this pandemic. They were not keeping safe and following protocols which took a toll on their life.
Those who kept themselves fit, unknowingly became ‘silent carriers’ and people who came in their contact suffered.
Ignorance and lethargy will always cost more than we can imagine.
Likewise, when in personal finance, we should not ignore importance of right and adequate ‘insurance’. Health insurance and life insurance are two strong pillars of personal finance.
This pandemic made people suffer health wise and wealth wise too especially those who were not insured or under insured.
Many of my clients and people whom I asked to be adequately insured, understood the importance of insurance in new way, this year. But let’s not wait and apply for right and adequate insurance NOW!
We can always look for higher returns, higher standard of living, but for the vehicle who is aiming for ‘high speed’, ‘safety belt’ is very importance.
- Dual source of income is a must:
Veteran investment guru Mr warren Buffet always tells that, never depend on single source of income.
This year, due to lockdown, many people lost their jobs, their income got reduced. The need to earn enough to pay for expenses, gave birth to new start-ups. Some started their own food ventures, some started selling vegetables, some earned by stitching masks.
On the other hand, many people got enough ‘free’ time, to take action and fulfill their dream of starting their own ventures.
Combined both of the above scenarios together, I also could start my long pending dream of ‘homemade food products start -up’ with women who were looking out for work and income. Trust me, it gives me immense happiness today when I look back and see how it has been progressing!
Many of you must have already become a part of such ventures or on the verge of starting something of your own.
Please go head and if you have not considered it yet, look for any skill that you learn and capitalize on. Look for any of hobby which you materialize. This will give you ‘Happy money’! Money which you will happily earn by fulfilling your dreams and hobbies or skills.
I am sure there is lot to talk on, to share about and discuss through about year 2020. Though it has given some bitter experiences and setbacks, we can always look at brighter side!
Learnings which we got will never go waste!
Lets welcome Year 2021 on this note and be extra cautious on our personal finances!