Everybody has different financial needs; India is a country of diverse backgrounds and the lifestyle of each one differs based on their financial capabilities. Everyone’s financial goals differ accordingly.
In such a case, how to evaluate the Financial Stability. This post will provide you the 20-point checklist for Financial Stability. But first…
Let’s take this scenario as an example:
There are 2 friends Deepak and Rohit. Deepak works for a Public sector company and earns Rs. 1,11,000 per month. Whereas Rohit works in the IT sector and he earns Rs. 2,35,000 per month.
And, Rohit lives a lavish lifestyle, he doesn’t care about managing his money. For him, living a LAVISH lifestyle is most important. His expenses override his earning and frequently he ends up with huge credit card debt and personal loans!
Now think and tell me, who do you think is more Financially Stable among these 2 friends?
And, your spending habits are similar to whom? Is it Deepak or financially immature Rohit?
In this post, you will discover the deeper aspects of financial stability. So, read on… Acquire these simple 20 traits of Financial Stability and stabilize your Financial Life…
20 Traits of FINANCIAL STABILITY
Give yourself 5-Points if your answer is an honest “YES” to each of these traits. And, share your score out of hundred in the comment section.
1. Do you accept Complete Responsibility for your Financial Life?
You are the sole creator of your financial life and you can make or break your family’s financial future.
Understand that every decision and choice you make today will impact your life tomorrow.
Therefore, it is essential that you evaluate all your financial decisions, purchases and expenses within the context of your long-term financial objectives.
Also, you should start investing early to create better tomorrow. Watch this small video clip on the cost of delay in investment and make your investment decision as early as you possibly could.
2. Do you have Clear and Concise Financial Goals?
If you don’t have any clearly defined financial goals, then it will be almost impossible to acquire financial stability. So you have to create your Financial Goals, by answering these questions.
Where do you see your financial future, 3 years from now?
5 years from now?
And 10 years from now?
You must have a very clear answer to these questions.
Having goals and working towards them will also motivate you to live a life you’ve always dreamed of.
For more details, you should read this detailed article on forming your SMART financial goals.
3. Do you automate your savings?
Saving is, of course, a default trait of a financially stable person. But if you have automated savings, you have reached a higher level of financial stability. Nowadays automatic transfer is possible with all banks, you can save through investing in Mutual Funds by paying automatic SIPs per month. Also, you can auto-transfer a fixed sum to a separate savings account, to form your habit to save money.
The habit of savings will make you a natural saver and then you will have higher confidence to face your financial future.
4. Do you keep all spending under your Control?
We live in a consumer-driven world where we are compelled to spend every time. Your spending habits could be one of the main reasons why you won’t be able to secure your financial future easily.
Track each of your expenses and think twice before making ANY purchase. It will be hard to do at first, especially if you are prone to uncontrollable spending, but once you learn how to manage your expenses, then moving towards stabilizing your financial life will be a cakewalk.
You can use this excel based Income and Expenses Tracker, to keep your expenses under control.
5. Do you know that having a BUDGET is crucial! Do you have a well-defined budget?
Creating a budget and living within its limitations is crucial for achieving financial stability in your life. A budget gives you the input you need to manage your income and control your expenses.
In short, a budget gives you a sense of accountability. If you want to secure your personal finances, then a budget will provide you with tools to achieve just that.
- Thumb Rule for creating a Fool-Proof budget:
There is a global standard ratio for budgeting – 50:20:30. This ratio says you to allocate 50% of your income to your essential expenses. 20% of your income should go to financial priorities like savings, emergency fund, paying off debt, and retirement. 30% of your income should go to discretionary spendings like movies, outings and happy hours, etc.
If your budget matches this standard approximately, then your budget is up to the expert standard.
6. Do you love to live Debt-Free Life?
Debt is one of the leading causes of financial insecurity in many people’s lives. It starts consuming you from the inside, stopping you from pursuing your dreams, hopes, and goals in life. Debt deprives you of a happy future.
Even if you have any smaller debt, you should never delay to repay it.
- Debt-free living should be your passion if you want to achieve financial stability.
7. Do you have a financial calendar to track your finances?
We all become victims of poor memory at least once, but your bank is not going to consider it reasonable in any way for not paying your car/home loan due on time.
If you are a person who uses a financial calendar so that you don’t risk being late on a payment. It shows that you are conscious of your financial safety.
8. Do you invest and build up your Asset List?
Financial Stability requires you to be an active investor so that you can build up your asset list suitable for you and your family’s financial future.
Investing is putting your money to work for you. You can invest in any asset class that you think is optimal for you.
You invest with a purpose or a dream. A dream of retirement life or a life with retirement in the ’40s. You prefer to invest as you do to save because you know the percentage of return your investment can produce.
For more details, you can read this detailed article on Asset Classes and practical asset allocation.
Also, you can make use of this excel based Asset Allocation Calculator to do the customized calculation based on your needs.
9. Do you keep track of your Net Worth?
Your net worth is the difference between your assets and your liabilities. An increase in net worth means a fall in debt and a rise in asset value.
It will help you to appraise your progress by yourself. If you are consistently reducing your debts and increasing your financial value every year then you are already stabilizing your financial strength well enough.
10. Do you focus on improving your Employability skills in your area of expertise?
With each passing year, there is a huge advancement in technology, which is significantly changing the job market. Skillset required 15-20 years back is obsolete now.
Many old job positions no longer exist, due to the IT revolution. Some examples of old job-skills are, Draughtmanship, a person who deals with Engineering Drawing and Design; or typists, who used to type official letters and documents in government offices with old type-writers. Such jobs are replaced by the Computer and evolution of advanced software.
Old mobiles are replaced by new hi-tech mobiles. Also, you can regularly see the old reputed companies experiencing severe losses due to the lack of their advancement with time.
But if you keep your employability skills up-to-dated, you will never be Financially outdated!!
Keep learning and growing in your field of expertise, it is the secret essential step of being Financially Stable.
11. Have you created enough Emergency Fund for yourself?
An emergency fund is a cash cushion that will support your living expenses for at least 6 months.
Many people who are financially unstable will become stranded when an emergency situation occurs. You are not a person who is bothered about emergency expenses. A financial planner suggests you hold at least 6-12 months of expense in an emergency fund.
Ensuring that your living expenses will be covered during the emergency will also give you “peace of mind”.
12. Do you handle big purchases with planning?
Be it any big purchase like replacing an old TV or your child’s school fee – you can handle the expense without raising the debt.
It is because you have planned for such big purchases in advance and not simply because you have more money. You are a foreseer who predicts an obvious event that can occur in the future and plans accordingly.
13. Can you withstand a job loss?
Most people completely rely on their salary to meet their financial needs and so they fear to lose their job. But financial stability is measured by the duration you can live without your job, which is based on your prior planning for such emergency situations.
If you have planned properly for such unfortunate situations, then you surely will have a sufficient emergency fund to withstand a job loss.
With the support of your emergency fund, or secondary income you can easily survive such sort of unfortunate events. An emergency fund will provide you sufficient time to take the next job for you and not just jump to any random job that comes your way.
14. Do you have enough retirement corpus?
Most people don’t want to save for retirement at their young age because of so many reasons they have to neglect their retirement planning.
Such thoughts are natural and easy to process, so most people end up making the mistake of not saving for retirement.
Whereas, there are some people who make retirement investments. When you make your retirement investment and watch it grow as you are just relaxing, you will experience a different kind of confidence.
When your retirement savings become your retirement investment, your undisturbed financial stability will develop higher stability for your finances.
You can make use of this excel based Retirement Planning Calculator to live your dream retirement life.
15. Do you have proper insurance plans for you and your family?
You and all your family members must be covered with medical and term insurance. If you own a property, that property needs to be insured to cover against natural perils like flood, fire, earthquake.
Financial stability determines that you are completely insured as you know that a medical emergency expense can sometimes go up to the heights of a mountain.
16. Do you enjoy hassle-free spending on special occasions?
Hassle-free spending on special occasions such as a daughter’s wedding, festival celebrations or even a long trip abroad is possible, only if you have planned it in advance. A special occasion always has pleasant music, bright lights, and extra expenses. You can happily spend on such special occasions because your budget is flexible enough to accommodate some extra expenses on special occasions.
It is also because you know the importance of events like your mother’s birthday or your anniversary. You are full of happiness to spend on such special occasions, not with half happiness and half debt fear.
Sometimes these special occasions are also a motivation for you to become financially stable.
17. Are you a Generous Giver?
You might have heard of the popular saying; “Sharing is caring.”
If you have successfully developed all the traits of being Financially stable, it will be a natural urge for you to see others be without any pain specifically due to their poor finances.
So, you generously give to your trusted NGOs, Religious centers, hospitals, etc and this way you can help them progress in their good works.
18. Your family never experience any dispute caused by financial matters. Is that true?
It is a fact that Financial Struggle causes mental unease which in turn results in the major disputes in the family. The majority of the people in our country suffer from financial-hardship either they are deeply in debt, or they have lost huge money in the stock market, or their business/company is going through a major loss. They end up bringing in disputes in their families, just because they have weak Financial knowledge even though they earn well.
But you have taken a major step to becoming Financially stable. If you keep in mind these 20 steps, not only you will become financially stable but you will experience mental peace and your family will never experience any dispute which stems from Financial stress!
19. You never stop learning, no matter what!
You should make use of the major financial learning resources listed below:
- 1. A Complete and comprehensive guide to Mutual Funds.
- 3. How to plan for retirement?
Also, you can take advantage of our complimentary consultation call to take our Financial and Investment advice. It is FREE.
20. Do you Simplify your life?
It is always good to have financial goals but all the time running after money or your financial goals may distract you from other things that are equally important in life.
As a result, you may start to lose your motivation and slump into the darkness. Hence, it is very essential that you simplify your life by freeing up your mind of all the clutter.
The key to financial stability is very simple: convert the savings of your regular earned income into portfolio income.
With this in mind, it will be very easy for you to achieve your financial goals or desires without giving up on things that are essential for your family.
So, what is your SCORE out of 100?
In how many of the above-mentioned traits have you given yourself full 5 points? How close are you in experiencing your Financial Stability?
Share your SCORE in the comment section below.
If your score is above 80, then CONGRATULATIONS. Keep learning, Saving, and Investing.
If your score is below 80, still you should be happy because you have already taken the first right step of being COMMITED, simply by reading this post. Your commitment will lead you towards Financial Stability.
And, now it’s your turn to take action on these 20- steps laid out in this post.
If you have any pressing queries, please ask them in the comment below.
Also, share this post with your loved ones and help them to get their “Financial Stability Score”.
If you have any comments or questions, write them in the comment box below.
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