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A woman has more chances of landing in a financial emergency in an unequal society that penalises women for their choices. Have you planned for this eventuality?
Emergency situations always arise unannounced; They do not see time and place. The gravity of it is also not known unless it actually happens; but one needs to plan for these unseen events which can possibly happen.
How does one plan for the unknown?
What can be the emergency situations for me?
What caution or contingency plan should I create to help me sail through them?
In our day to day lives we follow a pattern, we eat a particular diet, work in a certain fashion, we spend on lifestyle – all of which needs a specific amount. Any situation which creates disruption in our lifestyle can be termed as emergency situation. I will talk about many situations which could create a financial emergency and how one should create a contingency plan to be prepared to deal with it.
A contingency plan needs to be worked upon for any such financial emergencies. Again the factors are different for all individuals. For someone middle aged the chances of unexpected medical expenses may arise, for a youngster that may be rare possibility. For a salaried individual a job loss may create a financial emergency where there will be a need to take money out from the pool of savings to sail through the difficult times; here the contingency plan already created having a pool of 3-6 months salary would help.
There is no thumb rule on what should be your contingency amount, but having a contingency fund is a must to ensure you do not disturb your all other investment plans and also the provisions made are sufficient to help you sail through difficult times.
When deciding on your contingency fund take into account your basic lifestyle needs, your liabilities/debt payments and expenses arising out of medical/accidental scenario, which if remain consistent for a period of 3-6 months; are covered by this fund.
So, what should one do? Should one decide on an amount and keep it in cash or in bank account? Or can we look at investing in some of the avenues, which provide similar flexibility of liquidating the investment any time and do not let it rust?
There are many ways one can create a contingency fund. For example people with home loans can check with their banks about surplus placement option, which in case of a financial emergency can be withdrawn, and otherwise help you avoid interest on the surplus parked. Liquid and ultra-short term funds also provide flexibility of any time withdrawal and give you an edge in terms of returns over inflation.
An emergency fund or a contingency fund is often neglected when planning for your future financial needs. But the future can only be planned around your stable present; hence it is a must to account for contingency planning when making provisions.
It is also very important that you do not park money for the contingency in a dead asset, ensures it serves your purpose and gives you returns above the prevailing inflation rates or else you will need to keep spending on the corpus to be at par with your needs.
And last but not the least with every review you do of your financial plan, review your contingency fund amount need, as it varies too, with changing life scenarios.
Save right, invest wise!
Published here earlier.
Image source: Flickr, for representational purposes only.