The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a vivid change in people’s attitude. With time spent at home and the growing uncertainty of life, people have realized that they need to balance their work-life with personal life. A lot of awareness has also spread on the importance of savings and financial well-being. Interestingly, people have also started setting some unconventional goals for themselves as they recover from the pandemic.
Generally, when we talk of financial goals, the usual life goals like education for the child, purchase of home, retirement, marriage for your children, etc., come to mind. However, now with changing times, the goals are also changing. In this article, we will explore some of these new unconventional goals and life-style changes people are increasingly adopting and how to plan for the same.
The guiding rules:
The idea is to create simple money boxes to bifurcate your spendings. To begin with, keep the boxes simple and easy to understand and bifurcate. As you progress and enjoy the journey, you may go into details and increase the type or number of boxes.
You may ask, how to manage? Well, to begin with, you may simply allocate money to the boxes in your mind. “Mental Money Boxes” may not sound very attractive but it is what it is. You may also keep a rough track of the boxes on paper – just to ensure that you are not way off the mark. In the starting month, you may skip minor expenses and record only major ones. However, the proper way to do will be to put your expenses on paper, at least once a week under different boxes. In the first month, you may also skip pre-deciding the allocation into different boxes and simply observe your expenses and then decide allocation from the new month onwards.
Remember, it is not important how elaborate plans you have made. What is more important is what you can track religiously. It is like running a marathon, your timing, speed is not important, what is important is that you cross the finish line.
The new age, unconventional goals:
This goal has topped the list for most of the well-earning employees and professionals. There is a realization that conventional retirement at the age of say 60 years leaves us with little time to enjoy life and/or do something which we really want to do. The new age for retirement for many is now 50 years or even 45 years. Needless to say, this bold step requires a lot of planning and is easier said than done.
We have seen a huge rise in the popularity of unconventional careers in the last decade. Such unconventional careers have also gained societal acceptance which was missing in past. We now see people following their passions with careers as social media entertainers, YouTube bloggers, organic farmers, fitness/yoga coaches, stand-up comedians, travel guides, trekking companies, adventure sports, authors, and so on. Surprisingly, even people with established careers are now looking to follow their passion and do what they like. Obviously, such a career switch, followed by success is not easy and takes time.
Another increasingly popular goal is to have your own startup. People are now passionate to leverage their skills, knowledge or entrepreneurship in new ideas and businesses. Not everyone wants to work for life as an employee. However, not all ideas get easily funded in advance and a lot of startups are bootstrapped, meaning funded by their own funds.
Earlier, this idea may have raised eye-brows but not now. Especially popular with millennials, the idea is to take a break for a year or two and try to either follow /test your passion or just do what you always wanted to do. After this sabbatical/break is over or enough, one would go back to their career of choice.
Early a one-time degree from a college was enough till retirement. Not today. People who have gained some experience and are looking to grow in their careers, are now increasingly looking for an education from reputed colleges across India and even beyond. With growing competition and rapid advancement in business environment, there is also the need to keep updated. Professionals and employees today are will willing to spend money to stay up the curve. This means completing short courses, attending seminars on knowledge, skills development and networking. This too is now becoming more of a requirement.
Whether be it bike riding, trekking, scuba diving, cycling, fitness or just travelling, people are now increasingly spending a lot of time and money in pursuing such hobbies. People even want to pursue them to reach somewhere where they can be considered as ‘pro’ in such activities. You would be surprised how many are now doing all India tours, even multi-national tours in their cars and bikes. There are many who go on Himalayan treks every season, people pursuing certificates in such activities.
Planning for the goal:
Finance is something that is core to any type of goal. Different goals need different plans, depending on factors like (a) time horizon (b) frequency, if not once and (c) funds required. The starting point of all goal planning is a clear understanding of what is needed in clear numerical terms. We would recommend that you sit down, take the help of your distributor, plan what is feasible and go ahead with the same. There is no stopping you to achieve whatever dreams you may have.
Having an unconventional goal:
The good news is that a lot of passions, hobbies can be pursued along with your existing career, profession or business. If such is the case, there are fewer things for you to worry about. However, if you are wanting to make a change in life, then it has to be the culmination of a process. Before we wholeheartedly commit ourselves to any goal, let us first grow slowly and pursue that passion in a step-by-step manner. Let us evaluate the idea as a test before we are really ready to make a drastic change in our lives. Most likely, after some time, one will be satisfied doing it only in the part-time.
There can be no judgements on whether any goal is too unconventional or not. We have one life, and we will want to live it fully without regrets. However, the need for having any intangible goal driven by emotion is something that you must first decide. We should prioritize our goals in life and obviously, responsibilities towards family comes first here. The right balance has to be there.