CUT YOUR COAT ACCORDING TO THE CLOTH
Introduction: This one emphasizes the importance of one’s expenditure, whether it is within the limit or exceeding the income. Cloth here refers to the income and coat implies the monthly bills. In short, it is aimed at meeting both the ends.
Explanation: It is an old proverb mostly before the ready-made dresses started flooding the shopping mall. In those days, people bought the cloth according to the requisite measurement for stitching new dresses, including the coat. Even now many people do that. However, if the cloth purchased is cut more at one or two places than the required length and breadth, then there will be shortfall of material for other areas of the body, like arms, collar and pockets.
Like the body and mind coordination for any action of ours, these two, income and expenses, go together. It is all in one’s hand; mostly in middle class and even among higher income group of people, too. A father is the breadwinner of a family. He works and earns, so that he and his family members who depend on him for a living, find all the bare necessities and live peacefully. At home, both the father and mother jointly discuss and plan the monthly expenditures so that it should not overlap the income.
Income can be compared to input, and expenses to output. If the output exceeds the input, then there is bound to be financial crunch every month. This will lead to debts and worries. And if the same situation persists, resulting in the accumulation of debts, it would shatter the peace in the family.
So, it is the duty of the heads of the family to chalk out a strategy in such a way like cutting the cloth to the requisite measurement that both ends can be met with. It is not with the family alone, but applicable to any country in the world, including India, too. Now even the super power USA also undergoes trials and tribulations, resulting in recession.
It is worth mentioning here, a funny but matter-of-fact great saying by an Anonymous writer, “They live in a beautiful little apartment overlooking the rent.” Though it sounds funny, it is true in many families who give utmost importance to luxury, a sort of face-saving attitude among their near and dear, by borrowing money and becoming debtors in the long run.
One has to have some comforts. There is no second opinion about it. But at the same time, it is the best policy to curtail unnecessary expenses. Didn’t someone say that, ‘a penny save a penny earned?’
Conclusion: The need of the hour is to cut down
whatever extra expenditure occurs.
This can be done by turning of the light, fan or PC when the inmate is in another room. Similarly, identifying the areas that need little attention the way the coat is cut to the right size and not more, is sure to be helpful.
This habit, if cultivated from the teenage level, will be of immense help to reap great harvest of benefits, rather continually.
Many expatriates who came to the region prior to the 2008 worldwide financial crisis were able to benefit from the exceptional economic growth of the UAE and lead a lavish lifestyle, one they would not or could not have sustained back home. Times have changed, however, and years of stagnant economies and flat wage growth have changed the global outlook. Some who now come to the UAE dreaming of a better future may come unstuck along the way.
The bewildering variety of financial services and facilities on offer in the UAE and the ease of getting a loan or credit card approval are often blamed for the high levels of personal indebtedness. Though stronger policies and greater clarity about loans and credit cards are now beginning to keep borrowing in check, a broad lack of awareness when it comes to over-borrowing and over-spending is clearly the big part of the problem.
Responsibility does not fall on one party without the other and education through constructive awareness campaigns, similar to the Debt Panel launched by The National, is core to putting an end to the stigma of personal indebtedness. Another example is that of broadcaster KV Shamsuddin, as The National reported yesterday, who has been advising radio listeners throughout the GCC about the importance of systematic savings.
More from Opinion on personal debt:
Personal debt can be curbed
Everyone must take debt seriously
How to end the spiral of personal debt
Living the good life comes at a hefty price, and spending all you have and a lot of what you don’t have will rupture the dreams you once had. But there is always a way out, and few situations are hopeless.
The best advice financial advice - and practice - when it comes to personal finance and debt management can, perhaps, be sourced from the famous Middle Eastern proverb: “Aala qadr bisatak mid rijlaik”. In other words, cut your coat according to your cloth. All of us are familiar with these words, although some of us often don't properly heed their meaning.
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Read more on the Debt Panel:
The Debt Panel: Dubai jeweller says Dh105,000 debt caused by expenses of 'middle class life'
The Debt Panel: Abu Dhabi lecturer has not received a pay rise for eight years and owes Dh215,000