Depending on your point of view, test cricket could be the ultimate sporting experience or a colossal bore. Regardless of your opinion on cricket’s most hallowed format of the game, there’s no denying the fact that test cricket is as much an examination of mental fortitude as it is physical. It takes determination, resolve, nous, and a bucketful of cojones to stick it out over five days in sometimes adverse weather conditions.
In many ways, test cricket actually bears a striking resemblance to real life. It has its ups and downs with its fair share of bloopers and ridiculous decision making. And, as is so often witnessed, it’s usually the most resilient players that stand strong at the end of every gruelling session. So, whether you’re a fan of test cricket or not, there’s much you can learn from the game with regard to how well you plan and budget yourself financially.
So before you doze off in boredom, just like your grandfather used to do during one of those never-ending Sunil Gavaskar innings, we’d like to show you exactly what test cricket can teach you about sound financial planning.
If ever there was one facet of test cricket that was never in any doubt, it’s the incredible amount of patience that the batsmen and the bowlers require to get through the match. This format of the game rarely succumbs to rash or hasty decision-making on the part of the players. It is always a constant battle of wits and concentration at unfathomable levels for mere mortals.
Similarly, by being patient in everything you do financially, there’s every chance you could reap your just rewards after a sustained period of time. When investing, make careful and calculated decisions regarding where you want to place your money. If you’ve taken your time and done your research, you can make sound judgments that may pay off down the line rather than immediately. It is extremely important to never be hasty when investing your money. A couple of wrong moves and you could lose more than you can imagine. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your feet on the ground and make wise choices. As the saying goes, “Good things come to those who wait”. Just ask Rahul Dravid.
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The best test cricket captains always had one eye on the prize at the end of the five-day stretch. They would deliberate and scheme before and during the game to come up with a definite game plan in order to ensure that their team’s goals are met.
In the same way, budgeting your finances in order to meet a specific financial goal or target should be handled in much the same manner. It is always important to have a sound yet flexible plan and stick to it as much as possible. Many people fall by the wayside when trying to achieve their financial goals because they take their eye off the final prize. The ‘prize’ in this case could be anything from financial security, to building a substantial corpus, to planning for your retirement, to your children’s education, or anything in between. You are the captain of your own financial ship after all, so it’s up to you to steer it away from the rocks and into safe waters.
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- Keep It Tight
Some of the most successful test-cricketing sides in history have also been extremely good fielding sides. It’s certainly no coincidence because every run saved is one less run for the batting side to defend.
Similarly, by adopting a watertight approach to your financial budget, you can plug any potential leaks that may be hemorrhaging money over time. A penny saved is a penny earned and all that jazz. As worn out as that cliché is, it still holds true across the board. Cut down on any unnecessary expenses and keep a tab on what your money is doing at all times. Too many leaks in your budget and you might be in over your head before you know it.
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Sticking to a financial plan or budget takes a massive amount of willpower and resolve. Just like a batsman getting stuck in for nigh on two to three days requires a huge dollop of determination and fortitude to battle it out, the same applies if you are truly serious about sticking to your guns and seeing your plan through.
Whether it may be paying off outstanding Credit Card dues or making loan payments, it certainly takes a lot of tenacity and sacrifice to knuckle down and make sure you follow through. It may be hard to imagine what a batsman is going through after reaching a century or a double century after batting for days on end, but we’re pretty sure the feeling must be fairly similar to finally wriggling free of the debts that dogged you for so long. Some batsmen have likened it to a feeling of ‘liberation’, which is probably the aptest way to put it.
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- Always Have A Backup Plan
No successful test side has ever stepped out onto the pitch without a backup plan in case things go wrong. Sure it may not always work, but more often than not, having a Plan B up your sleeve could not only minimise any loss you may suffer to your budget, but it could be the difference between sinking and swimming.
Always ensure that you have an emergency fund that you can dip into in times of financial strife. This will help tide you over until you can weather the storm and get back on track to meet your financial goals.
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Strange, isn’t it? How life imitates art. Or in this case, sport. So, the next time you’re watching a test match on TV, take notes. You may learn a thing or two.