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Achieving financial stability in France

By Amanda Johnson
This article is published on: 31st January 2017

When looking at achieving financial stability in France, budget planning and regular savings are two ways which can help smooth out any bumps in the road. Unexpected expenditure can put immense pressures on most families and adopting a few simple actions from today can really help you, in the event of an issue arising.

The first thing to do is understand exactly how much money comes in monthly. For those who are salaried or on pensions, this can be easier than those who work for themselves. If your income is erratic, it is worth looking at your last 12-24 months’ bank statements and seeing if you have seasonal income or regular money coming in.

Once you have an idea of the size and regularity of your income, you should then look at your expenditure and again look at when these monies are due, not just the amounts. Include all bills such as car servicing, insurances, taxes, average food costs and aspirational costs such as holidays, birthdays, new white goods etc…

The third step is to look at these figures/estimations and get an idea of your personal cash-flow. e.g.:

       Jan        Feb        March        April        May        June        etc.
       Income        €1500        €1500        €1500        €1500        €1500        €1500
       Expenditure        €1300        €1400        €1850        €1500        €1100        €1700
       Surplus/deficit per month        +€200        +€100        -€350        €0        +€400        -€200
       Running Balance        +€200        +€300        -€50        -€50        +€350        +€150


Now you can see your anticipated income verses expenditure on a month by month basis, it is possible to spot “pinch points” (March & June in this example) and plan to get around them:

  • Can some of the March or June expenditure be put back a month?
  • Can I increase my income slightly by working a few additional hours or taking on a few extra orders?
  • Can I reduce by bills by swapping suppliers?
  • Can I reduce my food bills by shopping at alternative supermarkets or growing things myself?

Finally, I recommend a plan to overcome any emergencies, which may arise. It is worth sitting down and discussing what emergencies may merge and their cost, both in what you spend to fix them plus any income you may lose in lost time. Emergencies can include boiler failure, serious car repairs, recovery from accident of illness and returning to the U.K. to support family needs. Whilst you cannot plan for every eventuality, you can get an idea of the likely maximum cost of one of these emergencies becoming a reality. You can now ensure you have a plan in place to implement and overcome the stress an emergency invariably brings:

  • Does your budget plan show a regular surplus which can start to save regularly to cover an emergency?
  • Do you have a credit card with a sufficient credit balance to cover your emergency cost?
  • Do you have a good track record with your bank, which would enable you to take a 3-6-month payment deferment on any mortgages or loans and get your cash-flow back on track?
  • How easily and quickly can your current investments be partially encashed to release monies to cover the emergency?

I hope that this article enables some of the mums here to plan more effectively. Knowing when your money comes in and goes out, working around “pinch points” in advance and preparing for how to deal with the costs of an emergency, will help you in handling issues when they do arise. It will also reduce stresses and strains on your personal and family life which can arise.

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This article first appeared on MUMS SPACE FRANCE Money Matters

Article by Amanda Johnson

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