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4 Messages To My Twenty Year Old Self On Planning For Happiness

Posted: June 22, 2015

In our twenties, many of us put off planning our finances for a distant ‘future’. But, can the future we want happen if the money for it doesn’t exist?

Youth is like a butterfly; beautiful, swift and wants to do everything today! I loved all the fun I had in my twenties and today, when I look back, I do realize I could have done a few things better, but don’t we all?

Not to second guess myself but the one thing I would definitely pay more attention to would have been my finances and my lack of interest in them. All I did was put in a fixed amount as savings (under duress from my parents) and spend the rest of it. Spending money was so much fun but what do I have to show for it 15 years down the line?

Many say money cannot be equated with happiness; true, but it makes for an excellent support staff when we are sharing our true happiness. A few rupees more for that exclusive sari, that dress, phone or that vacation to give you a much-needed break. Where does this money go, why do you end up searching for it?

We need to start today and if it were possible I would go back to the twenties me and tell myself these things about a well-planned life for a beautiful tomorrow.

1. Get your life insurance early on

It is a lot easier to get insurance in your youth and the benefits outweigh the cost; if you start too late, it is like throwing good money out of a window due to the high premium.

Youth is the time when we are most carefree; a good time to be responsible for our own long and happy life in the future. We might like to live free and be whimsical about our choices but insurance is like the backup we take for all our devices. Why not for our life too? You don’t wait for the device to be full before you take a back up, do you?

2. Making investments when young is cool, not lame

When in our prime all of us tend to live for the moment, but we forget our tomorrow and the need to ensure that ‘Kal Khoobsurat Hai’ (The future is beautiful too).

Tomorrow will be today soon enough so try not ‘living for today’ by spending all that you earn. I too had my wild phase when my entire salary was blown on clothes, shoes, parties and jewelry. Now when I look back, the gold jewelry I bought is the only saving grace from my youthful ignorance.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Saving up for our nest egg is important and if we don’t start early, really early, we might not be able to pay up for the house of our dreams. Add to this the need to maintain your lifestyle post retirement – saving early makes sense.

Don’t let your money drip away. ‘Little drops make an ocean’ is quite apt for the drain on our finances due to things like the 50 rupees for the extra channels we never watch or the 100 rupees for magazines we buy but never have enough time to read, the 20 rupees nail polish we buy at the checkout counter but never use. All these individually don’t mean much but over a year they add up to a big dent on your money pile.

4. Talk and learn about money matters

As youngsters, it is okay to take an interest in the financial well being of the household, and as parents, teach your child about the value of money. If children are taught the worth of money they grow into responsible adults who are wise enough to stay away from debt traps and credit card misery.

If I could go into the future and tell myself one thing so that I could be happy today, what would that be? It would be, ‘Live for today but plan for tomorrow’. It does not mean that we defer today to live for tomorrow but realize that the money, comfort and financial independence we love so much in our youth should last for a long and happy life.

This post is supported by Exide Life Insurance. Exide Life Insurance has a pretty useful tool to plan your financial future, My Money Book, which you too can use to align your insurance planning, saving and investment with your goals. Here is where you can get your own copy.

Top image of savings jar via Shutterstock 

 

Freelance writer, blogger and Human Resource Management Lecturer. Juggling my precious worlds and trying to

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10 Comments


  1. What excellent advice for young people. Unfortunately, they are inclined to live ‘like there’s no tomorrow.’

  2. Obsessivemom

    This is so sensible. Could have done with this advice in my twenties.

  3. Fabulous advice. Agree, it pays to start financial planning early in life!

  4. Oh yes. I agree that financial planning and investment should start early. However, for females, I personally prefer PPF over Life Insurance, unless you are the only earning member of the family and you have dependents.

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