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Wanted to fund your dream but never had the resources? Understanding how money works is as important as earning that salary. Read on to find out.
I was never raised to be ‘aware’ about money and its ways. It was always about valuing relationships, morals, working for passion, achieving your potential and the like. Money was never really talked about – we were a middle class family and my needs as a child were more than taken care of, so there never existed a need to know.
It was only when I turned 18, and our family faced some turbulent times that I realized what a significant role money plays in our daily lives. The idealism of youth, of “doing good for mankind” was harshly washed away and I was grappling with questions of “how to make money fast,” so that we never had to face these times again. And this is when Mr. Robert Kiyosaki changed my life. His bestseller Rich Dad, Poor Dad introduced me to the concept of financial planning and the true meaning of financial independence. Like a good student , I read, re-read, made notes and promised to abide by these rules till forever.
With 7 years on an average salary, I managed to save enough to experience the joys of Financial Independence – I chased my dream of becoming an entrepreneur by bootstrapping with a co-founder for 2 years. My money, my choice – no questions asked.
As I reflect, here are the 5 things I did right which helped me :
Most female friends and colleagues of mine, even after having superb and high-paying jobs, are still waiting for “someone to manage this whole savings bit”. We believe that someone else knows this better – and let me not even start on the ‘I hate Math’ excuse. This is not about Math, honey. Remember how you learnt to cook just the day you got married? Yes, exactly. The day you earn your first salary, you learn to manage it. Learn it. Earning money is not financial independence, learning how to make your money earn for you, is financial independence.
Earning money is not financial independence, learning how to make your money earn for you, is financial independence.
How I curse online shopping! I’m blessed (yes!) to not be a shop-aholic, but yes I know it’s almost every woman’s weakness. So as a rule, take out at least 20% of your income and park it in another bank account. Invest in a Systematic Investment Plan which auto-debits from your account – keep the date close to the date on which you get your salary. Out of sight, out of mind. Simple. Do not fall for the “whatever we need we will send and the save the rest” philosophy. That’s not going to happen. Try it.
So fixed deposits are a girl’s best friend, right? Not always. These will typically bring you a post-tax annualized return of 5-7% ; often lower than inflation. Play it safe with a small part of your income, but take some chances of investing in equity funds or company shares to get that extra return. Learn about equity mutual funds and blue chip shares. If a person is in her early early 20s and 30s, based on liabilities and financial obligations, one can invest 30-40% in Debt and rest 70-60% in Equity.
Play it safe with a small part of your income, but take some chances of investing in equity funds or company shares to get that extra return. Learn about equity mutual funds and blue chip shares.
One advice I follow till date, given by one of my dearest aunts just before marriage, was about ‘The Secret Stash’. Make a long term investment or park your money in an account which you cannot access on a daily basis. And don’t tell anyone about it. Not until an emergency arises. At first, I felt outraged at the thought of ‘hiding’ money information from my husband and family. But soon I learnt that there were times when we wanted to buy a bigger TV or a fancier gadget and because the secret stash was out of sight, we never really dug into it. At this one time, we had a sudden tax liability on us – and we were stumped on how to pay it up so soon without taking support from parents, family or friends. Yup, that day the Secret Stash did its job. Not only did I amaze my husband by bringing the cash to the table within 24 hours, I won over his unrelenting trust with managing money.
Make a long term investment or park your money in an account which you cannot access on a daily basis. And don’t tell anyone about it. Not until an emergency arises.
Oh how many people I know forget about the PF, either to transfer it or withdraw it. This is your investment – don’t miss out on it. PF is the one and only form of social security built for the working Indian Middle class enforced in most organizations. It’s the one evident example of the compounding effect. Giving out those tiny bits every month from your salary for years – and then you withdraw a handsome amount which is sure to make you jump with joy. Don’t forget about it – withdraw if you’re going to be out of work or transfer it without multiple reminders from HR. This could be the capital you need to take the first step towards your dream.
Once you get interested in understanding about various ways money works, there will be a newer way you see financial independence. It won’t be about the monthly pay cheque but about making these pay cheques fund your dreams. Because after all, money is just a means. Not the end.
Header image courtesy Shutterstock.
Entrepreneur. Learner. Doer. Feminist. Free-Spirit. Spiritual. Non Ritualistic.
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Chetan Bhagat had no business slut shaming Uorfi Javed or any other woman. If he wants to 'guide' young men in the 'right direction' then he should take accountability for his words.
Chetan Bhagat, one of India’s bestselling authors, thought it was an ingenious idea to slut-shame Uorfi Javed, an Indian actress and influencer, at the Sahitya Aaj Tak literature festival.
“Phone has been a great distraction for the youth, especially the boys, spending hours just watching Instagram Reels. Everyone knows who Uorfi Javed is. What will you do with her photos? Is it coming in your exams or you will go for a job interview and tell the interviewer that you know all her outfits? On one side, there is a youth who is protecting our nation at Kargil and on another side, we have another youth who is seeing Uorfi Javed’s photos hiding in their blankets.”
Uorfi Javed responded with a video on her Instagram stories calling out Bhagat’s bluff. She shared the screenshots of his previous chat conversations with Ira Trivedi, author and yoga instructor, which came to light during the #MeToo movement.
While boys are taught to naturally own the space they enter, girls are taught to give up, to accommodate, to adjust since "it is their primary responsibility to keep families and relations together."
Yesterday, I was watching these 4 young girls around 16 – 17 years old play badminton. They were having fun, goofing around with all 4 of them equally involved in the game.
In some time two of their male friends joined them, and as part of round robin, the 2 boys replaced two of the girls. All good.
As the play continued, I started noticing a change in the way the game was being played. The shuttle was played most of the times between the two boys and there was a sense of competition and aggression brought in. The other 2 girls playing soon starting losing interest in the game as they hardly got any game time. Even if the shuttle came towards them, the boy in their team would move and play that shot. They soon moved to the sidelines as the boys continued to play.
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