Before starting to read this post, answer yourself-
How much money do you have in your hand right now?
How much do you earn annually, or how much pocket money do you get?
How much have you saved till date? What are your major expenses?
How can you make money from money?
Too many questions, right?
Learn this first of all.
Money is Everything.
If this isn’t true, ask yourself, why the hell is your parents working day and night away from you?
Don’t they love spending time with you? Then what?
If someone says:- “Naah! Money doesn’t matter”- Check their bank balance first.
Do not get fooled by the delusional Instagram quotes.
Let me tell you clearly, and in bold.
Money matters. Period.
Oh, you may also see quotes like:
“Money is evil”
“Don’t get into materialism”
All this is crap.
We live in a world where money matters. And it matters a lot.
So if money is such a crucial factor in our lives, shouldn’t we better be trying to learn more about it?
Making a Budget
What gets measured, gets managed.
50/30/20 Budget Rule
In her book “All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan”, Senator Elizabeth Warren mentioned the 50/20/30 budget rule.
The basic rule is to divide your income as spending 50% for your needs and 30% on your wants – and keeping 20% for savings.
The budget varies from person to person, as per the necessity. What’s your budget plan?
It’s not how much you make, it’s how much you save. (~Robert T Kiyosaki)
The habit of Saving
You’ll read a lot of examples of millionaires going broke.
If a person is earning 70 thousand monthly, and his expenses are 60 thousand a month… he’s in a worse financial state than a person earning 45 thousand with monthly expenses of 25 thousand.
How to get better at savings?
Save before you spend any money.
Before paying that treat for your party/earnings: save.
Before renting a bigger house, or upgrading your lifestyle: save.
Before hanging out with friends and traveling and shopping: save.
Noticed the ‘before’ parts?
Rule 101 of savings: Always save before spending.
Take Leverage of your Bank Account(s)
Do you know how to save with ease?
Open a bank account and throw away your net banking details and debit/ATM card. So that if you want to withdraw money from your account, you have to physically visit the bank.
This will be your savings account. Pour money into it again and again, and don’t withdraw unless you get some emergency.
Your Emergency Fund.
You need to have at least 3-months of your expenses in your emergency funds. This is the optimum balance you need to maintain in your balance, so you could afford to sustain any financial emergencies without drowning in the debt ocean.
Now answer honestly –
Do you even have an emergency fund?
“The reason that man is seldom satisfied with his salary is that when it increases, he increases his expenses.”
This is known as lifestyle upgrading.
Track your expenses
So a little story here.
As soon as I graduated, I was desperate to work a full-time job – so I accepted the first offer I got. And it was quite underpaying wrt my experience and skills.
I knew I wasn’t going to get a good salary every month. I knew.
I used to track all of my expenses – every single rupee I spent I noted it in my notepad. After a month, I realized it wasn’t about my expenses. I hadn’t upgraded my lifestyle, and I had to earn more. As simple as that.
And all this happened because I tracked my expenses.
When you track your expenses, you can easily analyze what’s wrong in your budgeting.
Sometimes you just need to earn more
Like I stated in the above point, sometimes you can’t save enough to manage your basic expenses.
So you simply need to earn more, sometimes.
As a rule of finance:
Debt: Expenses > Income
Savings: Income > Expenses
Sounds simple? It is.
The credit card is not the villain.
If you know how to use a credit card wisely, it’s actually a gift to you from the bank. There are myriad cashbacks and discounts available all the time of various credit cards.
So, instead of fearing the evil, you should try and educate yourself about it first.
Minimalism and its impact
Minimalism is about following a lifestyle where you survive on the minimum possessions required to survive.
is the detailed post about minimalism.
Fewer possessions directly imply to lesser expenses.
Quoting fight club-
“We buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t like.”
“Do I really really really need to buy this?”
As this to yourself before buying anything – no matter how heavy discount you can see on the item.
This one practice can save you a fortune in a long term.
Consider this scenario:
Your uncle bought a Maruti Suzuki 800 car in the year 1998.
In 2003, Maruti Suzuki went public and had its IPO, with one share price of Rs 160. The price of one share went upto Rs 9000+ in 2018.
If he had invested the same amount in buying the stock of the company, instead of buying the car (with 50X returns), his Rs 2 lakh would be Rs 1 Crore in 2018.
This is the power of Investments.
Types of Investments
The three widely opted and booming sectors for investments are:
Stock Market: Refer to above example. You’d be a part of the company when you buy its shares. Because this is a beginner’s guide to Personal Finances, I’ll write a separate post explaining the nuts and bolts of every type of investment.
Mutual Funds: Some intelligent investors take your money to invest in share market and then they take a commission and give you the profits from these investments.
Cryptocurrency: This is still a controversial sector. But I have seen my money going from 10,000 to 40,000 and then coming back to 10,000 within 6 months.
- Others: Real estates, PPF, bonds, FDs etc etc etc
I’ll publish a detailed post about the different investment types soon.
Before opting for any investment strategy, there are myriad factors to look out for:
What’s your retirement plan?
What’s your current debt status?
What’s your earning potential and targets?
How’s your risk appetite?
All these answers need to be answered before planning for any investment type.
Your best investment is YOU.
Invest in online courses, workshops, attending seminars: all these would contribute to honing your skills.
Better skills mean better income and better opportunities.
Well, because if you don’t invest in yourself, who else will?
For further reading about Financial Intelligence, read- Rich Dad, Poor Dad (Amazon buy link
Summarizing the post,
Personal finance is a significant part of your existence in this material world.
Keeping a track of your expenses, choosing to save more money, and investing your money for better profits: these are the things you need to learn and practice for a secured and better financial future.