It was my first year as a full-time professional. No more college and no more depending on parents for pocket money. I was the master of my pocket and thus my own destiny. Yet, a year later I had nothing to show for it monetarily. Don’t get me wrong, I did have a fairly good paying job, but yet more than a year later, when dad asked me “How are your savings?” I just gave him a blank look and that’s when he dropped on me one of his sarcastic wisdoms “It’s not enough to learn finance in college, you should use it in real life.”
It’s been some years after that incident. Given below are some of the habits I learnt since then which I feel any 20-something just entering into his first job must know
It doesn’t matter how much you earn; If you don’t save, then it doesn’t matter.
But for most of us just stepping into adulthood, this is a difficult proposition. Although I wanted to save, by the end of the month after expenses there was nothing left and it was then I learnt this new life changing formula
Saving doesn’t = Income – Expenses
Expenses = Income – Savings
The above formula meant that I saved first and spent what I had left and for me, this was the first lesson.
Once you get into the habit of saving, it becomes very important to track your daily expenditure. I for one after 2 months of tracking my expenses found that I was spending a lot of money eating outside. By taking food from home to office I was able to see savings of over 20%. I still ate out but it was mostly during weekends with my friends or during one of those lazy days when I did not feel like cooking
It doesn’t matter if you save, Inflation will eat away at it. But on the good side, if you start saving early then you can take advantage of the power of Compounding by investing prudently and wisely. These investments can be in Mutual funds, debt funds or even fixed deposits. But the golden rule is Invest.