Let’s be honest, not all of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths or down our throats! Some of us have to work hard to achieve every little thing that we want in life. I come from a very normal, urban middle class family, who has taught me the value of money since the day I could remember! Maybe thats why I wasn’t the child crying at Hamley’s for a new toy every week but instead I was the one who would be happy with a softie for a few weeks until it’s time to actually get a new toy. And till date, that value is ingrained in me. I know for many in this city, money is something he/she is born with. And no, thats not wrong. It’s the misuse of money that angers me. Do you need that top in 5 colours? Do you HAVE to shop every time you go to Dubai? Do you HAVE to go to Dubai every time you get a weekend off? I know as a blogger, I vouch for consumerism so here’s my attempt at balancing it out! Here are 5 tips that I’ve used over the past 7 years of being financially independent to save up for the more important things in life like a home or big-small things like my Chanel Boy Bag.
1) Saving as a Habit
Many of us probably have a bank account by the age of 18. I know I insisted that I get my own account so that I could deposit my cheques and keep a track of what I was spending on. What I didn’t do until 22 is, open a fixed deposit account. Having a fixed deposit or investing your money in mutual funds can help you save a decent amount of money over the years. It’s a good way of putting away a certain amount of your moolah to restrict you in your spending. You could be saving for that much needed holiday, a gorgeous new handbag or even a car. No matter how big or small your goal is, this will certainly help you in moving towards it! And over the years, if you actually don’t end up using that money, you will start to appreciate the interest it’s bringing you. I once read this and think it’s so true, “You aren’t utilising your money well until you’re making money even while you sleep.”
2) Rationalise for a minute
Now this is a thing that even I sometimes get swayed away from. Being a fashion blogger or just someone who has a keen interest in fashion and beauty, every month I end up accumulating things I probably don’t even need. I remember, a couple of years ago, I used to buy something new every week. Zara had just opened it’s doors to Mumbai and no one could stop me from visiting every Thursday (which a little birdie told me is when they update their weekly stock). But as my bank account was depleting and my wardrobe suffocating, I realised that maybe I don’t need everything I think I do. It took me a while, but practice makes perfect. Every time I walked into a store and picked up something from the rack, I tried to run it through a mental check list. Do I already own something similar? Does this look good on me? Do I really need this? If the answer to any one of these questions was negative, I’d skip the item immediately. I know that online shopping has made curtailing even harder, but you have to try to rationalise if you want to fly to The Bahamas next year! Maybe you can shop there? Just kidding.
3) Emailers & Messages
I swear to god, the other day I just googled the word earrings and right after that, all the ads on my Facebook or any account would just show me websites to buy earrings! In this day and age of crazy advertising, it’s sometimes hard to look away! And of course this kind of advertising is unavoidable, but those emailers and messages you get for new collection updates and sales, you can totally get rid of. Not only are they filling up your Junk mail folder but it’s just unnecessary. I mean yes, I wanted those Nike shoes last week and I placed an order and got them! But why do I now need to know of the options that Puma has or even that the shoes I bought for Rs.5999 last week are now Rs.3999?! I have made a conscious effort to unsubscribe to these emailers & messages and trust me, it really helps you to buy when you need and not when they need you to!
4) Be a Goal Digger
I know that every day at least one blogger’s caption in your feed talks about how ‘travelling the world’ was their childhood dream! Well, who wouldn’t want that? I know I would! And even though I’ve been lucky enough to get chances to travel through my work, I always aim to save up for that one good holiday every year! It’s something that I’ve never taken for granted and that I know will keep me motivated and my efforts unadulterated through the year. But honestly, your goal could be as small as a holiday with your husband or friends, a gift you may want to buy yourself or for a loved one, or it could be as big as saving up to start a small business or pay your rent or home EMI’s! It’s always good to have that one point in focus and you’ll realise, the more you do that, every thing else will automatically become out of focus.
5) Eating Out
Okay now this I know will be quite a debated topic. I’m not saying don’t eat out or order the cheapest pizza to save some bucks! I’m saying, do you really need wine with that? Or do you really even need fries with that? Not only does making a conscious decision like this help you keep your health in check but it also saves you a lot of money! My dad is a Chartered Accountant by profession and he always insists I save all my bills for taxes and just general records. One year, I was going through my food bill folder and I swear, I could have flown around the world with the amount of money I had wasted on eating crappy shit. Half of it was just Starbucks! So, I know it seems trivial, but you have to start somewhere because every drop, makes an ocean.
I know that many of you guys are between the age of 18-25 years and so I thought this would be something that may help you a bit! I know I used to love reading blogs like this to motivate me! And if you guys are more experienced and have any better tips of saving up, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.