I live a decent life today. I have a job and a beautiful family. I am living a normal middle class life. But I always have a grudge with me. Yes, I could make our life more fulfilling. I could get better education. I could own a flat and car today. Some of my colleagues from the similar background are enjoying better life than me. They have cars and a flat also, they also go to yearly vacation, while I am struggling with our day to day needs. Why am I left behind, in spite of earning same salary? What is the reason?
Finally, some days back I had a talk with my friend Vinod and asked about his financial management. After the talk I realized my mistake. I am still working on foundation while they are enjoying the home. They have made their plinth much before. I can’t rectify those mistakes today. But, you can. Today, I will tell you my money mistakes.
Mistake # 1- I Never Saved
I never saved a penny. I always lived in present. I never cared for the future. I did know that my parents are always there to take care of my money need. Why did I not take any tension? But, today I can say, if I have ever tried to save money a little I must have had a good corpus. I used to find decent pocket money. Our relatives would have also been very generous to me. I am telling you the truth. I never felt any financial problem.
Mistake # 2- Not Owning A Bank Account
I didn't have a bank account till I got the job at the age of 26. No bank account means no personal saving. If I would have had a bank account, I may have had some savings. A bank account must have inspired me to save something.
Mistake # 3- Never Budgeted
‘What? Budget of my pocket money!’ … probably this would have been my reaction. If someone had told me about the budgeting. Now, after every paycheck, I started to make my monthly grocery budget. Would you believe, since the age of 12, I was getting my monthly salary. It was called pocket money at that time. I never gave a thought of making a budget of the pocket money. Now, I know, you can save almost 30-40% of your expense if you make a budget.
Mistake # 4- Showing Off
I find it silly today. But at the age of 18-20, showing off the brands were latest fad. Levis jeans, Ray Ban goggles, Nike Shoes and Wrangler jacket. Yes, we adored the brands. We used to ridicule local labels. However, my financers, mummy and daddy have never been brand conscious. But as an unemployed, I wanted the premium products. My father was against the purchase of Bajaj Avenger. The mileage was low and cost was very high. But, I prevailed. I did buy an Avenger. Today I want to purchase a car which gives best mileage. What a change!
Mistake # 5- Impulsive Buying
Malls were new, those days. Malls and departmental stores were favorite outing of our gang. From the malls, I bought several items which were not needed. It was all impulsive buying. Malls are designed to inspire for impulsive buying.
Mistake # 6- Outings Were Really Splurging
My parents often used to ask me, where did my money go? I never gave any satisfactory answer to them. Ask me today, I will tell you the truth. I never held my hand back. Yes, I often used to eat at fast food joints. I tried to watch every new film that released. My splurging stopped, only after my pocket money finished.
Mistake # 7- Keeping Up With Electronic Trends
Today I feel surprised! How did my parents fulfill my wishes? I wanted premium bike, they obliged. Every year, I insisted for advanced Smartphone, somehow they agreed. I am ashamed today. It is really a waste of money. Every year a new Smartphone does not make any sense. But who cares about the finances? I wanted to remain ahead among my friends.
There are many other mistakes. But these were the top 7. I wish I would have managed my finances from the early years. Today, I must be living a better life.
- Manoj Shinde, Bank Executive
(As told to Chandrakant Mishra)