Most of us have so many plans, when it comes splurging our salary when we secure our first job. The first pay check always goes into buying gifts for loved ones and giving treats to friends. But do we start saving as soon as we are done with the initial phase of celebrating our new found financial independence? Hardly. In fact most of us end up struggling to make ends meet every month. The rent, the meals, the online shopping, all these things are all new on our horizon, and thus, we struggle to manage our new found steady income and often end up asking for loans from parents or friends. It is only after a year so, or even later, that most people even begin to think of saving money.
But must the memories of our first job be all about splurging and struggling financially at the end of every month? Don’t we owe it to the opportunity that we have been given, to start with the discipline of investment? One agrees that there is no fun in saving up all that you earn, when time and age are on the side of spending for enjoyment. There are subscriptions, dresses and branded shoes waiting to be bought. There are parties waiting to happen and trips we must take with friends. But when we can spare money for everything, why not spare some for our future too?
Aakansha Bisht, Associate Producer at VOOT, Viacom18 says, “I’m not the most frugal person so initially when I started earning, I didn’t save at all. However, my mother convinced me to invest in mutual funds and thanks to that, I have managed to save something in the last 2 and a half years.”
Investment and saving discipline don’t mean that you must keep from spending at all cost. Or that the bigger part of your salary should go to that cause. This is the assumption which discourages youngsters from saving much, as they feel that since they are failing to do so, they might as well go out with a bang. However, you can always start small. You don’t have to save an amount you can boast of or buy investment plans which will leave you struggling for money at the end of the month. Setting aside a small chunk of your income is less challenging and it gives you the required confidence and experience for money management.
Stick to the plan
Also, a smaller amount is doable every month, which helps you gain the discipline of saving or investing every month. The biggest problem people face with saving money in their initial phase of service is the urge to spend. We are freshly out of the phase where we are answerable for every dime handed to us by our parents. This is our money and we can do what we want with it. No one will question why we spent it.
We both keep a fixed amount aside every month and use a portion of that to travel to different countries whenever we get time off work
Shweta Kodkani, who is a Lead in Tesco Bengaluru shared how saving a fixed amount every month, no matter what happened helped her travel the world, “When I first started working 5 years back, I loved that I was financially independent and had more than enough to spend on myself. After a few months I started realising that I actually had no track of what I’m spending on. That’s when I analysed my finances and decided that every month I will put a fixed amount of money into savings. No matter what happens that month, I ensure that the amount is set aside and I manage within the rest of my salary. By doing this I’m able to keep a check and not spend on unnecessary things. As my pay increased, so did the amount I intended to save.
When I got engaged, I encouraged my then fiancé to do the same thing. We saved up so that we could furnish our home together and travel to Europe for our honeymoon. Now we both keep a fixed amount aside every month and use a portion of that to travel to different countries whenever we get time off work. Since we know exactly how much we have/ will have in our savings vs how much our trip will cost, it’s really easy to plan ahead. The rest of our savings are put into long term investments for our future. Based on my experience I believe that the sooner you start saving, the easier it is to plan ahead.”
The best way to stop this urge from getting the best of us is to set away a chunk of money at the beginning of the month for investment or savings purpose. My personal trick to ensure that I saved big in the first few months of my job was that I had a separate account for which did not avail a debit card for nearly ten months. That really gave me a head-start on savings. All the money I put in to that account got automatically saved, because like most, the task of having to go to bank and (gasp) write a check, easily overcame the urge to spend.
As Damini Pustake, who works as a Senior Officer in the Response team at BCCL sums it up, “Saving is a priority and must be treated like one by every working professional, it is imperative that we manage our money so that we can enjoy a safe and secure present and future.” Her advice to youngsters who are on their first job, just like she is? “Every young working professional can manage her or his income in different ways, one of them can be opting for traditional savings instruments. One of the other ways to save some money and multiply it while doing so is investing in Mutual Funds.”
Mutual funds are subject to market risks. The article share opinions of experts, and not of the platform.