Getting an early financial plan in place can serve as the ticket to financial independence in days to come. After all, nobody wants to live off bits and pieces of other’s mercy.
This was the first lesson my parents taught me when I suddenly barged upon them doing the monthly budget one winter afternoon.
My life was not very different from the other teens of my class. I was going to a government aided school, traveling on public transport and teaching neighborhood children for pocket money. It might be a big shock for you all when I say that my father was the DGM Finance of a top-notch Private Bank and my mother had her own boutique of imported bags. And here I was struggling to make ends meet. No, I was not their STEPSON; they loved me a lot and maybe that was the reason why they instilled the urge of financial planning in me from a very tender age.
My fellow cousins who were extremely pampered by their parents got a big fat monthly sustenance allowance which they termed Pocket money. It surprised me; they were living off their parents who were looking after all their expenses. Yet they got the allowance and I was working overtime after school to somehow manage a movie with friends. So I decided to confront my father and ask him about the root cause of this inequality. After all my parents were equally rich!
The two hour long explanation which he gave that day did seem like a never ending lecture from your least favorite teacher, but now that I am a married man having two children of my own, I understand every bit of what my old man tried to say back then. I don’t remember all the minute pointers but still I will try to be as much specific as possible.
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy security during rainy seasons which is nothing short of sheer joy. After all won’t we give anything to be able to pay those towering medical bills or home loans? Thus the basic foundation of financial planning does not lie in limiting oneself from enjoying the little pleasures of life; it rather stresses on pooling funds for those days of dire necessity. Teaching teenagers the benefits of financial planning will keep them abreast of every unlikely situation that could crop up and debts which could build up like an impenetrable barrier distancing them from their aims.
From my Experience Diaries
• How it helped me in staying focused
Unlike my father who was contented with a 9-7 job and a fixed salary I wanted to have my own restaurant business. And it was made extremely clear by him that he will in no way help me in accumulating my business capital. But the strict budget I had to adhere to for meeting my weekend movie plans made me understand the real value of money. So very soon I started saving on the movie going part and enrolled into cooking classes with my excess surplus. I became more careful with savings and my eyes served as radar in the lookout for supermarket deals, flash sale and cash back goodies. Well you can say I did miss out on many things which my contemporaries enjoyed but now as I sit back in my plum restaurant and look at the profit figures of a day’s business I feel satisfied with the path I choose back then.
• How it kept me bubbling with energy
Every night i used to have the same dream of my dream restaurant and it kept me going throughout the day. Whenever I saw my cousins babbling about their latest restaurant escapades I would smirk to myself thinking I shall reach the apex very soon. My father taught me the benefits of having a bank fixed deposit. Rates very pretty good back then and mutual fund was something we had never heard of. So I opened a bank account with my father as the primary holder and started depositing bits and pieces of whatever I could accumulate. I doubled up giving tuition and tried to walk my way to school which in turn helped a lot in fastening up the fat burning process. It took me 5 years before I could sum up a good bank balance and deposit the same in fixed deposit scheme which compounded to a pretty hefty figure when I took the land lease of setting up my dream project.
• How I developed my understanding on the full monetary cycle
I started keeping a diary of my monthly expenses. Well I didn’t have much to record given the fact that I thought twice before spending every penny but yet it helped me in staying in line.
We didn’t have much investment opportunity variations back then. But with the market filled with plenty options I would advise each and every one of you to go for it. Be it your tuition savings or money accumulated from running errands, start saving. You are young and you have time by your side. Make the most of this opportunity. Trust me, you won’t regret.