Follow these simple tips and you will be on your way to getting prosperous, says Priya Nihalani.
1. Invest in yourself
Nothing like spending on your own knowledge and wisdom in matters of money. Such spending will empower you for the future and prove to be your best investment. Investing in self is a lifelong process. There is no pause button; lookout for shelling out decent money for gaining knowledge; this should be an unending regular activity.
2. Invest young
Investment in financial instruments, savings account etc can be done even before your first paycheck. Keep aside an amount from your pocket money, or salary if you've started your professional journey, in a way that the first slice is always invested. It can go from as low as Rs 500 monthly to as high as you can aim for a bright and secure future!
Many options available to compound your money saved periodically are available (the best of all and risk-free is PPF; next comes equity but this asset class has risks)).
Seek financial advice from professionals or select a financial instrument after proper research.
3. Go easy on plastic money
There will always be temptations, from that stylish trousers in the shopping rack and fancy food at the new restaurant to gadgets and adventurous vacations. Credit cards are extremely tempting as you are going to pay tomorrow for what you consume today and many a times end up paying high interest as well on the amount (sigh).
While paying by credit card postpones your liabilities to a future date problem arises if you face an emergency just around the time your outstanding is due? When it comes to cash outflows, the list is endless.
So, be frugal: what you hold on to today will compound and come back to you as a big reward in the future! Be prudent and think twice before that credit card swipe!
Budget and plan every penny earned and saved. Preparing a list of your needs beforehand helps keep in check impulses which do not align with a financially meaningful month. Scrutinise your spending and make notes for a few days. Study the pattern and spot the meaningless spending so that you can rein in your instincts. Save up and avoid small expenses to eventually build an asset.
Creating constant income stream in the long run will serve you better than small pleasures today, don't you think? However, every individual's plan will be unique and as per her/his circumstances. Do not get affected looking at peers or friends, mind your own overheads!
5. Stay time-wise
Value time as money. Invest it in constructive activities. Look for a part-time job if your energy allows it so that it helps you make that extra buck. Part-time tuitions in your own line of education or work is a good example of such an option. THis is any day better than wasting your time on insignificant activities. What we make of time is as good as making serious money.
Curtail spending over daily travel for groceries, classes or even workplace by looking out for friends and form a carpool for your locality or social event. This will spare unnecessary expenditures. Monitor your phone bills and work towards making an intelligent and efficient use of this technology. If you are investing in yourself by upgrading your skills or acquiring new ones, you will need to join classes or read up. Borrowing the relevant study material from friends rather than purchasing a new set of books could be a nice idea.
Lookout for stores which stock up used books for sale at heavily discounted prices, a great option! Aim for the scholarships institutes offers.
7.Stay off trivial borrowings
Mindless borrowings from friends or family will make you less responsible for the spending and not to forget, a loan is a loan, which you have to pay back some day. Steer clear of burdening yourself with the mental and financial stress.
8. Socialise with a cap on!
Socialising has its merits, networking the biggest of them all. But, as they say, excess of everything is bad. Put a cap on those trips to the cafes, watering holes and parties and spare yourself the burden of that month-end financial crunch predicament.
9.Pursue a hobby
Pursuing a hobby keeps you distracted from flippant spending ideas and too much socialising. Hobbies are a great way to unwind, and you never know when pursuing a hobby will turn into a big innovative business idea!
10. Plan in peace
Spend some time in peace. Design a future and take planned steps to make that come true. Family and mentors are always there to encourage -- seek guidance from them. Some great ideas surface in tranquility!
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com