“Savings work when you don’t.” This was what grabbed Clara’s attention when she was just reading a regular fashion magazine. Clara, a business analyst by profession, was waiting at the airport for her flight to take off. She managed to take a break from work and planned for a vacation in Orlando.
This one liner, that was perhaps a tag line of an ad campaign ran by some investment agency, was sufficient to drive her into some introspection. “Do I need to check out my savings account?” “ Am I doing enough to secure my future?”
Clara goes back to her days when she had just started. She was only 18 and savings was not something that was bothering her then. After a few years, she landed herself in a suitable position that was earning her just fine. Her monthly income was sufficient to pay her bills, rent, maybe a theater sometimes or occasional coffee with friends. However, despite all those things her salary could buy, somewhere deep down, she always had that urge of earning slightly more. Perhaps, that was how she could make those cafe parties a regular affair, or could move into a well-furnished apartment.
Perchance, this was what pushed her to work towards greater success, that she is now enjoying. Anyone, who has known Clara, is proud of her. She has indeed moved a long way now!
Yes, she is earning loads; however, no one knows what the future holds to unfold!!
Clara suddenly realizes that it’s high time she should make some careful decisions. Savings need to be her next call. However, now she was already on her way to Orlando, where she has paid for an exotic vacation. Nevertheless, Clara decides to make some research on saving techniques that she is going to follow once she returns from her “planned” trip.
While Clara was researching on these techniques, she made a note of whatever she found important to her context. This is what her laundry list read:
Needs Vs Luxuries:
For many of us, who are earning loads similar to Clara, do not keep track of our expenditure. We tend to spend first and make plans for savings later. However, this is something totally opposite to what we should actually do.
The golden rule is – make plans for savings first, and the rest will follow. When you have a limited amount of money to spend, you will kind of “see” the things that you actually need and the ones you can skip very well. Thus, you know the difference between needs and luxuries.
It is saving and not starving:
Don’t you think that whenever we have decided to bring about a significant change in our lives, we are somewhat over enthusiastic about executing such plans?
And the stronger we resolute, the quicker we quit. Therefore, the catch is you need to go slow. Do not make plans that are far from realization.
As for example, if having a Raspberry fool pastry on Sunday evenings is a must for you; so much that you cannot go to bed without it, just don’t plan to eliminate it from your system. Trust me, you will fail utterly.
Do you want to know what happens if you get so rigid, just when you start?
You may skip those raspberry desserts for a couple of days. And then when you cannot restrain yourself from tasting it; you end up having five at one go. This is true…
Therefore, to avoid such mishaps, carefully decide on the things that you seriously cannot do without and then, do not get harsh on yourself to eliminate those from your life. To explain it further, we come back to raspberry dessert.
Think , if you are allowing yourself to taste these irresistible desserts on Saturdays and Mondays as well; when you had planned it for Sundays only? If yes, then you can restrict it to just once in a week initially. Who knows one fine day you may not even have that urge to taste it at all!!
Clara finds that her visits to the herbal spa saloon, once a month is analogous to raspberry deserts used as an example here. Now you need to find yours!!
The 30 days plan:
Now, every time you spend on any item, make sure to make an entry in the notebook. Note, if this was something that was listed under needs section or things you could skip, jot the amount you have spent on it. Finally, at the end of the month, you are there with the remaining amount of money. Is it close to the amount you had set as the target? It’s great if you reach your target. If not, there is nothing to feel sorry about. The next time you will definitely be in a better state.
This is a very good practice advised by many economists. And the only way to experience its usefulness is by practicing it. So all the very best in your mission.
Clara is now quite satisfied with her research and feels that she is all set to make saving plans. However, there is one thing that she wants to add to this list. And this comes from her own personal experience.
Clara had started to earn quite early in life. And today, when she looks back, she sadly realizes that if she had started saving right from the beginning; perhaps, she would have become a millionaire by now.
Therefore, her advice to all young professionals is that saving is not something you start when you are somewhere in the mid of your career. Rather, the early you start – the better it is. With age, there are things that you cannot exclude from your expenditure list. It could be anything – medicines, gadgets, commodities that you have made yourself addicted to. However, when you are young, you have a better control over yourself. You are more energetic to work harder, and you are comparatively smarter than your older self. Hence, start saving right from your first job.
As they say, saving a penny is earning a penny. So, save your penny today for a better tomorrow.