In a country like India where a substantial part of the millennial population is migrating towards the metros aiming at earning a good pay-cheque and living a comfortable and enjoyable life with a sense of independence, yet despite the imagined luxurious, healthy living, we are somehow still broke!
There are two senses to this word ‘broke’ for us millennials. In one, we are literally out of all our money by the end of the month and need to live on scraps and leftovers till the next payday arrives. The second one where we don’t have a shortage of money but are falling short on our emergency funds, savings, and investments that we had planned for.
Being broke is not what we plan for, it falls upon us because of the lifestyle we opt for or want to lead. Peer pressure is a significant roadblock in savings. But we don’t learn; instead, we spend some more because apparently, You Only Live Once. We fear that we won’t be able to pay our rent on time, but we still click on that “Order Now” button online because they exempted the delivery fee.
So, what makes us broke? How do we combat this urge of spending mindlessly and start making better financial choices? Let’s take a look, shall we?
Eating the right way: Eating out is a culture, it’s a passion for the youngsters of today. More than putting together a simple and healthy meal at home we either prefer to go out to fancy restaurants and cafes or if lazy, we order in from those places (Thanks to “Free Delivery” from food apps!). In this process, we end up burning the kind of money that could have bought us at least three days of home cooked food. Here, if we calculate the spend along with being a little wise and opt for the right choice of a healthy, home-cooked meal, we can save up quite a bit for those ‘living on leftovers’ days.
Home sweet home: Of all the basic amenities, having a shelter is one of the most important. It is that place which we consider our haven. But to do that we need to find the perfect location, the ideal neighborhood where we would put down our base. Does that mean we need to look for a society that rents the costliest apartments or flats? Even with all the comfort and facilities including a house should not have to be expensive and in the poshest locality, it has to be comfortable and most importantly within our budget. Living in and paying for a house which you can’t afford comfortably but are staying in because of its classy neighborhood is not a smart decision. Be wise before you become bankrupt paying high rents, and a good indicator of this would be budgeting only about 20 to 30 percent of your salary towards rent.
Curb the habit of splurging: This is that one mindset which stops us from saving our bucks. We binge on things that are not necessary all the time. Shopping online for thousands of rupees because the models look pretty wearing those dresses. Buying the latest gaming console because some of your friends have it. These habits trick us into spending our hard earned money without even realizing, and when you do realize it, it has already broke-n you down. Try to prioritize your spending. Ask yourself a lot of questions before making those impulsive buys. Make that tough decision of keeping aside a certain amount of your salary every month towards emergency funds and not using it, no matter how difficult it seems. Give your cash, debit and credit cards a rest before it’s too late!
Stop kidding with your cards: Sometimes it becomes essential for a salaried professional to opt for a credit card. We get better deals, cash back and discounts while paying with a card. But the most crucial thing that we miss out is the repayment of this credit that builds up every month. We spend more than needed and later crib when the card statement reaches our doorstep. Why not curb the temptation a little bit and use the card only for payments that are important and gives you a discount or cash back? Also, why not plan your salary in a way beforehand that has some percentage of the money stacked away just for the repayment of your credit card?
We all know it’s easier said than done, but to rise from the perennial state of broke-ness, we must attempt these hacks and put maximum effort into sorting out our lives with smarter financial decisions. Once we imbibe this practice of better money habits, it is sure to come back to us and help us in the long run of our lives.