Millennials are the generation of folks who are the so called “experimentation” generation. They have a wild range of experiences when it comes to life and most definitely money matters are no exception. The road to financial independence is not an easy road for many, especially, when it comes to millennials. But that doesn’t mean, it’s impossible. One can cross the gutter, if he/she is willing to rectify their mistakes and is interested to learn to live the disciplined life.
Ever since, I got my first paycheck, there are some of the steps that I took in order to prevent me from making frivolous spends. There is no “right time” in saving and the sooner people identifies their money mistakes, the better.
These are some of the bad money habits that have come across my attention
Before that, if some of the terms, mentioned here seem new to you, then I suggest you click the link down below to gain some clarity
(i) Not having an emergency fund in place
A wave of pandemic has completely changed the face of our planet and as you all know, we are living in a fraternity of uncertainty.I hoped, that this is the best time to talk about EF,because,if not now, then when? Irrespective of the situation, it is highly recommended that one should always keep away a sum of money for a rainy day.
First and foremost, it is important to differentiate, that your EF, is not some ordinary fund that you take away the cash for shopping or some leisure activities. It should be taken if and only if, you have lost your job, a critical illness or a sudden injury. Your emergency fund, should comprise of ideally your three to six month living expenses.
(ii) Unable to stick to a budget
I cannot stress enough, about the benefits that a budget has given me in my life. This one habit which I thought sounded cheesy, has changed my outlook on life for the better. A budget in simple terms, is a map or trajectory to check where your money is exactly going. One simple way to make sure that you stick to one, is to make sure that you stick in a place, where you visit the most, like a refrigerator or your home office. In this way, the budget is made clear and visible and it stands like a reminder to make sure that you’ve paid all the required expenses and debts within the stipulated time. Try this, and I am sure it will change your life too
If you’re a newbie, who is very new to the idea of budgeting, then fret not, because I have got a whole blog post
(iii) Letting CC debt pile up
There are two ways to look at this point: You can change your lifestyle by spending on unworthy or leisure spends. Or, you can use your credit card responsibly to improve your credit score so that in the coming years, if you have an idea of buying a new home, then you would be the ideal one to get a mortgage or even an automobile loan. I mean think about it!!! The former guarantees you pleasure, but the latter gives you joy. I am sure like me, you would prefer the latter right? If that’s a yes, then kudos! If not, I suppose, you may want to rethink on your priorities.
If you’re someone who is new in using a credit card, then I suggest you to not make spends on life’s necessities with it and also not to rely on CC for overspends which eventually will land you into a pile of debt.
(iv) Allowing lifestyle jumps:
This step is something which was taught to me early on by my Dad and I still remember him telling us to be frugal and be appreciative of what we have. Being frugal doesn’t mean “being stingy”, it simply means that you are willing to live within your means and that you strive to have NO LIFESTYLE JUMPS. Now, tell me if you’re in this situation…let’s say your first job paid you 30K INR per month and you led a normal middle class lifestyle, wherein you’ve been maintaining a financial discipline and sticking thick and thin through your budget so that one day, you can have everything that you ever imagined. 2 years later to be exact, you got your promotion or a new job and your salary augmented to 65K INR (per month). This double raise instilled a thought in you that it’s time to eat at those lavish restaurants and bistros and to take that international vacation by maxing out your credit card. A year later of frenzy experiences, you’re stuck with lakhs of debt (that you’ve probably even lost count off). This is what happens to us when opt in to change our routines according to the size of our paycheck. Don’t get me wrong here...I am not telling you to not to go on lavish vacations and just to save like a machine. I am one of those people who loves to travel and eat…but what I follow is, I set up a separate account and take money off my salary and into my savings account just specifically for this trip. This in turn saves me from too much hassle and off stress.
(v) Ignoring insurance
Needless to say the importance of one’s health, the youth of today are seen working round the clock by giving their well being a toss…The end result? Lost peace of mind and pragmatic nature of not putting one’s health before career. To be honest, I have been guilty of this, since I ignored my well being for quite a long time. This point shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. While this process does sound like a drag now, ignoring your health will cost you tons of cash and will put you into a mental pressure. This might happen anytime, since a scenario like this is unpredictable.
If you’re working in a corporate firm, make use of the health insurance being offered by them and take regular health screenings. Also, along with a dose of healthy eating and regular exercise, makes sure that our sanity is at check. The screenings are particularly useful because, in an unlikely situation if there is any issues identified, we can proactively identify them and take it to health experts, rather than approaching a medic, only when a problem arises.
(vi) Not saving for retirement
“Retirement is not the end of the road. It is the beginning of an open highway” – In accordance with this quote, there is a trend that exists today and that is they wait too long to start their retirement fund.Presumably,if you have a plan to retire by 50,you shouldn’t start saving when you turn 45.Seeds to reap should be sown right from a young age (at least from age 25). If you want to live your retirement life off your comfy chair, then one thing that you need to do is to make smart money decisions. I am not saying that you should save 60% of your salary for retirement fund, at least keeping away 10% of your income for the next 15 to 20 years, does make an enormous difference
So here is it my readers! Don’t get overwhelmed by looking at these points all at once…I am sure by now, you know very well, that I encourage in taking things one step at a time and that rule still stands the same with finances too.
So instead of incorporating everything all at once, take one pointer from here and start making small lifestyle changes accordingly. There is no end limit or an expiry date for you to understand this concept better.
But I must say that, the sooner you rectify these mistakes, the better!