“I’m broke!” is something I despised saying, back in college and even after I started working.
To be or not to be broke - is rarely a question or a choice. But it can be, even on your fresher’s salary. I made that choice to not be broke and it worked out just fine. Here’s how.
Living on my pocket money, as a student, I hated never having enough money to dream bigger. I started working right after my undergraduate degree and I was ecstatic to finally earn an income. This was my own money and I wasn’t answerable to anyone for it.
One fine day, my father saw my accounts and my credit card statement, and asked me where all my money was really going and if I had managed to save anything at all?
I told him I couldn’t save anything as my take home pay was too little to survive in an expensive metro city; despite my father taking care of my rent and other utility bills.
He was obviously disappointed in me, while I flaunted my “I’m broke, but I don’t care attitude”. I felt entitled to his money, and the financial planning he was doing for me. I was complacent with all the stuff I could buy, without having the least bit of worry for my future.
I needed a serious attitude adjustment. As I grew older, I met some interesting people. People who had achieved everything they wanted to, by saving some amount from their day jobs.
A friend used up his savings to become a certified scuba diver. Another friend saved up for an expensive MBA course abroad. These were real people, achieving real life goals with real money, which was not spent on irrational deals. I was inspired to act.
Coincidentally, this was when I got a job offer from Scripbox. With my new found inspiration to save, and helped by the hike I was getting, I was determined to save at least 20% every month. Scripbox was easy to start with and the process was fairly streamlined.
I have been investing Rs. 5,000 every month for 1.5 years into my Scripbox account, and have managed to save a low six-figure sum.
I chose the Emergency Fund category solely for its debit card feature. This card helps you withdraw money from your mutual fund investments made, just as you do with your bank ATM. With this, even if I had used up the money I had earmarked for monthly spends, I could use the power of the ATM to withdraw money in case I was broke.
Saving regularly helped me break-free from my negative attitude towards financial security. Isn’t that what growing up is all about - having the choice to not be broke…?!