In a nut shell, the most important lessons that I have learned actually contradict each other.
- Live within your means if not below.
- Dream big and spend big – “smartly”.
The first one is a lesson that anyone can relate to, it’s the commonest money advice that is doled out on any working person. Living within your means is all very well, it keeps you out of debt and maybe you’ll even manage to create a nest egg.
So what is the second one all about? Just because you don’t have the money for it now, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be reaching out for that dream anyway. Sometimes stretching out of your comfort zone is the exact push that you need to expand your comfort zone.
In my 13 years of working in the corporate world, I have gone from one extreme of the pendulum to another. There was a point in time when I was buried under credit card debt. At some point in time I grew disgusted with the fact that I was making a ton of money and paying it all in interest rates. That is where my financial education really started. I was frustrated enough to want to overhaul my whole approach to money and how I managed it.
I read up financial advices wherever they crossed my path. I opened monthly deposit scheme accounts, started to invest in land projects with manageable monthly installment and started to set myself financial targets that I wanted to reach on a half-yearly or yearly basis. Finally there came the time when I was saving or investing about 60-70% of my pay packet.
The funny thing is I was still having just as much fun saving as I was having while I was spending my entire pay packet, only now spending did not throw me into a panic about how I was going to pay it all back. I started traveling a lot more once I started saving. I was also buying a lot more of books, clothes and yes even jewelry, even though I had actually expected to be doing the exact opposite. I would still party and eat out but those I did control, not partying every Thursday night or eating out 3-4 times a week did help to keep my wallet healthy 😉