Independence is one of the most coveted aspects of our lives. For many of us, independence can be considered a perk that is bestowed upon the blessed few mortals. What is independence? Most people would say that it is the lack of control over our life, freedom to make decisions and choices. But, I feel that we all are missing the single most important aspect of independence. It is the lack of dependence on anything or for anything. You might ask me, what is the difference? And I will say, there is a lot of difference.
If independence were only a matter of freedom to make our decisions and to choose, then it becomes an external force that we have to fight. To remove the control of others is something that we fight outwardly and against others. However, when we talk about independence as a lack of any dependencies, then the fight becomes an internal struggle. Now, we have to fight ourselves to overcome these impediments, and that is not an easy fight to win.
When I speak of dependencies, it includes various types of them. It can be a financial dependency, emotional, substance abuse, physical dependency etc. One might have the deepest pockets and a steely grip on all aspects of their life. Yet, being a slave to approval from loved ones and general public opinions can cripple our mind. Something as simple as being dependent on coffee, to start the day, has a far-reaching effect that most don’t realize. A day without coffee can make you grumpy, slow and generally irritated. But we laugh off such dependencies. Some of us can’t function without constant reassurance and approval from friends and family. I may be a free spirit that is waiting to fly, but my dad/husband/obligations/debt is holding back the money I need.
It is time we all take a closer look at our life and analyse; are we really independent? Have we been living the life of a slave, a glorified slave, all this time?
In today’s world, it’s all about making a fast
buck and spending it just as fast. There may be tons of avenues to earn money,
but the young generation is finding it more difficult to control expenses.
Every young working member of this society complains that their income is never
enough to set aside savings. Is saving really that difficult? Is it the living
expenses that have gone up, or has the urge to spend gone up?
Here are my thoughts on some age-old
techniques that our parents applied and are still very much relevant when it
comes to saving. I will also add a few of my personal ideas that have worked
for me when it comes to saving. Despite all the ideas and techniques, the will
to control expenses and the wish to save money is the foremost requisite.
Here is my first technique to save money.
Set up a recurring deposit, so
that on the first of every month the bank automatically transfers a portion of
the salary to the RD for a year or more. This way, without your intervention
you set aside a small amount that will accrue interest. You can set up the
amount based on your salary.
Reduce the number of e-wallets
that you use to one or maximum 2. The more you use these wallets, the more you
end up spending. They offer you cash back schemes, which only make you spend
more. Their cashback schemes are all a trap to make you spend, where you never
planned to spend.
Here is a personal idea of mine.
On the 7th of every month, sit down at your system and pay your bills
personally. Do not set up auto payment instructions. The idea behind this is,
when you sit and pay each bill, you will feel the pinch of seeing your bank
balance reduce. It generally scares me enough to control expenses.
One can always use the traditional
saving plans like an insurance plan, PF plan, pension plan, SIPs, Chit funds
One technique that my mom employs
is to maintain a book of accounts to keep track of all expenses. This comes in
handy in case of unforeseen or unavoidable expenses. I use the Google sheets on
my phone to keep track and I noticed that the expenses are not so unavoidable
Everytime I receive a bonus, I use
the complete bonus amount to buy a gold coin. The amount may be small, the
coins may be of different denominations, but in your hour of need you can
exchange the gold coins at any jeweller for cash and get the complete exchange
rate as of that day.
This may not be the best idea, but
it works for me. I use my procrastinating attitude to postpone shopping trips.
I put away the chance to spend for as long as needed until one day, I don’t
need that purchase. It works like a charm for me.
Remember, all these methods will work only if you have the will to make them work. Just make up your mind and it’s not so impossible to save some money however small our salary is. All the best in your efforts.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these images. They are sourced from Google and Pinterest.