Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Let’s Talk Money, Baby!

Importance of money in our life cannot be measured. Money holds the key for your most basic and fundamental needs. We can go ahead and say things like ‘Money cannot buy happiness’but the inevitable truth is that money is in fact a very important contributing factor to our happiness. To merely survive one has to work hard to have or arrange a substantial amount of money. And if you plan to lead a comfortable life (which includes not just roti, kapda and makhan) you definitely have to work a lot harder than you think. People who are content with the kind of lives they lead are either of limited financial means or of extremely high financial status. That leaves us with people like us who are neither here nor there.

We are what the society has very aptly termed the Middle class. The salary vs. expenditure curve of this strata of society is abysmal. So mostly life is spent in a desperate attempt to make the ends meet. And after 15th of the month life is mostly spent waiting for the salary. Now in a scenario where savings are mostly negligible (especially when you are away from home) leading an extravagant lifestyle is not imaginable. This is where the one lettered work called Investment comes in handy.

Just like everything else in the world today, even Investments come with a number of options. There is gold and real estate and then there are bonds, stock, fixed deposits and mutual funds. People choose the type of investments depending on their requirements, understanding and feasibility. I chose mine based on my fathers’requirements, understanding and feasibility. I have been working since the past 2 years and since then the only investment I have made can be seen in my wardrobe. I hardly understand the financial talk. My father had been forever suggesting me to invest in shares or open a PPF account but I never did it. I found these heavy duty terms scary and somewhat cryptic. My father after two years realized that just words would only receive a deaf ear treatment from my side. So he sprang into action and opened a PPF account for me last time I was home.After that I took specific interest in financial investment and also tried to become a wise spender (well, I had to taking into consideration the rat hole I have been provided in the name of cupboard) . I even started think about a Life Insurance policy and stuff. So a week or so after the PPF account, I familiarized myself with FDs, polices, read about stock market shares and also income tax returns. So far so good. 

However after 15 days or so I conveniently forgot all about my leanings and also my PPF account. The outstanding amount in the account still remains the same as my first deposit (that too done by my father).I happened to read this article which emphasized the information of how single women are not that profound on investments. The article further detailed on how single women rely on men in their lives for handling money related matters. The man topping the chart was Dad followed closely by Boyfriends and Husbands. I tried to draw a comparison of my life with the article and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. I happening to spot this article precisely at the time I find myself in a financial mess. A major chunk of my salary has already been spent in paying loan amount to my brother-in-law. Some percentage has been spent on movies, trips and clothes (blame it on the sales’). I feel I have subconsciously trying to not spend any money now. Which can be the only explanation for why I still haven’t’ paid my rent, due to 15th of this month (Aren’t they lucky to have me as a tenant). Anyhow moving ahead I paid by phone bill of last month two days late for which I have to suffice a late fee. Exhausted my net plan of this month and availed an add-on plan without checking my billing cycle. So seems that the plan activated is active only for a single day (300 Mb @ Rs 100) as I am nearing by billing cycle. So this is just a mild way of highlighting the fact that I am unaware of my billing cycle. Everyone month I check the amount, verify the tariff plans subscribed and add fleeting glances towards the itemized details. Moving on I have also since long planned to deactivate my laptop net plan. My procrastination level reached alarming levels when I received a message stating at I owe them bill of two months, that too without any usage since two months from my side. I did finally drop a message of deactivation but two months too late. In case I forgot to mention this before, the PPF account is still awaiting some funds transfer from my end.

The article proved to be very apt for my case (atleast for this month). Ordinarily such a sexist write-up would have angered me and if I would have decided to write about it, it would surely have been on disagreeing terms. But sadly I am the guilty-as-charged here. Not at all proud of it but yes hugely angered and ashamed about the whole thing. At the same time however taking it in my stride and here’s hoping for a new improved, careful and financial smart me. They say positivity brings out the best in you, I would have ended this post on a frustrated and angered note had it not been for a dear friend. I narrated the entire list of woes to the friend and he listened to my batter very patiently and  laughed it off as if it was nothing out of the usual.

Well as they say "That's what friends are for"!