Dear friends reading this first in a series on the cliched topic of "How to prepare to lead a good life", we probably don't realise that we have already won a huge lottery! We are born in a great country like India especially at a time when the tiger is really beginning to roar and the next three decades belong to India. With the right mindset cultivated at an early age, we will not only make significant contributions in its progress, but also make great fortunes for ourselves, given the tailwind.
The importance of being wealthy enough to lead a worry-free life can't be over emphasised. Here, I attempt to provide some meaningful ways of thinking about it and applying them in practical ways.
There are a lot of ways to build wealth - but there are fortunately only a few principles to bank on. The most important of these is the habit of savings and making investments.
Just as we have the habit of bathing daily or washing hands before a meal, we must develop the habit of saving money every month. I see many young earners around me fulfilling their desires for luxuries way too early. An expensive sedan, a foreign vacation every year, over-the-top weekly pub nights. Such luxuries if postponed while keeping the savings ritual will enable the financial security to be attained much earlier than otherwise. It is easier to suppress the first desire than to satisfy all that follow it.
"A part of what you earn is yours to keep". What is meant by this? The question arises : isn't all that you earn yours to keep? Well, when you pay for an expensive party, or a car, or any expenditure, that's where your money goes - it isn't yours to keep anymore. The principle is simple. First, keep something for yourself. Keep as much of it as you can for yourself. Save it. Invest it. And then spend the rest. Most of us do it the other way round, don't we!
If you have watched YJHD, you will remember the famous dialogue: "Haanthon ka mail hota hai paisa. Ise bachate nahi, udate hain". Why then save at all? Shouldn't we live life to the fullest. Now, this doesn't' mean that we should live like a miser, not spend on meeting basic desires. The point here is for us to be watchful.. to be careful.. to be mindful.. on what we spend on. And to definitely, most certainly to keep a part of it for yourself.
Enjoy life, don't suppress your desires... but at the same time watch... what if you live long enough! A more affordable 4-wheeler could do the job of traveling from point to point with family just fine, India has some absolutely amazing and pocket-friendly tourist spots, spending birthdays doing what we enjoy with a few from family and friends we really love.
Warren Buffet (worth over 80 billion dollars) lives in the same humble home he bought in 1958, drives an affordable Cadillac, treats his friends well but not extravagantly, and has developed pleasing but affordable hobbies such as playing bridge. He made a legendary speech with Nebraska's students in 2015 - where he stressed upon the importance of habits formed early on that in fact are the most crucial determinants of the quality of their life. His financial advise - Avoid Credit Cards (debt).
You don't want to be on the wrong side of the equation where you are behind the game early on in life. If after the first five years, of working life, you have no debt, have a sum of money that you can build your future on, have put yourself in a position that can propel your career from there and have learnt how to avoid silly decisions, you are well set for a good life ahead.
If you can't pay for it, don't buy it.
The way to wealth, if you desire it, is simple. It depends mainly on two things: hard work and simplicity. Don't waste time or money, instead make the best possible use of both. He that gets all he can honestly, and saves all he can, will certainly become rich.
Quotes from Benjamin Franklin's "Way to Wealth"
(Isha Kanodia is a, Corona Warrior, 16-year-old youth columnist and founder of the revolutionary website: www.staysafepowai.info, views expressed are the authors own and do not reflect the editorial policy of 'The Watchdog News.')