Most of us are taught about everything but the most important stuff. The truth about life, death, love, religion, you name it they’ve skipped it. When it comes to money, as children and while growing up, we are only taught the stereotypes – ranging from the usual – earn more, save more, never go into debt, to the taboos – don’t think about money too much because it’s evil to be greedy.
It’s almost as if all these advice were destined to make us never buy the stuff we love, rather learn to live without them.
And don’t get me wrong, all of this is sort of okay as long as we were kids. But due to this distorted notion of money, when all the charade has died down and we land our first “job” or let’s say we land our first source of regular income, we have absolutely no clue about what to do with our money.
We begin falling into a spectrum Scrooges will try to save every penny keeping only the bare minimum for their necessary expenses, Thrifters will live way above their means spending every chance they get and so on, you get the idea.
Now, people do light up on their payday. It’s a day that makes us feel powerful, it’s a reassurance that no matter how the circumstances may be at least we got ourselves covered, even if barely.
For some it means BUYING DAY, for some it means paying out the utilities, supporting families and loved ones, paying their debts. And for some people like me, it’s a depressing reminder that salary is a lying fuck.
I mean like sure I am decently paid and I can clothe myself, feed myself, treat myself to a party – but damn the way things are going I don’t think I will be able to buy myself that bike or that Kindle – every month at the beginning I may feel like a king but the state of my mind as the month draws to a close is what’s disturbs me the most.
I become cranky just waiting for the new paycheck and at that time when I want to spend on something like a short trip, a sudden party or just damn buying that kindle(rs. 5999), my hands are tied. Down and desperate, I curse myself for not saving enough and not following a proper financial plan,
I am indeed the “tightrope artist”. I am living in a cycle that is known as the “paycheck-to-paycheck cycle”. Regardless of how much you earn, it’s a vicious cycle. People keep telling me to save money but not how. But more on that later.
Inevitably, I take to the internet with the urge to cut through all these bullshit which people try to sell us constantly like – use this mutual fund to get rich, invest in this SIP and never be poor again. I start browsing through lots of sites all filled with the same slogan of save money, plan your financial future, 5 things that will make you better with your money – the lists are endless.
On the other hand, we have banks, investors, financial institutions, finance gurus, trying their most to take our money and make us rich (and in the process sell us their financial products). We want to be like them – someone who is smart with their money and can make it multiply. But the whole lot of trouble it takes to make sense of all these money games leaves us with the feeling that we can never be like them – sound familiar ??
Trawling through numerous web content in search of truth is part of the effort but soon you realize that you’re going nowhere. You are just consuming, not creating something out of it that will add to your life and so still feel pretty clueless –
Slowly salary day/payday rolls by and I am back to square one.
Well to begin with it’s not anyone’s fault – and that’s what this column is all about – Personal finance – the two words which sound commonsensical and easy enough to understand but somehow we keep getting hard done by it time and again and at this point sounds like that smug friend who keeps rubbing salt into our metaphorical money wounds – revolves around human psychology rather than any “magic 1 step process” which all these internet articles will have you believe – added to it is the subtle but firm influence which economic experts’s on our daily lives.
All in all, it’s a story of money and how to make it work for you and again this leaves me frustrated and angry because I am slowly beginning to sense a scam – we are taught almost everything about how different things work but not money. No one tells us how money works.
They tell you to work hard getting degrees which no one really seems to care about these days, they tell us to save and keep saving and shrink yourself and live below your means – all casual advice which only seem destined to tie up our hard-earned cash, stocking them up them in such a way that reduces their liquidity and leaves us feeling sad at the end of it because we still can’t afford that Kindle until next month !
All in all, in India and elsewhere, personal finance means generally to save money and be sad. Practically speaking, they tell you to keep saving even at a time when the purchasing power of the dollar keeps on decreasing. And again more on that later.
But who are the people to whom such things don’t matter? the RICH !! Yes, we definitely are living in a system where the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer – and this will keep on happening because of a system that has been put in place years ago.
I believe personal finance should lead to personal financial freedom but quite the opposite happens. We pour our money into schemes we don’t understand and with professionals who won’t explain to us how the system works(because then their bread and butter are gone) or follow the casual advice of people who don’t know much – all in the hope that a long way down the line that will matter.
Perhaps to some, all the above might sound bitter. But this blog on personal finance wouldn’t be completely honest and truthful without a rant on how infuriatingly incapable we seem to be when it comes down to handling our own money.
Ohh! I hate that smug colleague who always seems to be living well off, spending casually and yet have some extra money to buy that Kindle which I have been pining over for months !!
That’s why financial literacy is so important – it’s what guys like Robert Kiyosaki(if you don’t know who he doesn’t worry we’ll get to everything eventually) keep telling us – this website is a step in that direction. We do the research, we tell you the how-tos, we give you the articles, the information, separating the fact from fiction – and you decide.
All you have to do is follow along and get financially educated – learn what is money and how money works cause not a lot of people know – and the ones who know, they are the rich guys. They are the ones who are truly free in this modern chaotic world, where people will have you believe everything is well and good, right until they crash(2008, USA, you got that right !).