This Independence Day, make financial security one of your life goals
Most people in their 20s and 30s have an excuse handy whenever they are asked to save. This article debunks some of the most popular ones with essential tips towards achieving financial independence.brand stories Updated: Aug 29, 2017 18:45 IST
We often marvel at people who retire early, or have been investing since their 20s, but somehow, don’t see ourselves capable of doing any of those things. This is largely because we don’t take our own financial independence seriously and postpone savings for when we earn more, or resign to living from pay check to pay check.
Here are some of the most common excuses that many of us use to not save. Luckily for you, we also have the exact solutions to counter them and set the right foot forward towards financial independence:
Excuse 1- I don’t make enough to save
With a small income; even putting aside a small sum to invest is a big sacrifice. Investment experts recommend a percentage savings plan, which means you assign a percentage of your income for saving goals. Ideally, it should be about 20% of your income, but if you think that’s too much, even 5 - 10 percent of your salary saved will accrue interest and become a big amount. For instance, keeping aside even Rs 1,000—rather than Rs 5,000—can help you get started with saving.
It’s also not advisable to delay savings till you draw a bigger pay check, because expenses increase as we draw bigger salaries. A simple insurance and investment plan is the perfect way to start. For instance, HDFC’s Life Click2Invest ULIP plan offers market-linked returns, and allows you to invest in a choice of eight funds with flexible premium options.
Excuse 2 - I am not good with numbers
It is very likely that if math and numbers scare you, figuring out investments might as well. But you don’t have to be good at math to be able to save. It is certainly ideal to start saving and then spending, but you can begin by being organised and budgeting well. Assign an amount to everything you spend on, which also includes the amount you keep aside as your savings. In fact, there are several apps for budget planning and tracking. One needs to have a basic financial plan in place, which helps with the tax planning, too. You can explore different investment tools like life insurance, mutual funds, PFF, etc. If these sound like jargon, consult a financial adviser or explore different online investing platforms.
Excuse 3 - I am in too much debt to save money
Student debt, a house loan, credit card debt can all cause a dent in your pocket and expenses. People think if they have debt, they should clear those before they start saving. But you don’t have to wait to clear the debt. In fact, building long-term assets is your protection against accruing future debt. Investing will also help you break the debt cycle. Experts say that if you don’t start saving and building an investment portfolio now, you will be stuck in the debt cycle.
Especially in the case of student loans, which have a lower interest rate, it makes sense to have an emergency fund and save for unexpected expenses. It will stop you from borrowing more and getting stuck in the debt cycle.
Excuse 4 - I am too young to think about saving
Young people are not inclined towards retirement savings or financial investments as they don’t see it as a priority. While in reality, young people are in a great position to start. Whatever they save now will accrue interest over time and thanks to compounding they will be in a very secure position later in life.
While initially having a big chunk of money saved up for a rainy day might be difficult on a small salary, having a life and health cover is a simple solution. And with age on your side, you can get a life cover of Rs 1 crore at as low as Rs 17 per day with HDFC Life Click2Protect 3D Plusplan.
Excuse 5 - I want to live in the moment
Having the latest gadgets, travelling the world, and just living for the moment are mantras most millennials live by. While living spontaneously is thrilling, it is not good for your future finances. We have a solution here: Learn to save for spontaneity. While that might sound like an oxymoron, it really works. Put aside money for spontaneous spending; it will help you protect your savings from impulsive splurges.
It is never too early, or too late to invest. Even right now is a good time to start; the key is to find the right plan for you.
(This content was created by HT Brand Studio and not the editorial team)