God of good beginnings
What is the most quirky avatar of Ganpati you have seen? The seemingly unwieldy form seems to be every creative person’s dream. Auto spare parts to clay to modaks. Ganpati idols can be made of anything the maker imagines. From the dashboard of every car to artefacts in homes and offices, why is Ganesha everywhere? Maybe because we all love good beginnings.
He is the remover of obstacles and is worshipped before any new start. We could all use a little help in whatever we do, to make our path easy. We plan for new starts because we want tomorrow to be better than yesterday. New beginnings need not only be in grand gestures but with good intent and small steps too. All intent only becomes real when you start with action. And it holds true for investing as well. Whatever you earn and wherever you think you are in your career, make that start. #startsaving #startinvesting.
Wait, what? How did we go from Ganpati to saving? Well, because like this favourite God, saving is for everyone too.
For starters, saving has nothing to do with the actual amount of your income, it is a habit. My annoying older cousin once told me (we all have one don’t we?) “if you can’t save with a 5,000 rupees salary, you will not be able to save even when you earn 5 lakh rupees a month.” I must have shrugged off this advice, but turns out it is true.
What does this actually mean when we have the income in our accounts? It means we prioritise and plan our lives. We look at what are our essential needs, expenses and luxuries. We plan for a time that we may want to take a break, plan for a new phase in life, without the lack of money dragging you down.
To do all of which you must invest your savings wisely. And that means first of all that you must have savings to invest. But this is not news to you, this is an established fact. Our extreme saving style is a running joke for stand up comedians. But what are some ways that you can make saving money a regular habit, a default setting in your lifestyle? Some things that would help are;
- Have a money management system in place. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are a lot of systems with which you can look to divide and segregate your income into necessities, savings, emergencies every month. One such is the famous money jar system by Harv Eker.
- Digital expense manager. You never know how much you are spending if you can’t see it in black and white. Choose one among the many apps that will account for all your expenses for you and show what you spend on in convenient categories.
- Delayed gratification Sleek gadgets, amazing clothes, low-cost flights to holidays all available in easy instalments on credit cards that banks are waiting to give you. We are in consumer heaven it seems. Clearly, you set your own goals to enjoying the good things in life but one method that is helpful is to delay the purchase of luxury items. Studies show that you may feel differently if the purchase is reconsidered after a period of time such as a month.
- Have investment goals What are you saving for? How much money do you need for it? How long will it take for you to gather that figure? These are questions that will help you choose the right kind of investments. After all, you can’t reach a destination if you don’t know where you are going.
- Lock on your investments and work towards goals Now that you know your goals, have methods to ensure regular payments into your investments. This way you are not tempted to take away for some other immediate spending.
Back to where we started, Ganpati is also the God for wisdom and knowledge. Armed with all this information and perspective, it seems a good day to start on your investing journey by starting to save!
“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving.” Warren Buffett