Friday, 2 December 2011

Money Awakenings...

For as far as I can see into my past, I've never had excess in wealth. Don't get me wrong, my parents are very well to do. My father prides himself in being a self made man. He and his brothers donated their share of the huge ancestral property to their elder sister-in-law , who was widowed early in life. I do believe in hard work and karma, I also believe a lot in the luck factor. I believe with our diligence and steady work we nudge destiny and remind her to give us our due.

In school I never had too much pocket money like most of friends did. I just wanted to start earning as soon as I could so I would have money to splurge. After my first marriage, it was a fine balancing act with the finances. I learnt a great deal about handling money then. Lack of money did not bother me then. After I walked out, I took up a job, yet my house had no furniture, not even a bed. I had a few clothes, one thin mattress that was about it. I never invited anyone up to my room I was so embarrassed. I saw extreme days in those years. Yet again lack of money or luxury never bothered me. I knew I just have to stay positive, stay happy, keep trying and my luck would change for sure. Now in my second marriage we are starting from scratch. Yet again that plush bank account, the spontaneous splurging is not there. Most family members of mine do not understand this.

I am not a careless spender. I plan, I save, i try to live within my means without excluding fun. I rent movies or borrow them when we can't go to the multiplexes. I go for drives with my friends instead of pubbing. I cook mostly at home....then one day , one of the bleakest days of my life, I happened to stumble upon Oprah. This episode gave me what I'd been searching for. It defined " Making it" for me in no uncertain terms. There was this big financial expert on her show dressing down a young woman who was addicted to giving birth.Her three broad stokes helped me understand how to go forward financially.

You see I look at my parents, they live proudly, they have never asked anyone for a dime. They own their house, cars, have servants, enough money every year to travel abroad to visit my siblings . It was not a double income household. My brother is doing well and so is my sister's family. I looked at my life and wondered if my old age will be like the parents of some people I know. these parents never saved, never planned, never thought of the fact that they would grow old. They never understood they would be redundant one day. Today they live off their children. I never want to do that to my son. I want to live like my parents, thier head held high, always with thier dignity intact. Oh they love presents, who doesn't but they give more than they recieve.

That lady on Oprah did not tell how to plan for the future, but she explained how to set things right in the present.
1. The first step, she said, you must clear out all your debts, including credit cards and not let it go up for more than a few months. This made so much sense, I realized I pay so much every month on my credit cards, Say, If I pay five thousand, from the sum total only one thousand gets deducted. my four thousand is gone with the wind in the name of taxes, charges of various kinds.
2. The second step, She said, and this woke me up... you must have money in your savings account that can carry you, effortlessly for 8 months or more. 8 months !! I maximum thought 2 months was good enough
3. The third step, She said a part of your earnings every month should be going into your future, children's education fund, pension plan, medical emergency fund and the like....

I know it sounds good on paper. I know I'm still on step one. I know I have shared her my take away from what she said. yet she gave me a game plan. She showed me, how I could turn my life around slowly , making 5 degree of change every month to get me a safe future, who knows with this strategy i might yet get the life of my parents.

I wrote this blog today because though money might be one of the things in life and maybe there are more important things in life. That each person decides for themselves, I realized I'm not the only one struggling these days to make ends meet. Most of us do not have huge or small inheritances to fall back on. We need to cater to a lot more responsibilities than the previous generations. The school fees are exorbitant now a days. Grocery shopping is a nightmare with prices going up practically every week. Most friends I talk to these days are worried sick about money, and it seems to drive them like a crazy slave driver. There are a lot of metaphysical methods too to help enhance prosperity but to back them up we need an action plan. I shared this simple one that made a lot of sense to me...

I have never obsessed about money. My metaphysical approaches ensure work comes to me and money is always there. Yet i know the universe takes you more seriously when you act towards your desires. Spiritual Conquests may be enhanced or reduced in different people as per their financial conditions. Few turn to God or the laws of the universe in despair, some turn away from them thinking my hands are my God. Whatever the take, money does make life easier . Maybe in school there should be a subject along with language and science about understanding loans, credit cards, savings and inflation. I have seen some of my happiest days when i was broke, yet I know had I not the belief things would get better, they wouldn't have been so happy either.


  1. TRUE .... Happiness and Money does not go hand in hand ... that's the reason why they are two extremely different words ... It is refreshing to see the writer does not wallow in the misery due to the lack of money but found a way out to understand the real necessities ... the part where money management should be taught in schools is a very potent suggestion ... though this passage is very different from other posts ... Nevertheless it shows that she has gone through all the different shades with equal grace ... :)

  2. Honestly written. Enjoyed this one, N.