The joy of landing your first job is unexplainable. The essence of freedom and the feeling that you get to do what you want, get what you’ve longed for cannot be substituted with anything else. However, you must understand that the list of expenses will also run longer than before when you start earning. Thus, it is of utmost importance that you try to strike a balance between your income and expense from early days itself. And apart from income and expense, there is one more element that is a mandatory focus point – savings.
A new phone, a solo trip, catching up with friends at an expensive café – you’re in a do-it-all mode when you are an early jobber. You might get a job in a different city, so you leave the comfort of home, move to a new place, rent an apartment, set it up, and kick-start a new chapter.
Commuting to work, eating out, your daily dosage of entertainment and self-care – everything consumes your hard-earned money. In this hectic and fast-paced lifestyle, we often go for this that make our lives comfortable. But, even these rather convenient expenses can dent our finances if we get carried away. The very first question that walks through the door at this point is this: how do you strike a perfect financial balance without losing out on the conveniences?
Pilot episodes vs. Steering towards your financial goals
Who doesn’t like binging on TV shows? With so many streaming services available in the market today, it is difficult to pick one. On top of that, the fantastic exclusive content that the streaming partners offer is also alluring. So, you end up subscribing to multiple services and pay a bomb every month to keep them running. But are you being able to watch all the fun content on every single platform? With too many choices comes great indecision. Also, remember that you’re not just paying for the streaming services. You need to buy a device to watch stream it and you have to pay for the internet. On top of all these, if you are paying for cable connection as well, just imagine how much your expenses are shooting up.
An ideal solution to this could be choosing the streaming service that hosts more shows satiating your taste. Also, these platforms have a substantial amount of common content. Why do you want the same thing twice (or thrice, for that matter)? You may also go for the streaming services that offer free content. Coming to a solution for exclusive content – get a tag team partner in the ring with you. Each of you picks a different platform and then share. Voila! Save money without losing out on anything. Good enough now?
Book a cab vs. Book a cab only when there’s no other alternative
This is just one of the things you’d do on a weekend. Catching up with friends is another thing you want to do. Remember that café you always wanted to go to with your buds? As an option to commute is to book a cab. Easy-peasy! Now let’s say you travel by cabs throughout the week to go to work and now you do it on the weekends too. That’s quite an expense, don’t you think? Look for metros and public transport options whenever you can and reserve the cab rides only when necessary. Also, consider pooling or going for cheaper alternatives when going for ride-sharing.
At the end of the month, when you’ll have that little extra in your account that push for savings (or investments), it will feel good for sure.
Call of Duty vs. Call of Responsibility
You’ve met your friends now, had a fun evening, and two of them decide to stay back at yours. Time to start that online team game at home and beat other squads! Some of these games have expensive in-app purchases associated with them. If you think you can’t do without a specific upgrade, earn experience points/coins to get the upgrade instead of burning real money through microtransactions.
Also, think twice before you shell out on a visual or cosmetic change for your character by giving in to the temptation of in-app purchases.
Also, there are so many games that don’t have such hefty microtransactions involved. So many games, such high prices. Pick the ones you really want instead of pulling the entire shelf down on yourself. Remember that if you build a squad and play online, you can do the same when you’re buying the game titles.
Share the cost between your friends, pick up different single-player campaign titles and exchange, and sell your old games to fuel your new purchases. Let the same money that you have already spent circulate and continue to support your entertainment choices!
Order Now vs. Cook Now
After all this enjoying with your friends, it is time to order some good food. Sounds like a plan.
But wait! You will be ordering tomorrow’s breakfast as well? Lunch too? Just because it is convenient to open an app and place an order, it might not be a great idea to order out all the time. It is not a good idea – for your health or your pocket. Cooking can also be fun; may it be alone or with friends. You spend a little time and you get so much out of it. You learn something new, you eat healthy food, and before you know it, you saved quite a bit.
Even if you spend Rs.200 on your lunch, in a month you’ll end up spending approximately Rs.6,000. That’s just one meal we’re talking about. Now no one’s suggesting that you should just keep saving and not do what you like. Go easy and reduce the number of times you order out. The numbers that you save in your account will leave a smile on your face at the end of the month.
Our lives have changed drastically in the last decade or so, and things are more convenient than ever before. However, they also involve money. And these small expenses can easily snowball into sums big enough to jeopardise your financial future if we don’t keep a tab.
So, the key is to manage these expenses intelligently, so that you’re left with sufficient funds to save and invest to meet your financial goals. More importantly, learning how to cut wasteful spends will instil discipline which is the foundation of every successful financial strategy.
The author is a Content Team Lead with BankBazaar