10 June 2017

My Own Money

I get confused between the five zeroes in a lakh and the six zeroes in a crore. I still don’t know how many crores make a million. I am dependent on a calculator even to check how much I have to pay the iron-man if I give him 16 clothes to iron and each costs Rs 6. My knowledge of maths is pathetic. I failed twice in class four in maths and the fact that I have still not forgotten it shows how deep the humiliation was for me, an otherwise academically good student. Addition and subtraction is fine but even that, if it goes beyond four digits, I quickly pick up my calculator. I am a double post-graduate.

My mother never went to school. She could count a couple of lakhs, in her head, in a matter of minutes. I did not get her financial acumen or her flair for numbers but I did inherit from her a taste for and an understanding of what money could do. I turned out to be fairly good with money, or rather, at least did not mismanage it.

I remember I once said to a colleague that I am someone who can live on Rs 2000 or Rs 20,000 which only meant to say I know to use it well. For example: if I earned Rs 10,000 every month, 5000 would be set aside for utilities, 1000 as God’s money, 2000 for savings and 2000 to blow it up. Multiply that income with multiples of 100 or 1000 but the base formula would remain the same. Now that I have time on my hands to pause and look back at my life, (I am a freelancer), I realized that whether my salary was 3000 or 30,000, my saving and spending pattern has remained almost the same – the naive but safe magic formula.

Greed has never been the driving factor for me when it to came to money. But what it could do was always a motivator. For instance, I wanted to experience the high of buying my first vehicle with my own money. “My own money” had such a powerful ring to it and I always fantasized about it constantly throughout my growing up years. I couldn’t wait to get a job and buy things with “my own money.” I opened my first LIC policy in the same year that I started working as a Lecturer for a small salary of Rs 3000/- in the year 2000! I bought a TVS Scooty in 2003 just three years after I started working. My second car, a Maruti 800, purchased with my money, in 2006. All the mobile handsets, nearly 7 in over a decade, all with my money!

None of these are there anymore except the most recent mobile handset. The policy matured last year. The Scooty and the 800 were sold off a few years after the purchase. But what still stays with me is that high of ownership I felt then. It was a sign of achievement, a sign of progress, of having made a ‘considered choice’ to spend my money in a way I wanted. It is sad many women, for whatever reasons, their own choice or family pressure, remain deprived of this great joy. It is this that is called power and this that drives men to strive harder and endlessly at their careers.

I truly believe that money, well earned and thoughtfully spent, injects you with a great deal of confidence. And God willing, I will continue to enjoy such simple joys of life!

18 comments:

  1. My best wishes for you to continue enjoying simple joys of life :)

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  2. I am impressed. You are a role model for young people entering the job market. Even for people who are already employed.

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    1. No idea about that :) but thanks

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    2. 10 Lakh is one million. 10 Million is one crore.

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    3. Oh I always thought crore was greater than million hahaha

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  3. yes it is the simple pleasures of life that matter more.

    by the way a crore has seven zeros :D

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  4. OH yes it does.. buying something with your own hard earned money.. I remember when last year I bought myself a big car after working for over a decade.

    all the best always.. :)

    Bikram's

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    1. isn't it! congratulations on your car...that's a nice achievement :)

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  5. I totally agree with your article on one working and earning their own money. It gives you power and eventually teaches you to make better money spending decisions. Not for all but definitely for most. Especially for a woman.

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  6. It is the thrill of enjoying small pleasures that makes all the difference:)

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  7. You have summed up admirably in the last para the motivation for earning and spending your own money. I agree with you.

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  8. I totally agree, with god,s grace I have got many things but I still miss working and earning, may be in next life.

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    1. hmmm....there is something nice about working...i sometimes miss working full time

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