So you turned 23 and received your paycheck. You could save the money, but who cares? Instead, you can meet up with your friends, get your hair coloured, buy a blazer from a famous designer brand, eat at amazing places, party hard, and basically blow it all up. We feel that saving at that age would mean missing out. It is not necessarily so. You can enjoy your money and be careful with it too.
So it’s time to foster some good financial habits. Here are the 5 most important things The Vedica Scholars Programme for Women believes you should have under your wing!
- CREATE A BUDGET
Whatever you plan, you must ensure that your expenses are lower than your income which helps make space for savings. The only way to keep your finances on track is to create a monthly budget, you can do this by listing down all your necessary expenses. It is understandable that in your 20’s balancing finances and social life is challenging, there are many aspirations such as buying a nice car, and doing all the things you like but just acknowledging your financial situation and living within an outlined budget can eventually help you achieve all your goals.
- BUILD AN EMERGENCY FUND
Building an emergency fund is a key factor for financial stability. You never know when you could fall ill, have an accident or lose your job. Keeping at least 3 months of your expenses in a savings account or liquid funds is important. By doing this you can access funds on short notice as and when an emergency arises.
- GET INSURED
Premiums are not as expensive when you buy a health plan early. You need to get life insurance if you have dependents like your parents. Getting insurance that is more than 5-8 times your annual income would be the preferred path to take. Risk management is an essential financial goal and every woman in her 20’s should opt for it. Personal development courses often stress on these pointers in particular.
- SAVE FOR LONG TERM GOALS
In your 20’s you may think that it is not important to save just yet. It’s something people start in their 30’s. Wrong! It is better to start saving in some form. The idea is to start putting away 10% of your monthly salary. One way you go about it is by investing in a Public Provident Fund (PPF) account and starting making deposits in it. It is equally beneficial to invest in Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS) funds. PPF has a lock-up period of 15 years, ELSS has a lock-up period of 3 years only. Both these funds are eligible for deduction under Section 80C of the IT Act. Once you’ve saved the tax, you can invest the surplus in Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs)of equity mutual funds. If you put your money in these funds, over a long-term period they have the potential to give high returns.
- INVEST IN SKILLS
You’re done with college, but you must remember to keep investing in yourself. Whether it is a certificate in leadership and management, a postgraduate certificate in management for women, diploma course for women, liberal arts MBA courses, a music lesson, a graphic design course, photography or an alternative MBA programme for women, continuing to upgrade your soft skills would help you fit better in the industry, making you an all-rounder with a better eligibility for jobs. Always think with the perspective of making a career, because let’s face it, you’re probably not going to like your first job and it’s not your last job. Remember that every job even if it’s mediocre teaches you something and moves you closer to the industry you would like to be in or fit in better. By upgrading your skills periodically you can land the dream job that you envision yourself in. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to experiment, take risks and a leap of faith. This will help you gain better financial stability as well.
- START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT
Now, this might sound far-fetched to people in their 20’s but it is important for personal growth and often overlooked. The sooner you start saving, the better. Because of the magic of compounding, time will fatten up your retirement kitty. For example, if a 28-year-old saves just INR 7,585 per month, assuming an 8% return and quarterly compounding, she’ll have INR 2,62,47,957 by the time she turns 65.
If you follow these simple tips and rules, it is a sure-shot way to build a solid foundation for your future and will help reduce financial stress in the long run. The Vedica Scholars programme for Women equips its students with these skills at an early stage. Vedica Scholar placements also ensure that women get well-paid careers in corporates that can help them for future financial planning. With so many courses for women, the best alternative MBA programme for women can be found at The Vedica Scholars Programme.