First Salary

The Joy & A New Beginning

So its been a month and you receive your first pay-check!!! If you are like me, brought up on an overdose of Bollywood Dramas, the first thought would be to buy gifts for everyone and give the rest of salary to your parents!!! I had similar thoughts and it is a wonderful emotion. However, I did it a little differently.
Opened my savings account
My first salary was a stipend during my graduation days. 
The money was small but it was enough to open a 
Bank Account. I wasn't aware of the zero balance 
accounts nor I believe I qualified at that time. Yes, 
my father didn't have the moment of first salary. 
Actually I did gave the cash to him and took back 
later!!!. But he was very proud to see me making 
financial decisions 
from Day One.
The learnings I have acquired over nearly one and a half decades of earning money are summarised below. These are based on my experience and framed by my circumstances. These may not suit you and you may not feel this is the right approach. That’s perfectly fine.
  • Save a minimum percentage of salary every month.
  • Share your good fortune as a percentage of salary every month.
  • Make good with the spending levels after the first two deductions.
  • Play long term game.
  • Invest in yourself – good outfits, makeup, but more importantly good learning. Don’t stop learning, ever!!!
Saving Regularly The one good financial discipline is save a minimum % of your salary every month. I kept it at 10% – it can be decided basis individual requirements. Share and Care When you look around, you see such depravation and the least you can do is share your fortune and lessen someone’s pain. While I have tried and shared it with a few NGOs, I am not confident of the money actually going to the purpose meant after deduction of official expenses. This is one area where I still struggle. Spend after deductions Over the years, I have considered my take home to be net-off savings and sharing money. This helps one to adjust to the expense level. This is one small habit which keeps one financially independent at all times. Play the long-term game One mistake I made in the initial seven years of earning was investing all in liquid assets (FD or equivalent). Now this depends on individual requirement. However, invest at-least a small portion with long-term view and not to be taken out for another 5-8 years. The compounding impact and the habit will give generous results even with small amounts. Invest in yourself I read about a DD news presenter who always made sure that she is presenting her best face to work. She believed that part of her success came from her investment in herself. The dose of confidence when we are looking professionally smart is hard to quantify. But if we look around in any workplace, we find these ninjas well-dressed, well-groomed and ready with their work. These are a rare breed and are almost always ahead of competition. Another investment in yourself relates to learning. We are living in golden age of learning and have innumerable resources at our beck and call. Make sure that every day at-least some time, even as little as 10 minutes, go towards learning. One of the top-layer women in our company shared she devotes half a day a week to learn about new developments and reads up research papers related to her work. This does not come under the “Job Description” for this person but I believe a part of her spectacular success is due to her commitment to learning.

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