Start early to manage your finances well.

Begin managing your money as early as in your 20s

I haven’t met many 20-somethings who are financially stable. Which is why when I do meet one, I ask them questions about how they managed to do it, without any sort of shame. Each and every person has a unique thing they swear by (from only eating ghar ka khaana to carpooling to work everyday) but a lot of the other things they do are common amongst all of them. Here’s what I’ve learnt.

1. Don’t say no to a PF account

It’s essentially a savings plan for your future – it doesn’t matter if you understand the logistics of it or not. It might seem like a waste when you’ve just started working but not opting for one is like saying no to free money. So don’t!

2. Buying in bulk can be a blessing

When you start paying rent, it might feel like you have barely any money left to survive. Buying in bulk might seem like a far off dream. It’s not if you set aside 1/4th (or another appropriate fraction) of your rent for basic essentials. I’m not talking about food – this is for toilet paper, dishwashing liquid, kitchen masalas, etc. There is always something to be bought and if you keep allocated money for it, you won’t end up being blinded by these expenses.

3. Second hand is a good plan

You’re in your 20s. Nobody expects you to have the latest microwave or juicer. Try websites like Olx before any major expense. Nobody else even has to know the difference.

4. Everyone needs a rainy day fund

You can’t count on your salary always hitting your account on time. So what happens when it doesn’t? Every single person needs to have a separate account of money from their primary-use account to store money that is only withdrawn when there is an emergency. And guess what? Adults do have emergencies. It’s part of life.

5. Budgeting doesn’t lead to a boring life

Living on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have a social life. It just means you need to be more organised. Instead of Saturday night plans, make after-work ladies night plans. Instead of spontaneous trips, book your tickets for next June during the next good air fare sale. Planning ahead doesn’t cost an extra dime – it actually saves you many!

6. Stop borrowing money – today!

Friends, family – I’m sure there is someone in your life you turn to when things get tough, money-wise. Stop doing that. You need to remove that safety net to be able to build one of your own. They will still be there for you if you need them – but they will be prouder of you for this.