I started my career in my home town, immediately after my Graduation. I did B.A in St. Agnes College, Mangalore. I had failed my 2nd year in Economics. Yet managed to get a job as a customer service rep at a well-established color lab.
Worked there for a while, then moved to ICICI Bank as a sales executive. This is all about 2004 – 2006. The salary was not more than INR 8k.
Thereafter applied for an international job offer, from our local newspaper. The interview was in Bangalore. Somehow got lucky and managed to get a job. Was lucky and blessed enough to get a job, with ZERO expenses. And the job was in UAE – Dubai. And life changed forever.
If I look back and see my life, I will believe in one of the famous dialogue – Famous dialogue ‘Risk hai toh Ishq hai’ from Scam 1992. Every risk I took, led to my dream life, the life that I am living.
I have earned a lot all this while, equally spent as well, and also lost quite a lot of money. Have attempted a lot of easy money schemes, like buying lottery, those millionaire tickets, invested in fake stock markets, some fake property investments, and a lot more.
Why is it important to be financially independent?
- Early retirement
- No worries if redundant at work
- Better choices ahead
- Can take some free time for yourself, if needed.
- You can be confident to take decisions.
How can you be financially independent?
- Have a stable full-time job.
Initial stages are really challenging, yet powerful ones coz you are young, you can look for any jobs, update your resumes the way you like. Manage time, use your energy. But it’s important to have a stable job that gives you a stable income. Stable job, stable income, and some good experience are a must.
- Pay the credit card debts
I have spent half my life, living on credit cards. Good or bad, I won’t comment on it, but they have been my living source. There were times, I used to have 4 – 5 credit cards, I used to pay off only the minimum amount. It was a necessity. Salaries were not great, commitments were more, managing a basic lifestyle. But over time, learned to keep a track of expenses and noticed, we are paying half the bank employees’ salaries through our credit cards. Many times, ended up fighting with banks, which was of no use. The goal was to close all the cards and start using only cash. Worked until we did it.
- Adapt to use cash
Simply adapt using cash can boost your chance of becoming financially free. It is so far still the most powerful model to plan the budget. This is challenging in many ways. Like for me, if don’t buy things if I have to pay in cash, coz it hurts, pinches me literally. I think more times prior to buying. So, I think this should be started to have a better financial lifestyle.
- Have another source of income.
If not a side hustle, then surely, I will consider more than one income in terms of spouse if you are married. Work with the finances in a way, where you can combine both of your finances, work towards financial freedom. Track both of your expenses, make notes, which are recurring and which you feel are unnecessary. See where you can save. (at least for those initial days).
- Invest yourself
My first investment was gold. I still feel proud of the choice I made, I got this after few months of living in Dubai. 2 diamond rings, one bracelet, and 1 chain. Then gold was not so expensive as today (2021) yet it was difficult for me.
The second investment was referred to me by my friend, to do a money-back policy. Just by investing AED 500 per month. It was a lot but did manage for 8 yrs. The best part of this policy was I was getting some bonus every 3 yrs or so. And at the end got a lump sum.
Thereafter have invested in flats, properties, more gold, additional policies, etc. well some were very beneficial, while some were troublesome. Overall, I will take it all as a lesson for life.
Finally, I would sum up by saying, Life is challenging. Nothing comes easy. You have to sacrifice a lot to achieve something. Luck is not only winning a lottery, but for me luck is surely being Financially Independent or finding the right partner for life, having that beautiful home with all the basics that can bring a smile to my face, that makes me want to be with them throughout and never get bored.
My tips and suggestions for all young people would be:
- Start saving at an early age, even little from whatever you are earning. It can help on those rainy days, to fill small potholes if not the big tunnels.
- Don’t spend lots on buying luxuries, big branded cars, or those expensive mansions, unless you can afford them without any financial crunches.
- Plan, Plan, and Plan – maintain expenses sheets that show your expenses from the last 6 months to the next 6 months or 1 year, so you get an idea of how you have been spending or saving so you get an idea.
- Most important – stick to your job till you have a stable backup, financial and moral.
- Don’t invest in a business in your initial days, especially right after college. You need to get real expertise and knowledge.
- Remember there is no shortcut for financial Independence, coz money doesn’t stay unless you use it wisely.
- Lastly, don’t give up if something doesn’t work, always have a plan B.
Live life to the fullest, so you are really lucky coz you are alive, and being Financially Independent can help you do that.