After I finished my post-graduation in English from a prestigious university, I slugged it out at home for almost six months before I landed my first job. I had no intentions of working within my small town, I had my eyes set on the big city. Four months before my 22nd birthday, I was offered a business writer position in the corporate communications department of an engineering and construction multinational. I was thrilled.
The glamour combined with freedom once again from the sheltered life at home was such a lure. But amid all my preparations, my father sat me down one day and gave me a bleak picture about frugal spending otherwise saying hello to the streets. I could see my big city dreams melt away on the horizon already. About 4 months into the job, I heard the radio version of My Father’s Bleak Lecture at the fag end of each month when my salary was deposited. He would huddle me into transferring half of it in another account to which I had no access – no ATM or Debit card, no cheque book. If I delayed it, or it took longer than usual, I wouldn’t hear the end of it.
TO MY FATHER, SAVING WAS ALL ABOUT BEING PREPARED FOR THE RAINY DAY.
In the sea-port financial capital, when it rained, it poured. Literally. So I was stumped, unsurprisingly, when the first rains turned up. I had my windcheater, a sturdy umbrella, cute wellies to accompany whenever I was out. But it wouldn’t rain a drop and I would just be slugging stuff around, sweaty. I got home drenched on the one day I decided to let them be. That evening on my way back from work, I learned an important lesson. That, the rainy day was a myth. It wouldn’t wait for me to be prepared, and I had no way to predict it.
I couldn’t lug around the dead weight of the unfounded fear in the meantime. So I let go of the wellies, kept the umbrella, and took the bus to keep dry on my commutes.
I planned weekend jaunts to the museum, visited my aunt who lived at the other end of the city, dined out with my girl friends, and even went out for movies on a lark. Sure, a drizzle here and there would touch me now and then, but it never dampened my spirits. I waded through that monsoon with ease and poise.
Financial goals are a lot like that. You must set and chase them irrespective of rain or shine. At my last workplace, a colleague called Radhika Mehra, a 34-year old divorcee mother of two teenagers made a sage statement that reinforced my belief – if you only save for rainy days, rainy days is all you’ll attract!
MY LIFE PHILOSOPHY CHANGED THAT DAY.
Don’t put off that post grad. Don’t let go of your dream wedding or that Europe trip. If a car is what you need then work towards that investment specifically without losing sight of your goal. It’s been two years since, and the dream I cherished of starting my own business is a reality today. I kept it nicely wrapped for four years, until I realised that it lay frozen in time. My chase began a few months ago, and with a little bit of planning and determination, I’ve found my funding, my clients and of course, a shelter from those rainy days!
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