This is a guest post from Social Media Enthusiast Pratibha Pal, founder of SocialMediaWired.com and Eco Mommy Blogger.

Money lessons are never easy! Truth be told, I was never good at managing money. Not that I am the best at it now, but I make a conscious effort to make money work for me. When I started earning, the concept of saving was not alien to me, but priorities were different. I’m talking about two decades ago. I had stepped into my 20’s and getting my own money was kind of a thrill because I was no longer dependent on pocket money!

Years went by, I got married and a few years later took a break to welcome my twin boys. It’s going to be a decade of letting go of the corporate world in February 2019. Yes, there were savings, but the sheer thought of losing that financial independence was scary. Luckily I was one of those who couldn’t sit idle.

How I made the conscious effort to start saving more

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Not wanting to sit idle, I started blogging. I am one of the bloggers in India who writes completely on green living since I want a chemical-free life for my boys, and myself too. You can view my blog here.

Working with social media was an extension of my writing. It was intriguing and interesting and before I realized it, I was working with many entrepreneurs from across the global sitting at my home in India.

A chance meeting with Debbie Sassen helped me enter the world of finance. When I realized she’s a Financial Planner, I was actually hoping that she wouldn’t see through my money follies and roll her eyes in dismay! That was two years ago. Luckily for me in these two years, I have managed to understand money a lot better by interacting with her when we work out strategy plans for her social media.

While I do choose different ways to save money, I have begun saving money more consciously since knowing Debbie. Whether it is to battle the inflations, save for a rainy day, have a backup fund, a retirement fund, a college fund for the boys or just a holiday fund, I have plenty of reasons to save money.

You know, at the end of the day, if I can do it, so can you. It’s a habit that you cultivate. It requires setting aside money to secure your future. Let me share with you 5 ways you can save money.

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5 ways you can save money

I am sure that each one of us has a different way of saving money. And the types of savings also differ in every country. In India, we have a lot of Government-backed schemes that are considered to be safe. Despite investing in them, I also prefer to choose certain tried and tested ways that can help me make my money grow better.

Contingency Funds

We all need to save money for the unexpected right? This fund is what I keep at home. Let’s say I withdraw a certain amount of cash every month and keep it in a safe at my home. This is basically to have handy cash at my disposal at any point in time rather than running to the bank in case of an emergency. At the end of the year, I deposit half of the saved amount back into my account so I am left with 50% of what I had saved. It’s a circle. I get to deposit a good chunk of money as the years pass by. And what is deposited in the bank grows with the interest I earn.

SIP (Systematic Investment Planning)

Systematic Investment Planning is when we choose to invest in certain types of mutual funds. These invariably give us high returns for the money we have invested. I am not a pro at stocks and shares. I do not feel comfortable with them (I have to hang around Debbie a little longer it seems). Instead, we choose safe mutual funds that yield good returns without us having to fear that our money will be lost.

Recurring and Fixed Deposits

ways you can save money

This is what I do with the money we have saved for our boys. In India, our banks offer something called a Recurring Deposit. Similar to an SIP, an amount is withdrawn from the boys’ college savings account and deposited at a high-interest rate for a pre-determined, fixed period of time. At the end of the fixed period, the money gets deposited back into the savings account. For example, if I chose to set aside 100$ every month for 18 months, I would get back 1800$ + interest. When the amount crosses 1500$ I move it into a Fixed Deposit for a year. A Fixed Deposit isn’t easy to withdraw so I know that the money is just stashed away for my boys, for their future.

 

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Health Insurance

Even though we have a health insurance plan sponsored by my husband’s employer, we still choose to have our own health insurance as a back-up. We prefer family insurance over individual insurance. We pay a certain amount of money once a year to keep the insurance active. Health insurance is a huge investment for us, emotionally as well; because we know that we have the money we may need in case of an emergency.

Related article: Why Do You Need Insurance?

 

Retirement Planning

Let’s admit it. We aren’t getting younger. Till you are able to, it is good to have money growing in retirement funds. While you are young and earning enough, set aside a comfortable chunk of money for your retirement. You will need it to ensure you are maintaining the same lifestyle as you do today when you choose to retire.

Related article: Eat What You Kill + a better way to plan retirement

 

I am sure that as you read this there are ideas on more ways you can save money running through your mind. Whatever you choose or whatever makes you feel comfortable, ensure that you make it a habit.  

 

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