The ability to do anything is like building muscle in a gym. Or like building stamina. It happens little by little. Even the ability to stop spending money on things that you do not really need is like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. After a while, you realize that many things which you ‘thought’ you needed are things that you can live without. So suddenly you are living on a smaller fraction of your income. That is the starting point of your journey! The loans reduce, the SIP increases, the PPF account looks healthy. All this comes from NOT SPENDING 15%, 26%, even 50% of your income.
If you are a doctor and can stay up all night for days on end making life-saving decisions, if you are an actor with 4 hour gym workouts, if you are a cricketer who hits the gym daily – investing is a child’s play!
You cannot stay away from a mall? You cannot travel in public transport? You cannot…..Really? Say it out loud. Or change your language. Say “my dispensary buying is not my priority, this Rs. 2000 Tee shirt is” or “my clinic is not my priority…this Rs. 200,000 Motorcycle is”. Seriously say it in front of your mirror or in front of your girl friend or mom or dad….
How does it sound? Like you’re a financial idiot, an innumerate, a lousy doctor who’s going to be poor their whole life? Good. We are on the same page.
Once you have The W Factor, the knowledge will be easy to seek and get. Once the time comes, the teacher seeks you. You will suddenly start seeing websites like Subramoney for investing. You will see the virtues of simple living. For instance, it takes some motivation to EVEN read a financial book. I have loaned books to many people, and have found a fascinating reaction. Some can finish it in a day and some can return it saying “you may want to give it to others” without reading it. If you can’t come up with enough motivation to get rich to read a book! Many such people live from one salary to another! However, if you can spend some time on the internet, read a few financial books, or even meet with advisers, the effort will be worth it. Sorry for the plug in but buying “You Can be Rich too – Goal based Investing” is surely worth far more than the Rs. 399, the printed price!
Are you not tired of running out of money?
Or worse of your chek bouncing. Yes, I know you make Rs. 13, 50,000 a year. But most times you’re still broke. Or maybe even worse. You see, for most docs (or working professionals too), it takes a certain amount of savings and discipline to go broke! Until you decide you hate being broke, or ask your parents for money, or take a temporary loan, really hate it, loathe it deep down inside, you may not make that change. Nobody enjoys being broke, but it’s easy to see who really hates it.
What Is your top most priority?
Spend a few minutes about what is your topmost priority in life. This is also called Goal Setting. Do you want that athletic build or having a pot belly is fine? When that plate of sweets is passed before you, REMEMBER your priority. Put your energy behind your goals.
Maybe it is to live in a big house. Maybe it is to help your kids get through school, paying for it. I have no idea. It is different for each of us. Whatever it is you want most, use that to motivate you to get there. Is it a SMART GOAL? What sacrifice will it take to get there? If not, how much modification is needed? Make the plan as detailed as possible, then start taking the steps toward it. One step at a time. Do not worry about failure. Start a small SIP for X amount. At the end of the year if only 9 instalments were paid instead of 12, do not despair. It is better than none. You will move to 12 in a couple of years. That is not bad, right? Or you may have paid off some part of the student loan. Maybe now you have NIL credit card debt. Maybe it is delaying your vacation from year 1 to year 2. Celebrate small victories.
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