Your International Holiday Doesn't Have to Break the Bank

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Your International Holiday Doesn't Have to Break the Bank

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Chew on this - Why do they call it Netherlands, but refer to Australia as ‘Down Under’. I guess I’ll never know until I travel.

Damn, Wish I’d Gone to Amsterdam!

I distinctly remember the day my first paycheck made its way into my account. It was enough for me to afford the basics of living in Mumbai. It was definitely not enough for me to indulge.

But what did I do?

In the true Moira Rose sense, I indulged….

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After all, I was told to study for my 10th,  12th, and for those semester exams- They told me to work hard today to have fun tomorrow! After all that effort, why would I bother earning if I couldn't finally have some fun? I did what I had to, and got myself a credit card. I thought I was joining the elite club. Despite being aware of how time adds value to money, I chose to prioritise instant gratification over simple logic. Nothing wrong with that, I am human, not Vulcan (not very Spock-y of me, eh?).

Given a chance, I wouldn't change a thing about where I spent my money back then. But if I could go back in time and give my younger self something to think over, it would be:

100 rupees a day can fund my Amsterdam holiday

I’ve wanted to go to Amsterdam since I first saw this video of John Frusciante and Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers performing at Amstel Canal. If I only understood back then what I do now, I would have easily saved a couple of lakhs for my bachelor's party in The Venice of The North. Needless to say, that never happened. I’ll admit, it wasn’t all sad and grey. I did plan and save a considerable amount for my wedding expenses and paid off a sizable chunk of my education loan. But the point I'm trying to make is -

Our goals are often easily achievable by taking small incremental steps.

After all, 100 rupees a day is a matter of making simple day-to-day trade-offs.

So, what do we do?

To err is human, but I’m glad I’ve learned from my mistakes. What did I learn? To formulate my very own savings mindset. No, it's not ‘save first and spend later’. I am an impulsive spender and I've realised ego depletion is a big hurdle for me with this approach. I’ve learned to rely on a philosophy of “save when I can, save what I can, no pressure.” By giving myself some space and flexibility to save, I am able to do better (a higher annual savings rate which is sustainable). Simple things like breaking down a 20k SIP in one mutual fund into 4 different SIPs allow me enough flexibility to indulge. I can always stop an SIP when I need to, and still, get the benefits from the 3 other SIPs.

What if your bank was as flexible as your yoga pants?

I’m sure you have heard investment gurus in the media say things like you must save 30% of your salary. Personally, I’ve found this approach to be suffocating. I find carrots more motivating than sticks. Unfortunately, financial products have rarely been designed with this mindset. What if your bank was smart enough to understand your lifestyle and adapt to it by encouraging you to save and invest flexibly. Even better, reward you for saving?

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Well, I love the idea! And that's why I joined Fi - to help build an entity that puts you at the center of all your financial decisions.

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