We are adulting and are now responsible for our actions, accountable to the choices we make, and are supposed to make decisions which would most likely take us to a better future. What comes as a cherry on the cake is the fact that there is an immediate realisation to attain financial independence.
Asking for money for our rendezvous, interests, and likes from our parents feels a little uneasy and burdened. But you need not worry, as we present to you these 5 pro tips to start your journey towards financial independence at the age of 18.
Financial Independence Tip #1:
Start working along with your studies
Studying is always important and so is managing your expenses that might exceed the limit of your pocket money. Does it mean you should cut down on your expenses? Not at all. It’s the modern era and we are absolutely ready to be financially independent, #Befindependent. The first step in this direction can be working part-time, doing internships, or maybe working as a freelancer, depending on the skill sets you have and the way you could contribute to an organization or add value to an individual. Getting hired isn’t always easy, but starting with jobs or internships like content writing, designing, volunteer work, social media management, which are open to freshers and students from all disciplines and backgrounds can be a good kick-starter.
Financial Independence Tip #2:
Learn to say NO to your non-essentials needs
Maybe when you are short of money, buying a pair of expensive sneakers or a brand-new watch should not be on your priority list. We all love to shop and pamper ourselves with the things we like, but at times keeping them on hold can help us land in a better position. Understanding and prioritizing your expenses can always make you manage your finances better. To decide whether a particular expense is essential or not solely depends on the fact that whether you will be able to manage your regular functioning without it or not? And if the answer is YES, then you already know what to do. However, this doesn’t mean that you eliminate all your passions and hobbies if they have a cost to be paid for. You should plan dinner parties and small vacations with friends and family but you can always reduce the number of times you head out for it. Financial independence is also important to cherish your late teenage years as well.
Financial Independence Tip #3: When taking loans, repay responsibly
Loans, whether big or small, may complicate the situation and disturb a relationship. Asking for money is an easy way out to our financial problems but repaying is the most difficult consequence of it. Be it from your friends, family, college acquaintances, or anyone else you know, money lending might be a quick solution but overlooking the payment timelines might trap you in a debt cycle. To make sure, you are borrowing for the fair reasons, differentiate between leisure expenditure or unavoidable expenditure. For leisures, you can always turn to savings before buying. For emergencies, talk to your parents, a close relative, or the person you trust the most.
Financial Independence Tip #4:
Create an Emergency Fund
Any amount of money that you save and store for later use, proves to be beneficial, no matter what the situation is. If earning is essential to be financially independent, then saving is the key to your financial safety. You must keep some amount from your stipend, pocket money, and salary separate, as a saving. It is usually preferred to chuck this amount in the beginning rather than saving whatever is left. The feeling of being free and independent is worth the hard work, but the feeling and sense of security that comes with savings are worth experiencing. Emergency funds can be used for any purpose when you need to pump in extra money or cash, and the best part is, that you would not be borrowing that sum from someone else. Buying a gift for your loved ones or buying a new smartphone can become easier if you have some extra funds saved out of your income.
Financial Independence Tip #5:
Use Modern Banking Techniques and Services
When it comes to managing finances and banking services, there are many facilities provided by digital banking apps like online payments, mobile banking, IMPS, e-wallets, etc. These services help you carry out quick, easy & safe transactions, better view of the spending history & much more. Digital banking services will allow you to take the path of financial independence just like that, since it doesn’t require regular bank visits.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself
While it is important to be financially independent and manage your finances, it isn’t necessary to be harsh and forceful on yourself. Achieving financial independence does not mean you have to own a house at the age of 18. Any contribution made from your end will be countable and valuable. It is important for you to learn and stay happy with some small achievements you make. Never ever take a toll on your mental health and compare your achievements with others. Sky’s the limit for all of us and we all are doing our best to win it.
Q. How do I apply for internships and part-time Jobs?
The first step in your #Befindependent journey is to make a resume highlighting your education and skill sets. You can apply to portals like Internshala and LinkedIn where organisations and companies are always on the lookout to hire freshers and newcomers. This helps them kick start their careers and earn a decent pocket money. It is good to be open to varied opportunities in the beginning and try to grab every opportunity available.
Q. How can I learn more about Financial Literacy?
Financial literacy is about understanding and effectively using various financial skills. You will learn more by doing it. You may take the following initiatives to do so:
- Keep a tab on your budget. Always track the amount you spend, save and earn on a monthly/weekly basis.
- Practice the knowledge gained through finance resources online. The best way to do this can be by opening and managing savings accounts.
Q3. How do I create an Emergency Fund?
Emergency Funds as we all know, are all-time saviours. But creating one can be a task. Here are a few tips and tricks you can put to practice while creating your emergency fund.
- Create a separate account/storage for this kind of accumulation. Keep your savings in a separate account vis-à-vis the account from which you incur your regular expenses.
- Set a target date for setting up your funds. In accordance with your income and salary date, you should set a date of every month/week where you will be saving a set amount of money.
- Track the flow of the amount you save. The number of times you use the emergency fund, the number of times you have skipped the dates to add to the fund, etc. This kind of tracking helps you keep a check and understand which are the areas of concern and how you can have a more stable saving method.
- Keep the change to your savings pocket. No matter how small the contribution to the emergency fund is, it will prove beneficial one day. So keep on saving.