|THE 20′S INVESTMENT PERIOD|
25 April 2012 Impeccable Pen 1 comments
Money, money, money…. The life and death, laughter and heart ache of us all, especially us youngsters who are at the beginning of our financial journey. I’m starting to have a love-hate relationship with money, because as much as it’s exciting when the sms from the bank notifies me that my cash-money-millionaire-in-the-making is in my account and is ready to be rocked and rolled, that money disappears just as fast as it comes in due to life’s responsibilities.
Today, while in conversation with one of my buddies, I realized that the 20’s are an investment period, and that I have to accept that during this time, more money will be spent in paying my dues and I’ll be left with a tad bit of change for drinking and grooving and Mr. Price shopping purposes. But I won’t lie though; I miss my varsity days when I used to get free money with no tax or medical aid costs taking huge lumps off of it. I could go gallivanting financially on whatever I wanted and knew that if I did go broke, all I needed to do was to pick up the phone and call mom for help. But gone are those days, which in a weird way make me quite pleased because now I have a sense of independence and I don’t need to feel guilty about asking for more cash from home because I went on a massive drinking spree the night before. With all this in mind, I decided to devise a couple of survival techniques that could make the 20’s investment period a tad bit easier.
Firstly, enjoy the little that you do have because the older you get, the rougher it’s going to become. I realized that even though I’ll be making more money in the near future, I’ll eventually get to that stage where I have to pay endless amounts on bonds and part with loads of money due to Pampers and school fees amounts. All of that will lead to the growth of buck loads of grey hairs before my due time. So now is the time to eat, drink and be merry.
I’m actually enjoying this investment period because I’m financially independent now. No one’s there to tell me what I can and cannot buy, and I also have the freedom to decide the type of lifestyle I want to live. It feels so much better when I decide that I can’t have something because I can’t afford it, unlike back in the day when I felt like my parents were stinging me of the good life because they refused to give me money. So the little stash that I do have is actually quite good for my psychological-freedom health.
The investment period teaches you the art of budgeting. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve been budgeting all my life because I learned how to prioritize and divide money according to those little priorities that I had back in the day, such as a hamburger from the tuck shop every Friday and movies at the end of the month. Budgeting is the end-all and be-all of money management. If you haven’t yet learned the art of budgeting, then I sincerely suggest that you go bungee-jump off a bridge without a rope because it’s safer than living life without a financial plan.
Save, save, save. Rainy days come like a thief in the night where forking out mountains of money causes panic attacks and rivers of tears, so you always have to be prepared. Also, I like the feeling I get from saving because it makes me feel like I have some sort of degree over my financial security. At least ten percent of your salary should be packed away in a savings account. And you’ll be smiling from ear to ear come the festive season where you’re lapping up the fruits of your hard work and saving on a cruise ship while sipping on a strawberry daiquiri.
I’ve decided to cry and laugh during this 20’s investment period; firstly because I have no choice but to go through it, and secondly, I’m building foundations that will set me up for life. So make sure that you do it wisely peeps, especially if you want to retire early and work just for the fun and enjoyment of it.
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‘I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can rest only for a moment, for with freedom comes responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not yet ended.’
-Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela