Very high chances are that you have started earning a reasonable amount in your early twenties. But due to lack of proper financial planning you may end up not having the elite life style you deserve.
In this article I will discuss how to achieve our financial goals by choosing proper tools of investment and start investing at an early age.
Start investing at an early age
In order to reap full benefits of magical tool called compounding you need to start investing at an early age. Further, you also need to choose your investment vehicle wisely and avoid taking goofy risks.
However, liquidity is also of utmost important and therefore you need to keep money equal to at lest your 1 year’s expenditures in your running bank account.
Invest in diversified growth mutual funds
And thereafter start investing whatsoever savings you have in some large corpus growth option diversified mutual fund through SIP.
And after that just sit tight and see the magic of compounding happening right before your eyes.
Invest in house properties
Forget ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ as in most of the cases house is an investment and not a liability. It saves you rentals and barring the exceptions, its value also keeps on rising.
After you have enough money available in your mutual fund account to meet the margin requirements for a housing loan, go ahead and take a housing loan and buy a house property at an early age.
As there is hardly any better investment than buying a house property.
Further, if you take a housing loan you will also reap benefits of tax concessions on repayment of installments and interest on your housing loan.
Also, owning a house will add up to your social status.
Always before buying a car buy a house, as car is expenditure while house is an investment.
Don’t take goofy risks
Keep in mind that if you are in your twenties that doesn’t mean that you should take goofy risks, as money is money for young, old or for a person of any age in between.
Further, you will lose the benefits of compounding if you lose money initially and start investing sensibly at a later age.
Note- This article is based on one of my answers on Quora, link for the same is given here-
Be aware about the fact when you post a post on social media that your social media posts tell a lot about you.
And an alert and agile person can infer a lot about your personality from your social media posts.
What can be judged by your social media posts?
Here is the list what can easily be judged from your social media posts about your personality-
Whether you are a person who likes to discuss deeper issues.
Or you are a person who is of a witty nature basically engaging in lighter and funny stuff.
Whether or not you are a reactive and argumentative person.
Or on the contrary whether you person who respect the opinion of other people as well.
It is highly important what sort of language you are using in your posts and comments, offensive or considerate. As people can rightly infer from this that most likely you must be using the same language in your real life as well.
Your political leaning.
Your social media posts also tell a lot about quality of your intellect
Quality of your intellect can also be judged fairly accurately by your social media posts-
Through what sort of language you use in your posts and comments.
Level of your intelligence can also be judged by finding out whether you are intelligent enough to separate fake posts from genuine posts.
And therefore you share and offer comments only on genuine post.
And the worst case scenario
Whether you are a rumor mongers and thus a danger to the society, deliberately posting the fake stuff for running an agenda and spreading hate.
And particularly when you know fully well that what you are posting or sharing is fake.
So, be a little more cautious before you push the submit button as people will read not only your post or comment but also your true self up to a large extent.
What is preferable buying a house or investing in mutual funds? And the answer is- Buying a house.
Here is why-
Buying a house adds to your social status
Apart from other benefits, which I will discuss here under, in India it also adds to your social status.
Barring the exception, property prices keep rising unabated
Buying a housing property is a wonderful investment as well. As barring the exception, property prices keep rising in unabated.
Whether, economy is flourishing or dragging, it hardly has any impact on ever increasing prices of house property.
Unlike mutual funds, it has proved a one way walk up, up and away!
Preferably buy a stand alone house
Further, within the type of house properties, prices of stand alone houses register a better appreciation compared to apartments in multistory buildings.
However, if you intend to buy a house only for investment purpose and don’t intend to live in it in near future, then buying a plot of land is an even more profitable option.
Investing in Mutual Funds is only the second best option
However, the problem every investor feels in opting for buying a house is that it requires a lot of money in lump sum.
While you can start investing in mutual funds with a paltry sum.
But, investing in mutual funds is only the second best investment option while buying a house property remains at the top.
Furthermore, there are banks and financial institutions for your rescue if you don’t have a large amount of money needed to buy a house property.
Buy a house with the help of low cost bank loan
Only if you have an amount enough to provide for 10 percent of the cost of proposed house property, then Banks will finance remaining 90 percent at very reasonable rate of interest to you.
Buying a house also leads to a better tax planning
And icing on the cake will be the tax exemptions you will be getting on repayment of installments as well as interest on your housing loan.
So, if you have enough money to take care of minimum 10 percent margin money requirements, then go buy a house!
However, if you can’t even arrange the amount of margin for now.
Then start saving through some large corpus growth mutual fund and when you have enough savings to fund the required margin money for the proposed housing loan then take a housing loan for buying a house.
If you are still in doubt whether you should invest in house property or not then my suggestion is please go ahead and ask from a few people who have purchased a house property for last 10 or 20 years back and also from the people who could’nt while house property prices skyrocketed in between.
And let me know which group is regretting its decision?
You need a roof over your head
However please note-
Assess your repaying capacity before taking a housing loan.
Property prices are also subject to market conditions like any other investment.
But more importantly, you need a roof over your head and in addition to an investment a housing property is also a necessity, so buy one. Sooner the better.
You can improve your productivity dramatically by applying the concept of mental bandwidth in your work and personal life.
Think of availability of immense time and energy for recreational activities and that too without compromising on your all those so very important tasks.
Yes, all this is possible if you commit yourself to employ the concept of mental bandwidth.
Concept of mental bandwidth and productivity
Now, without much ado let us understand the concept of mental or cognitive bandwidth and its effects on your productivity.
Simply put, mental bandwidth is the availability of limited resources your mind has to employ in achieving your daily tasks and goals.
It is like getting a certain amount of bandwidth from your internet services provider. If you are on a 2 GB data bandwidth plan, you can use only that much data.
However, on the contrary, if you use that limited available data on less important activities like aimlessly surfing social media or random watching of distracting videos soon you will consume all the bandwidth available at your disposal.
And then if you need to transfer an important file or down load some important data, you don’t have any bandwidth available under your disposal.
And therefore you need to use this limited available bandwidth very wisely.
How to use concept of mental bandwidth wisely to improve your productivity
Likewise, mind also has only limited reservoir or mental bandwidth of motivation and power for concentrating, which starts depleting immediately after you start your day.
As availability of this mental bandwidth is limited and therefore, need not to say, it is prudent to use it wisely.
I am providing some tips for the purpose-
Wake up early to employ concept of mental bandwidth to improve your productivity
As, as soon as you wake up your available mental bandwidth starts depleting. So it becomes absolutely necessary that you start your day well and concentrate on your most important tasks first.
Further, when you wake up early then you are in a very congenial environment.
Distractions are at their minimum as most of the outside world is still sleeping. So make this the most productive time of the day for you, before everyone is up and distractions start rising.
Do your most important and most scary work first in the morning
As you have the maximum available mental bandwidth in the morning. So, use it for completing your most important task, before other less important tasks start distracting and eating into your limited available mental bandwidth.
Follow the rule of First thing first or most important things first throughout the day.Try to complete your most important assignments before noon.
When you are able to do this then it is a very satisfying feeling. This will lead to a dramatic improvement in your productivity.
As for completing your important tasks you need not to procrastinate till evening. Also, you know well that not much of the mental bandwidth and motivation is available at your disposal in the evening, as you have already consumed almost all of your mental bandwidth. So you again procrastinate and postpone the work for next day.
This keeps on happening day in and day out. And you suddenly find yourself in the deadly habit of procrastination.
To avoid this trap the only answer is start your day early, very early. Do the most important and scary task first when availability of your mental bandwidth is at the peak.
And as a result enjoy the immensely increased productivity, self worth, satisfaction and joy.
You can find further details on the concept of mental or cognitive bandwidth to improve your productivity in this scholarly article here.
you might be believing that happiness and joy are the two names for the same feeling. However, it isn’t the case. Joy is much deeper a feeling compared to happiness. Sources for the same are also different.
Let’s probe a little deeper to understand the differences more clearly.
You feel happy when you receive
A luxurious house –
And a high end feature rich car –
From where you get happiness
You can become happy by many a things and activities like worldly possessions, being in good company, by being praised and appreciated and getting gifts and other honors.
However, this happiness is very fragile in nature. This short of happiness doesn’t stay with us for long.
And soon we start craving for the more as happiness so received through possessions start dissipating and leaves you in emptiness, sadness and depression.
This sort of happiness is like you being on cocaine, you get a high and as soon as high is over you are in hangover and then in sadness and depression craving for the more of intoxication.
The spiritual feeling of joy
On the other hand joy is a feeling more of permanent nature. And, in fact, normally happens when you become spiritual being.
This is a heightened and deeper a feeling then happiness. You don’t need repeated dose of outside pleasures as joy flowing from inside you eradicated the need for consistent outside doses of pleasure.
For a joyful person happiness start flowing from within. And you receive joy when you help someone without a reason. You give someone yourself without expecting anything in return.
You dedicate yourself for a cause or for a person or for a group of people with the intention of only welfare of that cause person or group of people.
As a matter of fact when you dedicate yourself for a cause you even start receiving happiness in the sufferings you go through for serving that cause.
Basically joy is about giving yourself up to the extent of sacrificing yourself for a cause, person or group of people.
And when you do this, then you are in a deeper and more permanent blissful feeling called joy.
A joyful person is not dependent on outside pleasures for happiness the happiness flows from within for a joyful person.
You may get further details on how generosity and kindness add to your joy here.
Can money buy happiness? This question always stirs our mind.
But what the answer is? Is it a definite No or is it a big YES. In this article we will try to find out the answer of this always prevalent question.
First of all let me very clear about the need of money for leading a decent life.
As whether or not money can buy happiness may be a matter of discussion but there is no doubt that poverty cant buy anything.
However, my take on whether money can buy happiness or not is that, it depends on how you are going to use your money.
Money can’t buy happiness if you use your money to buy possessions
You might have experienced that when you use your money to buy some possessions like a feature rich car, a state of the art TV or a pricey mobile phone which has just hit the shelf, you certainly get happy.
But very soon you also realize that, that high of happiness is dissipating really fast. Nothing surprising in it as this is the innate nature of possessions; they provide happiness for a very limited and short period.
In fact more often than not they also start providing unhappiness after some time as you start experiencing hassles related to their operation and maintenance and also when you come to know that one improved version of these Car, TV or mobile has now again hit the market.
Situation get even worse when you spot one of acquaints already flaunting one of those expensive fresh arrivals.
Where money can buy happiness up to some extant
Money can buy happiness up to a certain extent if you decide to expend your money on buying experiences instead of buying possessions. Studies have proved that happiness earned through buying experiences is deeper and lasting compared to happiness earned by buying possessions.
But if you want to experience real happiness then-
Care for deep relationships, particularly with your spouse
Weed out the suckers of your happiness from your life. You may read this insightful article on the subject here
Don’t be lonely, loneliness kills. For further details, you may read my article- Effects of loneliness on your body and mind – here
Studies have shown that practicing giving and kindness, in any form money or even some words of genuine praise, make you happier. For further details you may read this wonderful article here
You experience more happiness when you buy things for others than when you buy things for yourself.
Practice gratitude Be thankful. For further details you may read this article
Know that money is important
Although it is true that money can’t buy happiness, especially a lasting happiness. Yet you shouldn’t underestimate importance of money in leading a happy and fulfilling life.
As by having money you may or may not buy the happiness, but not having the money will certainly lead to you in utter unhappiness.
You may or may not like it, but fact remains that your friends, relatives and even people very close to you like your spouse and children love and respect you because you have money.
In some isolated cases they still might not be loving you despite you having enough money, but believe me that if this is the case then your having in possession of money is even more important.
Because as soon as such people will sense that you are running out of money they will despise you even more and will make your life hell.
If possible weed out such people from your life as early as possible, if you really care for your happiness. For further details you may read my article – Don’t let anyone steal your happiness – on the subject.
He was a young man of 24, who had just completed his graduation, had an open mind, was adventurous and wanted to experience the world, its meaning and happiness in its all grandeur. And for attaining this feat he has taken an unusual rather weird decision.
And the decision was really not only immensely challenging but it was a real threat to his life.
A real threat to his life!
But this young man was determined to experience the happiness in his own ways.
He had put the money in his wallet on fire. And as per the plans left everything he possessed in the city he lived and moved in to the deep Alaskan wilderness.
Where there was none to interact with, he had no idea how he is going to handle that entire wilderness. Where there were no civil amenities, hardly any place to live and sleep and no surety of having any food for his survival.
Later, his decomposed dead body was recovered from the wilderness in an abandoned and rotten bus.
It is believed that he might have consumed some poisonous berries which resulted in weakening of his body and thereafter, unable to arrange for his food he has died of starvation.
Near to his dead body was found a book and on one page of that book, there were these words written by him-
“Happiness only real when shared”
So this was the tragic end of life of a young man!
But before departing for his heavenly abode he has given an unequivocal and self experienced message to the mankind that if you want to experience true happiness then you need to share it. As happiness when shared not only becomes real but it also increases manifold.
Later a book as well as a full length movie – Into the wild – was made on this true story of Christopher McCandless.
Here is the trailer of that movie – Into the wild – made on the life of Christopher McCandless –
Now when we agree that happiness is real only when shared then it becomes necessary for us to know how to share and spread happiness among the people around us.
First of all be happy yourself and then only you can share happiness. If you yourself aren’t happy then how can you share happiness? As you can’t share what you don’t possess.
Happiness is real only when shared so don’t be lonely
Don’t be lonely, loneliness kills, so socialize – take part in social activities. Join in the celebrations. Keep throwing small parties on certain occasions. If there aren’t any occasions around to celebrate then creating a few by your own will be of great help.
Practice giving and be thankful
When you help someone, say some comforting words to someone or write a thank you note to someone then your body releases one of the the happiness hormonesSerotonin.
This results in a feeling of deep satisfaction and deep contentment encompassing you.
So the take away from the tragic story of this promising young man is that -be more social, care more for friends, family and relations, stay near to them and love them.
We humans are designed by nature and have evolved for living in society.
Is happiness a state of mind? And the answer to this question is – Yes, happiness is a state of mind.
After knowing that happiness is a state of mind, then the next and even more important question arises- If happiness is a state of mind then how to achieve that state of mind?
And you will find in this article practical ways to achieve that elusive state of mind which reflects a happy state of mind.
I want to discuss in this article only powerful practical strategies to attain a happy state of mind and want to avoid the theory part.
Still if you are interested, then you can find the definition of state of mind here.
Happiness is a state of mind only when you surround yourself with positive people
This all important happiness, is a state of mind only if you surround yourself with positive people and weed out negative people from beautiful garden of your life.
In fact one of the most important reasons people fail to reach the happy state of mind is their inability to weed out toxic people out of their life.
For weeding out such people out of your life, make a list of people who are most responsible for your unhappiness. These are the people who are robbing you of your happiness.
Don’t allow such people to rob your happiness. Here is a detailed article on this subject.
Apply this strategy to weed out negative people from your life
I am producing the strategy to weed out negative people from your life here under –
Make a list of the people who are robbing you out of your happiness in descending order i.e. most toxic person on the top.
Choose 1 to 5 people at first for action of weeding out them from your life. These are the people who are most likely are the reason for more than 80% of your unhappiness.
Communicate with these people politely asking them that you aren’t comfortable with them and would like to have minimal interaction with them.
If possible cut all the links with them, to help yourself getting such people completely out of your mind.
If you aren’t in a position to completely throw these negative people out of your life then at least reduce your interaction with such people considerably. Here considerably means reduction in interaction at least 90% or more.
While interacting with such people always try to have the session as brief as possible. Be precise and find out the ways to close the interaction with these toxic people as soon as possible.
If there is any person in your friend list at social media, whose comments result in unhappiness to you, BLOCK him right now.
Replace negative and toxic people in your life with loving and caring people
Happiness is a state of mind only when you are able to get yourself surrounded by the people who love you and care for your happiness.
As happy state of mind can only be achieved when you weed out pricks, the negative people, from your life and replace them with the positive people, the blossoming flowers.
The simple yet amazingly powerful idea here is to reduce the presence of negative people as much as possible in your life and replace them with the positive, loving, caring people.
If any positive people come in your life just stick with them and increase your interaction with them. Give them more time and attention. And simply because of they being positive people, they will respond with love, care and attention multiplied manifold.
Please also ensure not to get stuck with creepy friends, job or relations.
As this world is large enough, so you can certainly find out many of your type.
Please get it embedded in your mind that you can’t change people’s personality, nature or behavior. And therefore it is a better idea to get out of relationships of any kind with toxic people.
As personality type are almost impossible to change and therefore only option left with you is to replace negative and toxic people with nice loving and caring ones.
Don’t fall prey of impractical advises internet is filled with
Don’t listen to the impractical advises internet is filled with that no one can steal your peace if you don’t allow.
Just try using some harsh words for the people who are giving these advises, they will come down to their natural self and will start quarreling with you.
Even if they choose to not to fight with you, if you are stronger than them, still their false happy state of mind will disappear soon and will not be restored until you are out of their sight and even after that at least for some considerable time.
However, you are free to follow their advice if you think that you have risen to the stature of Jesus, Mahavir and Buddha.
Agreed happiness is state of mind, but how to achieve this happy state of mind?
I have already discussed the most prominent reason of your unhappiness, the negative and toxic people in your life, and also the strategy to how to weed out them from your life and replace them with positive, loving and caring people in previous paragraphs.
Furthermore, happiness comes from within, you feel it in your mind but sources or triggers are outside your mind.
Although most of them are in your control but some may not, like losing some dear one, loosing job, some unanticipated financial loss, break ups etc.
However, the key here is how quickly you recognize the trigger of your unhappiness, accept it and how quickly you exercise control over you or are able to overcome circumstances and people who triggered your unhappiness, to get out of sadness.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs basically stipulates, what are the human needs right from basic or physiological needs to the need for self actualization.
These needs have been depicted in a 5 layered pyramid form. And at the base of the pyramid are the physiological needs and on the top of the pyramid, naturally, lie your needs of self actualization.
We can further narrow these needs in to three categories for the purpose of discussing work life balance-
1. Work life balance and your basic needs
Your basic needs cover your needs for food, water, shelter, safety and health. When you have enough money to satisfy these very minimal needs for your existence then at the next level lies your psychological needs.
2. Work life balance and your psychological needs
These psychological needs for achieving work life balance cover your love and belonging needs as well as self esteem needs.
These needs cover your need for family, friends, society, love, affection and self respect.
3. Work life balance and your self fulfillment or self actualization needs
Next, on top of the pyramid lie your human needs of highest level. And in your human incarnation you must enjoy these traits as these are the traits only human are blessed to enjoy or attain.
These highest levels need include your needs or desire for knowledge, need of enjoying beauty, creativity and at the apex level your deep desire of unfolding meaning in life, your desire of manifestation of all of your human potentials.
Work life balance and how to achieve it
Now when you are aware of your all three types of needs, it is the apt time to discuss how to achieve work life balance.
You will appreciate that you need money for even fulfilling your basic needs. And for earning money you have to work .
So there can't be any denial that for fulfilling your needs you have to work, and you have to work hard. But how much hard?
And in the answer of this question you will find the answer for achieving work life balance.
But at the same time keep asking this question from yourself- Why I am earning all this money for?
And the answer is that you earn money for fulfilling your basic needs. And once your basic needs are satisfied then as a human being it is only natural that you would like to satisfy your higher level needs like having time to spend with family, friends, entertainment.
You will crave to have time to travel and see this beautiful world. You will want to arrange marriage parties.
Further, you would also like to attend social and family celebrations. You may even like to contribute some time for the service of the society.
In short, you will find yourself craving for the much needed work life balance.
You earn money for your happiness and for your family
But it is hardly of any use of earning money, after satisfying your basic needs, when you can’t enjoy it with your family and friends.
You want to earn money for your well being but instead you end up ruining your health by working day in and day out relentlessly.
You are more stressed in comparison of the employees 50 years back in time
After advent of faster and technologically advanced means of communication it has now become possible to stay connected for 24 hours and 365 days.
Unlike the employees 50 years back in time, who were relieved of stress after close of office or factory, after working hours, today’s employee appears to be on duty round the clock.
And thus continues to remain stressed all the time without getting the time to release that always building up stress.
In present circumstances, you are expected to respond to a call from your boss even on a week end and in some extreme cases even when you are on leave. And this is immensely stressful for you.
This ends up resulting in enormous stress to your mind and taking its toll on your health.
You will be surprised to know that, as revealed in this study that working extra hours can even be harmful for your heart.
The keys to achieve work life balance are time management and increasing your productivity
And the keys for time management and increasing your productivity lies in completing more tasks in less time and also in avoiding expending your time in wasteful activities. For achieving these feats-
1. Practice Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoro time management tool is a very simple yet very effective way of increasing your productivity.
In this technique you work in small chunks of 25 minutes, which is called one pomodoro and after completing one pomodoro you are rewarded with a break of 5 minutes.
When you complete 4 pomodoros of 25 minutes each, you are eligible for a longer break ranging from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, as per your need.
In order to get more free time to achieve work life balance you have to get more work done in less time. And for getting more work done in less time, you have to work free of all distractions.
Further, as you are aware, the biggest distraction is your mobile phone. So, better keep your mobile in flight mode when you are working on some important task.
Avoid uncalled for visitors. Also get out of the habit of checking your e mail every 5 minutes. Same is true about checking your social media accounts too frequently.
Further, engaging in the arguments on social media is a total disaster not only to your productivity and time management but also for your mental peace.
And therefore, don't get involved in futile arguments on social media, well, until you are not getting paid for the same.
3. Put your routine work on auto pilot
For the most people time management starts from delegating the work, but please go a step ahead of competition.
Before delegating the work and hiring someone for that, please explore the possibilities of putting your less important work on autopilot.
With advent of state of the art technology in almost every field of life, putting your less important work on autopilot should not be a uphill task for you.
4. Delegate most of the remaining work
After putting a lot of work on autopilot, now is the time to delegate most of the remaining work.
And this will result in leaving only that work to execute for you, in which you are the best. You are required to do only that work where your expertise lies.
Practicing these two time management tools of automation and delegation in true spirit will free up an enormous amount of time for you. Which you can use in satisfying your higher level psychological and self fulfillment needs.
But before delegating please know how to delegate.
As delegation fails for two reasons, first is you don’t follow up and the other is you follow up too much.
Another reason for not getting the desired results from delegation is that you delegate the work but not the authority.
To get the process of delegation get fruition you also have to delegate some authority, including some limited financial authority.
5. Have a mentor/teacher /coach
You consume more time and commit more mistakes when you try to do every work by yourself without any guidance from some mentor. Mentors are necessary for generating high quality work, in less time and with fewer mistakes.
I have emphasized these facts in much detail in my article how to become an expert in your field, which you can read here.
6. Use To Do List and Not To Do list
You make use of To Do List in which you prioritize your tasks. But equally important, for freeing up time for work life balance, is your not to do list.
In this list, you have to mention the futile activities you find yourself engaged in and which are killing much of your time without hardly any contribution to your productivity.
Vow not to do those activities or at least, to start with, drastically reduce time you are wasting on these activities by at least 50% to 90%.
These may include watching irrelevant videos on internet, giving excessive time to social media, watching TV and indulging in idle gossips.
For sparing time to achieve work life balance and catering for you higher level psychological, intellectual and self actualization needs you have to continuously sharpen your skills.
For achieving this feat you have to keep on taking some courses, training etc related to the field of your expertise. Also, you have to keep yourself updated and have to sharpen your skills continuously.
Furthermore, you may also continue to read books relevant to your field of expertise.
Also you may subscribe for some relevant journals related to your field in order to stay updated about the latest developments and changes in your field.
If you don’t do this then in no matter of time your work will overtake you. And soon you will find yourself under stress and gasping for the time you crave so much for achieving work life balance.
8. Avoid burn outs
Lastly, you can enjoy your life and even your work, only when you stay healthy and fit. For achieving this feat never ever compromise on your health in exchange of work.
Take small breaks of 5 to 10 minutes regularly during the work whenever you feel tired. Also spare sometime for exercise.
Don’t force yourself to work otherwise you may end up ruining your health. Take your allotted leaves invariably and don’t let them get expire without availing.
If you are self employed or at apex level where you need not to ask for leaves from some higher up, then plan for your leaves yourself and give yourself a much required break.
Use this time to pursue the activities which satisfy your higher level needs for achieving work life balance.
In this article, I have tried to discuss the strategies for achieving work life balance threadbare for you. Now it is your turn to apply them in your life.
Go ahead and grab that much needed but always illusive work life balance, which is now very much in your reach.