Money Wise – Jeffery Murry, Assistant Professor Commerce

How many of us have often spent money carelessly, only to find out later, with great regret, our pockets are empty? Spending money is much easier than saving money. But there are actually a lot of harmful habits and vices we can abstain from in our effort to save money wisely. As a student and teenager, it may be twice as hard, which is why we must have a goal towards which we strive, coupled with a strong head on one’s shoulders.

Money Wise

Money isn’t just a piece of paper. It is a medium of exchange. We save money because we cannot predict the future. There is no loss in saving money, rather it prevents us from overpaying for things, allows us to take advantage of buying goods and even helps support our kid’s education.

Money can do a lot of things for us. When something goes wrong, in case of accidents, unforeseen repairs or damage to property that is when we need to rely on the money that we have been able to save.   
Despite this, there are many of us who face problems of saving money. Why are we unable to save money? One way of getting round to saving money is if we aim to buy something in future. So, start planning now, pick a goal, and make a practical budget for future needs. If you try to follow this, you will find it easier to handle the future or face any financial emergencies.

As a student in high school and may be even right after you graduate, you are going to be on a tight budget. Here are some ideas that you can try to save money:

1. Many students are tempted to buy now and pay later. What we call “bhaki” (in nagamese) is often practiced by school and college students. Spending on unnecessary things or on impulse can come back later to bite you. Stop buying, if you find that you can’t charge responsibly; keep away from that until you learn a little restraint. Make sure it is truly necessary before making a purchase.
2. Everyone has at least one bad habit – maybe you smoke, drink, party, buy expensive clothes or make unnecessary demands from parents. Whatever it might be, try to stop these bad habits. I think you will save lot of money, if you try to avoid bad habits. You’ll be surprised to know how much you end up saving. So, start now and save the money that is spent on harmful products and habits.
3. A student’s duty is first and foremost to study and help the family in your leisure time. During your student life there are also high chances of falling into bad company. Learn how to differentiate between good and bad company. Avoid friends who end up making your pocket empty by indulging in bad habits. Not only does it affect you but also your parents.
I would like to share a fable about a grasshopper and ant, which we can all learn from.  As the fable goes, once upon a time in a garden there lived an ant and a grasshopper who were very good friends. It was spring time and the grasshopper was having a lot of fun playing, singing, and dancing in the sun. But the ant was hardworking. The ant was collecting foodgrains and storing them in its house. The grasshopper did not understand why the ant was doing so and said “Hey” ant! Why don’t you come outside and play with me? The ant replied, “I cannot, I am storing food for the winter when there won’t be anything to eat”. The grasshopper only laughed at the ant and said, “Why are you worrying now? There is plenty of food” and continued to play, while the ant worked hard. When winter came, the grasshopper did not find a single grain of food to eat. It began to starve and feel very weak. The grasshopper did see how the hardworking ant had plenty of food to eat, and realized how foolish it had been not to save.
The story above is very relevant for us. The moral of the story teaches us the importance of hard work and at the same time the importance of planning and saving for our future. Similar to the ant and grasshopper story, you may meet people like the grasshopper who try to convince you to forget your primary goal. Grasshoppers may persuade you to enjoy the money you have today, ignoring its importance for your future. From the story we learn that we must be smart like the ant who values the importance of preserving for the future.
So, the next time you feel the urge to chew some ghutka or paan, smoke a cigarette or down a few shots of alcohol, remember that you have far more important goals in life which require you to save and spend wisely. After all, saving does not mean that you are undergoing a huge loss or your income is reducing. Rather, it is a boon in times of crises. Nothing in life is predictable. Saving money is an assurance that no matter what happens, no matter what fate has in store for us, we will be prepared and ready to take on the setbacks life may hand us. Detach yourself from the notion that spending a rupee or two will not make a difference. Little amounts do matter, which can ultimately accumulate into savings that you may one day be thankful for.
“Degree of Thought is a weekly community column initiated by Tetso College in partnership with The Morung Express. Degree of Thought will delve into the social, cultural, political and educational issues around us. The views expressed here do not reflect the opinion of the institution. Tetso College is a NAAC Accredited UGC recognised Commerce and Arts College. For feedback or comments please email:”.  

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