5 worst decisions most young people make in finance (myself included when I was younger)

5 worst decisions most young people make in finance (myself included when I was younger)

  1. Owning a Car –

In my life so far I have owned & used as many as 6 Cars.

My friends and colleagues though call me a smart guy, I never really bothered to take in to account the difference between the assets and liabilities as far the cars were concerned. I simply could not control the urge to buy things like cars. Though I very well understand the difference between what makes me money and what doesn’t.

I’m not a minimalist. Maximising the time, having mental clarity, getting happiness and purpose is what’s important.

When you drive a car it immediately depreciates. In a period from 1998 till date I was without a car for about a year, twice.  In addition to saving the money by not having a car during those times, I saved lot of headache for me too. It constitutes a false economy for many living far from work. You waste hours driving and if you live in a city like Mumbai where traffic and construction are omnipresent, one gets frustrated and stressed out arriving at desired destination. I was living a life all full of annoyances and costs that come with owning a car and having to use it.

I could use ample time to start to build my ideal business and lifestyle during the time when I didn’t own the car. I also had extra hours and mental clarity at that time.

Today, I still have two of them. But I use the car to cover very small distances and rarely go out of Mumbai by the car. It’s just enough as it gets me where I need to go. I call somebody if anything goes wrong and they deal with it.

There is a lot of better public transport choice also available now a days. Sometimes I even hire a cab to go to town if I have to finish some task on the way before meeting any client.

So I am left with plenty of time to focus on what matters. My work, my business, and my life!

  1. Expensive Watches –

I used to think a watch is a symbol that represents wealth. I have used plenty of watches. I remember using a special edition watch made up in gold with a logo of Mahatma Gandhi on the dial. There was a time before my marriage somewhere in late 80s, I was owning as many as 14 watches.

A very few of more and more successful people I meet, own nice watches (or no watches), I get surprised to see them. Now, like most of them I walk around bare-wristed and just have a Rs 1,000 Sonata for exercise.

The most expensive piece of watch in practice works precisely the same as the least expensive one. This is the case with watches as well as to some extent with cars too.

  1. Phone and Phone Plan that is an expensive one –

Ask somebody who runs multiple businesses. You really don’t need that newest iPhone. I am without a smart phone for last 4 – 5 years. Though I was the first amongst my family and friends to own an expensive Phone and very expensive plan (Rs. 16 per minute both ways) in 1997. This was when mobiles were just entering Indian markets.

Recently I tried using a smart phone but found it’s useless for me. Social media or Email can wait. I have built my systems properly. I can get just the same involvement and results from a laptop or a computer when wi-fi is available at home or my office. I have a simple phone with all “smart “features turned off.

You really don’t want to be successful bad enough, if you say that you can’t afford to have a book or attend a seminar or a course and own a Rs. 40,000 phone with a Rs 2,000 plan per month.

  1. Sunglasses, designer ones –

I had two pairs of sunglasses costing around Rs.15, 000 or more each. I rarely used them.

Today I have two simple ones. I even use them during my exercise. Both block the sun fine and you wouldn’t know which was which if you looked at me.

It’s really a dumb expense spending thousands on sunglasses.

  1. All Inclusive Vacations

It may seem fine and you might think that you need to “relax” in an all-inclusive vacation where you get drunk and what not. Fight that urge. Go for an adventure trip with the time off and money which you had allotted for a vacation. Explore your homeland first before getting on a plane and flying to a different country. Take yourself to different places, meet different people and attain different experiences if you want to do something different.

Freedom to fail!

Early on in your professional life that’s the most important asset you can attain. By eliminating needless expenses gain more financial room than your contemporaries. So that when opportunities arise you’ll be able to take advantage of them.



About The Author: Shriram Garde

My mission is just to share the events in my life sincerely with you; as I have experienced them, not necessarily in that order. I write on various topics. Whether that means - advice, tips, tools, scriptures, or instructions on budgeting, getting out of debt, making some extra cash, investing or anything else, I intend to provide it. I was 18 years old when I started working as a labourer. I had no savings. I had no money left in my bank accounts. I know life through lot of unpleasant incidences occurring day in and day out. But what I realised is that it doesn't have to be always like that. We are not doomed to how we are currently living – we all can change! I know, because over last couple of years my family and me have paid off a huge amount of debt. I have a passion to help people come to this realisation and get started on their own journey to financial freedom. I had owned 2 Companies before moving to Finance Sector about 9 years back. Spending more than 30 years in various capacities taught me quite a lot. I have a diploma in Engineering completed in part time while I was working. I have learned a good chunk from my working background in various fields. But, like most people who are eager to learn, the bulk of what I have learned thus far is from reading magazines, books, blogs, pod cast or whatever else I can get my hands on about Personal Finance, investing, business, personal development, and time management.

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