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Let’s start with the why shall we?

Um, let me see…

Maybe because the need for money is more now than it has ever been before?

Or maybe because we are at the peak of commercialization, where multinational companies prey on us by leveraging all the information we consume and share online, from our family photos to cheesecakes to articles on feminism, racism, colourism or whatever the ‘ism’ that’s trending right now.

So bottom line, all of us could use more money, and undoubtedly our future selves are going to need more money.

Now that you understand (I sincerely hope you do) why we need to tie up the shoelaces on our personal finance, let’s look at ways you can go about conquering your financial…

1. Get your intentions right

I hated the money! The times I did have money in hand it disappeared without a trace, when I didn’t have much, I just drowned in fear of the bills that would come in like clockwork.

Reality hit me… I had developed an unhealthy relationship with money. The more I thought about it the more stressed and anxious I became. I knew I had to do something about it, but I just didn’t know what. So, I started with the why (because Simon Sinek told me to). I tried to understand why I hated money so much and realized it was because I never had enough of it!

I decided I need to change my perspective of money. I stopped giving it the power to control my emotions and looked at it as something that could bring me a comfortable life I wanted. I understood that finding creative ways to make more money and handling it better would mean I control my money and not the other way around.

2. Set killer, (or not-so-killer) financial goals

I’m the kind of person who sets goals for everything, short and long term, so it didn’t take too long for me to realize my financials needed some damn goal setting. I planned how to make, save, and invest money in the next one-year, three-year and five-year timeframe. This was all driven by my vision of who I wanted to be in 10 years.

3. Acquaint yourself with Finance Lingo

This, I believe was very important but not so simple despite majoring in the topic because they teach you how to handle a company’s money, not your own. Understanding how financial terminology applies to personal finance can save you embarrassment and, in many cases, it can protect you from ones who come to you with fraudulent claims.

4. Break-free from traditional banking, thanks to the www

During my years in college, I had a bank account that I used to “store” my money, not so much save. It made it so much simpler to transfer money for rent and shop online. I only learned how to maximize the use of my online banking facility once I came back from college.

I now open different savings and fixed deposit accounts according to my goals, I set automated transfers for my monthly savings (standing orders) and pay for day-to-day expenses, all without the need to drive to the nearest bank within the Bank’s working hours, which are much shorter than mine. This saves me time and money while reducing my contribution to global warming.

5. Set aside an emergency fund

Notice how I have put this above any major money move that I am going to mention… You can be the most frugal spender or the smartest investor, but if you don’t have enough to cover emergencies, you, my friend, are doomed. Most financial gurus say three to six months’ worth of expenditure should be set aside in your emergency fund in the unfortunate event of a job loss, but I say aim for six months minimum. What if the real estate bubble pops during your period of unemployment and the whole country is in a recession? Better safe than sorry, right?

6. Invest in yourself, yes, I also mean makeup

Make time for yourself and understand what you need to do to look and feel like a ‘bawse’. If it means wearing concealer to cover those eye bags, investing in quality business suits and shoes that will boost your confidence and last you a decade, taking online courses that gets you ahead in life, or getting that gym membership to help you get fit, whatever it is, invest in it, because you’re investing in yourself!

Please remember the intention is to look presentable and feel better in your own skin, not to spend money on materialistic things to make you look like something you’re not just to compete with them IG influencers.

7. Start saving, for more than just that iPhone XS you “need”

Once you have your emergency fund, consider saving money for the future. Every month before you start paying bills, set aside a percentage of your income in savings. You can have several savings goals, either for further education, retirement, or that weekend getaway you’ve been planning for months.

8. Track your spending

I did this while in college, and it helped prevent me from overspending. I initially wrote down my expenses on a notepad, then I facepalmed myself when I found Apps on Play Store that can do so much more than just record those expenses.

9. Budget your money

When I talk about getting your financials right, this is kind of obvious, isn’t it?

No matter who you are or how big your bank balance is, if you don’t plan your income and expenses, how will you ever control it?

Having a budget shows you where your money is coming from and where it’s headed, and how much remains, ideally. This where my degree came into play, I budgeted my cash flows, then recorded actual cash flows, and compared the two, even between different periods of time.

10. Invest. Invest. Invest

I just have two words… Compound interest.

You can thank me in 20 years…

These are some of the things I started with, not all at once of course, there definitely is a learning curve. All this can feel a little overwhelming if you have never even broached the topic of finance with yourself. I thought I’d share my journey with you, hoping it would encourage/inspire you.

To those of you who already follow a few of these steps, Way to go!!

To the others, it’s okay, I know what it’s like, I’ve been there. I still have a long way to go. So, join me on this journey as I learn new ways to manage money, fight against societal pressure of never having enough and mindfully live each day with purpose.

By Rtr. Lakshita Sundaralingam | Email :

Visit the blog of Rtr. Lakshita Sundaralingam at

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