Why you should get money smart before you start working
Updated: Feb 22
“To get rich, you have to be making money while you’re asleep” - David Bailey.
Your student days are almost over, and you are excited to take a plunge in the adult world with your first job. There are so many things you prepare for. Your role, the new company and party plans with your first paycheque. How high is saving and investing on your to-do list?
Meet 23-year old Noida-based Divya Singh who is completing the final year of her MBA and is set to join a financial sales company. Divya explains why saving and investing her money is high on her priority list and should be on yours too.
Puzzled about personal finance
“We go from being students to suddenly having a salary into our accounts, with no idea what to do with it,” says Divya speaking about an education system that does not prepare people with personal finances. For instance, a student of Economics may be well aware of how to understand a company’s or country’s financial wellbeing.
However, she is very unlikely to have been taught to handle her personal finances. “The lack of proper planning of income leaves a lot of us happy at the start of the month and struggling on money management towards the end,” she adds.
A higher cost of living
Divya belongs to Generation Z. Defined as being born between the years 1995 and 2015, Gen Z or centennials, are the generation succeeding millennials. Some from this generation are already in their 20s and are changing the rules of work, spending and saving money.
A Goldman Sachs report says that in 2020, India is poised to have 390 million people from Gen Z. Coupled with the 440 million millennials, India is likely to have the world’s youngest working population. But what are the challenges they face with their money?
Gen Z is much more selective in choosing brands and rely on individual satisfaction. More and more centennials would like to be seen as conscious (to the environment, product sourcing, and so on) consumers. The conscious consumer lifestyle doesn’t come cheap. Living it up to be socially appealing among peers puts a strain on finances, admits Divya.
Responsibilities to shoulder
“A lot of us have student loans. Repayment is a big factor which we weigh upon when choosing a job,” adds Divya. The struggle to choose between a workplace of choice and one that pays higher is real. While student loans are a problem for many the world over, what is unique to the Indian counterparts is the family responsibility.
“Even if the family doesn’t expect it, I would like to share the responsibility. For instance, I would like to save and pitch in for my younger brother’s education. It is not just a son’s responsibility anymore”, she mentions.
The greater need to invest
After EMIs for the student loan and bearing the cost of living, saving can be hard. Many from Gen Z are inclined toward entrepreneurship, which means greater reliance on savings for emergencies and retirement. A combination of all the above factors underlines the need to invest and plan out personal finances proactively.
Having grown up in the recession, Generation Z is already saving more than millennials. Finding the right partner for your personal finance journey is crucial. “I discovered the Basis app, which appealed to me because it has been built especially for women with a holistic approach to personal finance. Whether it is jargon-free content, goal-based investing or interacting with other financially independent women, the platform made my investing journey very easy,” explains Divya.