Where’s All Your MONEY GO­ING?

Feel like you’re al­ways strapped for cash? So is Anupriya Bish­noi, 23, jour­nal­ist. So we asked her to doc­u­ment an en­tire month’s spends, then had an ex­pert of­fer pro ad­vice.

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CASH - By Des­sidre Flem­ing

Ac­cord­ing to a new Ca­reerBuilder sur­vey, 40 per­cent of 18- 34-year- olds are liv­ing pay­check to pay­check— and it’s even higher for women! Writer Anupriya Bish­noi is part of this de­mo­graphic, rarely hav­ing any dough left at the end of the month (and no sav­ings). “On the first of each month, I prom­ise my­self that I’ll spend ‘smart’ and save some cash,” says Anupriya. “But less than 30 days later, it’s the same story...and I have to rely on my credit card to help me through the rest of the month.” Ac­cord­ing to Anil Rego, Fi­nan­cial Ex­pert, CEO and Founder, Rights Hori­zon (he helped re­view Anupriya’s ex­penses), most peo­ple end up over­spend­ing be­cause they don’t have a fi­nan­cial plan. “All it takes is mak­ing a few crit­i­cal changes, and you’ll have money in the bank while still hav­ing a life,” says Rego. Here, his tips on how Anupriya (and you) can man­age the moolah bet­ter...

The Plan:

Rego says Anupriya must set a monthly bud­get. 50% of her money should go to­wards necessities (rent, gro­ceries, etc), 40% is for in­dul­gences (club­bing, shop­ping, etc), and 10% should be saved. “If she is a low-risk in­vestor, she may con­sider re­cur­ring de­posits of­fered by banks,” he says.

“Anupriya should con­sider shar­ing an apart­ment with a friend, since a size­able part of her in­come is go­ing to­ward house rent,” says Rego. Use so­cial net­work­ing sites to in­ter­view and find a fu­ture room­mate.

Rego warns against Anupriya’s credit card us­age. “Sure, plas­tic lets us buy items that are be­yond our reach, but that’s un­healthy when your ex­pen­di­ture is higher than your in­come,” he says. Worse: pay­ing only the min­i­mum amount due means you’re be­ing charged in­ter­est... and ac­tu­ally pay­ing much more than you owe the bank. “Us­ing pa­per money helps keep tabs on the amount spent. Anupriya should save her credit card for emer­gency sit­u­a­tions only,” says Rego.

You don’t have to stick to what you make, says Rego, there are so many ways to in­crease your in­come. “Anupriya could start her own web­site, sell items on­line, or try free­lance writ­ing to make some ex­tra money,” he says.

Make an ef­fort to save a lit­tle bit of cash, wher­ever pos­si­ble, says Rego. “For in­stance, in­stead of eat­ing out, Anupriya could in­vite friends over for din­ner.” Other ideas to con­sider: change your phone plan to a more cost-ef­fec­tive one, keep tabs on tips, buy bulk presents dur­ing store sales, swap clothes with friends, pack lunch from home, etc.

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