The self discipline to save

The first two weeks of January are fun. At office we have to complete the formalities of submitting the investment proofs. They have to, by nature, tally with the investement declarations provided at the beginning of the financial year.

This is also the time which brings forth in stark reality that the young folks have no idea about the need to save monies. Not to mention that the means to save monies are beyond them. Most of the ones that I see around the office leave beyond their means – excessive credit card bills, a tendency to splurge and of course, indulging in expensive “hang outs”. It is fun and sad at the same time.

The colleges and other institutions should, as a matter of course, provide some inputs to the graduates about the need to save money and, the means to do so. I am not talking about making investments and other tax-saving instruments. A simple guidance about “when you receive your salary, make sure that you have a certain percentage saved”. More importantly, they could in effect teach the basics about saving regularly and, the discipline to save. It is normal for “fresh out of college” graduates to splurge – that new wristwatch, the new cellphone or, the new shades/media player and what not. And, with swanky malls near IT parks, it becomes way too easy to run through the salary before half the month is over.

The colleges don’t. The companies sure don’t. Their peers don’t. The parents do exhort savings, but then who listens to the parents once you have received your first paycheque is the prevailing wisdom.

So, there we have it. Year after year, bunches of fresh graduates with crisp notes in their pockets having a ball of a time without actually ending saving regularly. Sad it is.

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