I’m not really ashamed to declare that in some cases I am the epitome of what men love to make jokes on women for. I dislike paperwork, cannot compute important things like taxes, my bank details, I barely survive as far as my bills go, just about manage to pay them on time. So its no surprise that I’ve never really paid much attention to money for as long as I was making it – it came, it went.
The only time I thought of investing was when at 25 I realised I could save some of my hard earned money from becoming tax if I invested in certain tools. Even then I didn’t think much about it or do my research, I went for the easiest and safest options – the Post Office. Amazing right?! Well, all I can say in my defence is hey at least I did it. I would be that person on the last day of March sitting for hours in the post office line behind retired senior citizens, who take their money far more seriously, and rightly so trying to get my receipts so I can put them in my IT return form.
I did the absolute bare minimum, yes I did it, no one else did it for me, needed to save a few bucks come tax day. But year on year I did it, and I am a little proud of myself there. But, once done I would forget about those investments, because you know I had what I needed. Suddenly, one day in 2017 the pay checks stopped, I had to break my career to spend time with my two little kids, it was the choice we as parents had decided would work.
This choice also meant that overnight we went from being a double income, comfortably placed middle class household to a single income middle class household. In addition to my investments I’m not very good with shopping or spending money as well. I don’t do clothes, I visit the parlour once in six months so really I am rather low maintenance. If, that is, you do not count a slightly over priced phone I carry (no not apple! I said slightly, I wasn’t talking about selling my kidney).
But I do have one indulgence, always have. I love travel and atleast once a year I take a 3 – 4 star luxury stay. As a family of four that 4 star travel is up 3 fold atleast even with 2 under 5 kids right?!
This year as I planned our trip I was stumped as to how we were going to do this, it would be really stretching our means, then it happened. All those years of going to the post office and standing in line paid off. A couple of my post office investments were maturing (the first ones I made!) and they would literally only cover the trip. I jumped on it! Went back to the line and managed the process of getting my investment back. I still remember how it felt to see that the money I had invested had actually grown by a little and now would be the only ‘income’ I’d have that year. Let’s just say something akin to tears clouded my eyes that day.
I have come a long way since my mid 20s in terms of investment understanding, I’m by no means good at it, but I certainly taken more calculated risks than I have before. But when I think about how one day, it may be these investments that’ll help me take that vacation, splurge on myself, maybe buy my parents a gift, surprise my spouse or send my kids to college, I think maybe I should put more thought in to it, but reality is my ‘right-brained’ self is not going to get far. Although I will definitely continue investing, for myself, it might just be the same postal instruments. I know we moms try very hard to invest in ourselves, to pursue hobbies, to make some me-time, on the same lines I think its critically important to invest for ourselves as well.
You never know when a little money investment will come in handy.