Investing my Money

Written By

Mamata Kolte

Investing-02 Loading

When I returned to India after my year-long onsite assignment in the USA, everyone wanted to know what I would do about the money I have saved. Almost everyone I met wanted to give me suggestions on investing it — buy gold, put it into an FD, buy a policy, start trading and (for the majority of my unsolicited advisors) buy a house.

It sounded good! Doing any of the above would definitely guarantee a financially secure future for me. I might get good returns and then buy another house for my children for their secure future.

I started thinking of buying a house first. My husband already had a house and was planning to buy another and my parents have two houses, more than enough for me to find shelter for my entire life in any case. But as I considered it, I realized that the maintenance would be too much for me to handle and the tenants were more trouble than they were worth. I dropped the idea.

Next was buying gold. Though I never wore any of the gold I already owned, buying more would be a good investment in case I needed it in bad times. Bad times??? No, not at all. I will never have such a bad time, I already have enough, and did not want to buy more. I dropped this idea too.

Next was investing in policies. I already had a few investments and my husband kept making new ones for our family. It was too much to keep track of and enough to secure my future. So, no more policies or mutual funds for me.

Everything I was thinking of was not working for me. Maybe I wanted to invest the money somewhere else. I continued to ignore people’s suggestions.

3 months passed and the money continued to lie in my bank account; causing worry, not to me, but to my parents and other “well-wishers”. I had to do something. But I didn’t want to think about buying property or gold or investing it for a secure future. Thinking so much about my future was only wasting my today.  It had been 3 months since I’d left the US and I had not done a single thing that I’d wanted to do on my return.

I had plans to visit my friends in Bangalore. I wanted to go on a long vacation with my family. I wanted to join a baking class and learn to make delicious chocolate muffins, which both my husband and brother love. I wanted to take my son and all his friends to an amusement park one weekend and be a kid with them. I wanted to lie on a beach with my husband after sundown, and watch the stars. I wanted to go to the Tirupati temple with my parents. I wanted to spend time with my sister — we would shop till we drop on the streets of Mumbai, and eat as many panipuris as we could.

I did not do it. Going to Bangalore to meet friends?? The flight tickets are too expensive and going by bus or train takes too much time. Long vacation? Forget it. Who has time… we’ll go later, when it’s more convenient. For now invest the money. Cooking classes? Hmm, I could join one, but it’s too expensive and my office schedule gives me little time for such things. Kids at an amusement park? Are you mad? Are you going to pay for the 1000 per head ticket for all those kids? What’s the occasion? It isn’t even his birthday!  Instead buy a good game for your son. Tirupati… good, but my parents can go alone. Why do they need me? You talk a lot with your sister on phone. How much more do you need? Panipuri on the streets — it’s not hygienic and if you want to shop, go to malls why on streets?

Days went by. I was not happy. All the money that I earned seemed to have no value. I did not do anything that I really wanted to do and people kept advising me to invest more and more.

Why do I need to be so insecure about my future? Why do I need two houses? It’s only pushing the property rate higher. Why am I so worried about my children’s future? Do I think they will be worthless and won’t be able to survive if I don’t save so much for them? Why am I saving so much money if I am not spending it on the things I want to do? Why is spending instead of investing a waste of money? Since when did money start to come between me and my best friends? I was not happy at all.

The first thing I did was stop listening to everyone but myself. I stopped thinking about my “secure future”. I sent an invite to all of my son’s friends for a “fun time” at an amusement park on the first Sunday of the following month and planned to take chocolate muffins to the outing, which I would learn to bake by then. I called my sister and made a plan to go street shopping the very next weekend. I booked tickets for the whole family to visit Tirupati in the winter.  I called my friends and asked them to plan their vacations as I would visit soon.

I still need to plan a trip on an island with my husband, sign up for swimming classes with my son, take my parents to Rishikesh, learn to knit, take my team at work out for a pizza party, visit my ex-colleague’s home to see her new born girl (and take lots of toys!) and so, SO much more.

I am incredibly happy. I finally invested the money for my happiness.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mamata is an energetic, optimistic person who believes that anyone can do anything if one wants to. She loves to travel, write poems, watch movies, cook, garden and sing. Mamata follows her heart in anything that she does and thus can not do any thing just for the sake of doing it.

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