Priyanka Chopra, a Padma Shri recipient, winner of a US People’s Choice award, Miss World 2000, actress, singer, American TV star and recently turned producer, has some money management lessons to share. She is currently shooting for Quantico, an ABC TV series, in New York. The actor, who has worked in over 50 films, is all set to make her Hollywood debut with Paramount Pictures’ Baywatch next year. Here are the five mantras she swears by.
Financial independence is paramount
The first money lesson that Chopra learnt from her mother was the importance of being financially independent. “My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. That was the best advice I ever got. No matter where you go in life, or who you get married to, you have to be financially independent. You don’t know which curve balls life will throw at you. Hence, you need to have the ability to take care of yourself and people whom you love,” Chopra says.
Earning itself doesn’t make you financially independent. When you know how much money you have, where it is and what it can do, it’s easier to take decisions. Financial planners point out that women are able to take a holistic approach. Whether you are single or married, take interest in understanding financial planning and working towards it.
First save, then spend
“This habit of saving first and then spending was inculcated even before I started earning—when I used to get my pocket money. I used to save my pocket money. I am not a miser. In an everyday situation, I am like an ant. I keep putting money aside because I know that if I want to splurge, there is a big mountain of money that I can use which gets accumulated,” says Chopra.
One must always save a part of what one earns.The approach you should use is income minus savings is equal to spending rather than income minus spending equals savings. The target need not be very high in the beginning. You can put your savings on auto-pilot by letting a fixed amount be invested every month.
Seek professional advice
Chopra is among the busiest stars in the Indian film industry. Since her work leaves her with little time, she depends on a team to manage her finances. “I have a good team who takes care of all of that. I leave it to the people who actually know what they are doing. I have a really amazing team, which includes my business managers over there (in the US) and over here (in India). My mom heads it. So I don’t even get into the nitty-gritties,” says Chopra.
The money that you earn and save needs to be managed productively. So if you don’t have time or don’t understand money management, seek professional help. Your financial planner or adviser will not only help you make appropriate investment decisions but also reset the financial discipline that you need to achieve your goals. A dedicated financial adviser whom you trust can bring clarity and stability to your money life.
Be it your studies, career or investment, your efforts need to be consistent to get results. “If you consistently ace every exam or every test you take, you will keep on getting A+. If you study for all the small tests, and get an A+ for all, eventually you will come first in class. Anything you do, you can’t lower your standards; eventually, you will win. The plan is not the big win; the plan is winning today, right now,” says Chopra.
Incremental investments need to be made regularly. To grow wealth, money needs to be added bit by bit. Be disciplined in investing. No matter what, make sure that you keep aside some money every month. Besides keeping money aside consistently, take a relook at investments when needed.
Keep track of your money
In the initial days of her career, Chopra used to keep track of her money by jotting down details in a diary. “Initially, mom and I used to have a little diary where we would write what is coming in and what is going out just to keep track because there are months where you get a lot of money and then there are months where you get nothing. So you have to be able to make sure that you even-out for the entire year. This was especially so in the beginning for me,” shares Chopra.
Whether you have a regular income or not, begin by writing down all expenses. You could use a diary, Excel sheet, even apps. There are multiple apps which will track expenses automatically. If you track your cash flow, you will be able to track down unnecessary expenses.
Name: Priyanka Chopra
Invests in real estate, movies
Be financially independent. “My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. That was the best advice I ever got. No matter where you go in life, or who you get married to, you have to be financial independent. You don’t know which curve balls life will throw at you. Hence, you need to have the ability to take care of yourself and people whom you love.”
(As told to Mint for the Mint Rich Star series.