A Millennial’s Guide to Saving Money

A Millennial’s Guide to Saving Money

My Dad used to (actually, he still does) say that the millennial is awful with money. So, every month-end that would see me staring woefully at all the missing zeroes in my bank account, I would make a promise to myself that I would be a lot more planned with my moolah. That one month when I was down to my last few hundred rupees, made me realize that I needed to change my ways. When you’re in college, being broke is the worst thing ever, and I forced myself to get my ish together.

Enter Sooch 2.0, the smart, savvy (an exaggeration), wise as ever – with money – version of me.

• I didn’t really do a LOT, just made a few minor changes. For example, I am a teetolater and I realized that when I did go to clubs, I ended up being the grandma and trust me, when you are the ONLY sober person, you don’t need to be going to clubs in the first place. Getting rid of these friends of mine helped drastically. No money was wasted on Uber, or on other people’s liquor, and I got to spend my Sunday nights sleeping in. Unless of course, I had a night shift.

• The second thing I did was cut back completely on ordering in. And I would cook myself healthy meals that momma would approve. Which is something I do till date.

Not only does this save you money, home-cooked meals are almost always so much easier on your heart and your waistline.

• Investments are your best friend. Read up on mutual funds, and property investments and make smart choices. You’ll get returns and you will feel like a sorted person. Get someone to help you out, if you’re getting stuck somewhere. There’s zero shame in asking for guidance.

• I did a lot of debating, and finally made a giant change in my shopping habits. I don’t buy stuff I won’t ever wear. Which means I don’t have clothes that are lying around collecting dust, and I have a closet that gives me breathing space. I’ve also cut back on my makeup shopping addiction by putting myself on ‘low-buys’ and ‘no-buys’, throughout the year, which means sometimes I go without buying makeup for MONTHS at a stretch. I’ve also unfollowed accounts like Trendmood1 on Instagram, because she is an enabler who makes you feel like you are compelled to buy every new launch that every other brand under the sun comes out with.

• I eighty-sixed my credit card. That saved me a lot of headache and hassle and I don’t have humongous bills to pay at the end of every month. If you’re a compulsive and an IMPULSIVE shopper too, don’t get a credit card in the first place.

What are some of the ways you save money?

Ten Relationship Home Truths

Ten Relationship Home Truths

• The biggest mistake people in relationships make would be comparing their relationship to someone else’s.

• A relationship actually should be between two people. Don’t involve a third person. No aunt or mommy or best friend, no one, would ever be able to fix it for you. The only people that can would be you and your partner.

• EVERY COUPLE HAS PROBLEMS. Mature people handle it like pros and that’s why it seems like their relationship is killing it.

• You’re not ready for a new relationship with a new person if you’re constantly saying crap about your ex. You made the choice to date this person, your ex, and you shouldn’t let your present question your brains.

• Rebounds never really last. If someone says they’re happy with their rebound, they’re lying.

• Most millennials are hella scared of marriage. It’s not just you. It’s most of the millennial population. We’re a screwed up generation.

• Also, millennials are really bad with money. Don’t expect your man to always get you stuff because dude is paying EMIs and home loans and you need to chill about not getting a Valentine’s Day gift.

• If you need to play Nancy Drew and if you’re someone that wants his passwords, boo, you ain’t ready. Same goes for the men. If you can’t trust your partner, you need to take a step back and reconsider.

• If you can expect time and attention and other stuff from your partner without overdoing it, you’re going to make a great partner.

• It’s true: if you can be best friends with your partner, you’re super sorted and you’re hella lucky.

Love and Other Flukes.

Love and Other Flukes.

I finish smiling at the phone and hang up. My cheeks hurt from having to fake it. I’ve been faking it since forever now. I turn off the phone and put it away.

I hate being weak. I hate it that every time this routine phone call happens, I feel dumb and I feel like a compromise. Why would he pick me anyway? He’s perfect. I’m far from it. And we’re also in this long-distance thing where we talk everyday on appointment-basis. Which means, he calls and talks to me for twenty minutes on the daily. And that I’m supposed to be thankful for it. And he says I’m supposed to be happy he doesn’t cheat on me, even though all the women at work throw themselves at him.

My hands itch to find a fresh new razor.

I kind of started cutting myself when I was with another man, before him. Stopped when I met this guy, but he turned out to be the exact same piece of trash in a different meat-suit, and the whole process started again. I don’t cut myself in obvious places. Only my thighs. We’ve never had sex with the lights on, and he’s never paid attention to my scars. And when we meet, once in a while, they’re almost healed anyway. Sometimes I feel like I’m an abomination that can’t be loved. That everything about me is wrong and dirty and unworthy of someone’s time. That men only ever want to be with me because I’m something that must be pitied upon. Hot tears blind my eyes and revulsion rises inside of me like bilious vomit for even daring to think of myself with so much self-pity – and at the same time, I ask myself why am I even here. If I had a gun, I would have blown my own brains out years ago. Nobody would have known. Not till the apartment started to reek and someone ended up calling the authorities to investigate.

I fantasize about death, a lot. An unhealthy awful lot.

I find a shiny new blade and start tracing the word LOSER on to my right thigh. I’m calm when I have open wounds. I’ve always been this calm when placing calculated obvious incisions at the morgue too. Cutting myself is a whole different rush. And it heals me and it calms me down. I look at the clock. Two hours have passed and I’ve been exactly a year older for two whole hours and I never noticed.

I pat LOSER dry but she continues to bleed.

The “Omnivore” Debate

The “Omnivore” Debate

Humans were primarily vegetarian, did you know that? This whole omnivore thing came into being because that’s what we concluded, as per our convenience.

A few pointers that actually stress on the point that Homo sapiens sapiens were actually meant to be vegetarian:

• Lack of pointy AF canines. We only have tiny little baby canines.

• The presence of the vermiform appendix which now exists for the sole purpose of causing you pain, but actually played a key role in ancient history when man most certainly ate the bark of trees and different forms of cellulose.

• The fact that you don’t see a dead chicken carcass and automatically go OMG I want to eat it.

I think the meat thing happened by accident. Man discovered fire, and some animal fell into it and it must have smelled good or whatever and steak was discovered. I’m kidding.

Before this thing gives me angina, I’m going to retire for the night. This was also probably the most half-a**ed post I’ve done in a long time. Between headaches and work and having to deal with grown up children that don’t belong to my body, I’ve really had a rough day. Anyway. Is it just me, or are chicken wings hella tempting and maybe I should go back to eating them?

Also, what do you think of the whole man was designed to be someone that ate a plant-based diet debate?

PMS.

PMS.

I’m supposed to be correcting my students’ papers. I can’t focus. There’s a horrible dull ache right under my tits and it’s driving me nuts. Why’s cyclical mastalgia a real thing? Why do I have to deal with it every month?

Premenstrual syndrome is a nightmare. I know Aunt Flow has almost reached V-town – I’m bloated, craving chocolate at three in the morning and my husband is still out. On a Friday night. That lousy, cheating scum.

I know he’s cheating on me.

I can’t even correct these papers anymore. I want to rip out my hair, all my hair, from the roots. I want to scream bloody banshee screams, and I want to throw boiling hot water over whoever cow he’s shagging at three am on a weekend night. I’m gonna cry.

I definitely know he’s cheating on me.

So he has a piercing in one ear, right? And I got him this little stud to wear and he’s switched it up. I remember him replacing it with one of those guy hoops that f*ckboys wear. Oh, he’s cheating on me. I’m sure some girl gave him this hoop thing. I hate it. I hate the little stones on it. I want to beat her into a unrecognizable pulpy mess. The nerve.

I hate this. I hate being home alone and working. I’m craving chocolate mousse.

I’m just gonna walk to the fridge before my ovaries and my brains split. And awesome, there’s only health crap in there. Who wants a freaking salad at this time of night? UGHHHHHHH.

Oh look, he’s FaceTiming.

Okay, so he’s at work and he’s going to be home in fifteen. Definitely not cheating. Just working. I looked carefully. He’s in office and there’s nobody around. I made him show me around. Poor thing. Must be so hard on him, you know? All of this. This marriage. To this crazy witch.

Vendetta

Vendetta

Woke up late this morning, my alarm never went off.

Shoved a granola bar down my throat and rushed to Starbucks.

Walked into a stranger and spilled my boss’s coffee all over myself.

Overworked and underpaid for someone that happened to be overpaid and underworked.

Walked into office with my hair a mess, my shirt all stained and a headache.

Twenty two year old intern, new on the job, on the lowest rung of the food chain.

Doing as told, and then bam, the printer broke.

Tried to fix it. But in vain.

The boss gave me hell, she never showed me any mercy.

I ended up working alone that night, cold and hungry.

The coffee machine refused to work for me.

It’s like my office has a vendetta against me.

Unconditional

Unconditional

I see him everyday. He’s with this girl that never values him, and I can see that. Sometimes I add extra whipped cream to his fancy coffee just because. Specially on days like this.

He looks tired. I’m not his barista today, I’m working in the kitchen but I can see him. He sits at his usual spot, by the window, laptop open in front of him, clicking away madly, trying to make more money, presumably.

I know he’s proposed to her already: I’ve seen her livestream. And I know she doesn’t like the tiny one carat diamond because I saw her nose wrinkle and I know he’s promised her more carats once he’s richer. Because her caption said: “This is the ring he proposed to me with guys! He says he’s gonna get me a five carat one next year, yay!” I guess that’s something all influencers must do. What would I know, anyway? I’m only a barista that does college assignments between breaks. Not even in the influencer neighborhood.

My boss asks me to see if our favorite customer would like to try our new cheesecake. I comply, happily. The boy says sure and gives me a perfunctory smile without looking. A part of me deflates.

I go get a piece and take the cheesecake to him and I say it’s on the house. And my boss says that every time I give away free food, he’s gonna give me a smaller paycheck, but that’s fine by me. This boy is worth all the cheesecakes in the world.

I’m standing there and waiting like an idiot, waiting for him to take a bite and tell me if it’s good cake and he gets uncomfortable as heck and hastily takes a bite. His whole face changes. He actually looks at me.

“Whoa,” he says, “this is some good shit.”

“It’s my recipe!” I blurt out before I can stop myself.

He smiles.

“This is my new favorite. I hope it’s permanently sitting at the head of the menu. Is that a thing even?”

This is the longest conversation we’ve had and I’m about to say something when influencer fiancée walks in, heels clicking away smartly, and I’m sharply brought back to earth and I slip away like bad internet on a stormy day.

I go back to the utensil hole I came out of. Back to reality. Watching them from a safe distance, watching them together. Looking at what could have been. But accidents happen and you lose your memories and he’s lost memories of me and he had a blank canvas in his head and he is holding it together – or faking it for her, as I can see.

I’ve loved him since I was a freshman in high school, and he doesn’t remember me. And I didn’t refresh his memory. If he was given a brand new start and a brand new girl, isn’t that how it’s supposed to be? Shouldn’t I stay away, like I’m meant to, because I’m just a barista to him, and not someone he was once in love with? Isn’t that what love teaches you? To let someone go? To only see, but never touch, unless it’s something that’s meant to be? To make sure that it is – as they say – unconditional?

Truth

Truth

Helen was a sucker for rules, a stickler for schedules. She had the same routine, always insisted that her family follow suit. Her sixteen year old teenage daughter was a model student, the kind of kid parents liked to show off sometimes. Her makeup would be perfect, hair brushed to perfection, teeth in perfectly straight lines. But she had a secret, one that wasn’t hers to keep. It was almost like she had an alter ego, the pain this other girl felt was far too deep.

You see, beneath all her perfection and all her perfect scores and all her med school aspirations, she had a different dream. The one she couldn’t talk to Helen about, the one that made her let out s million silent screams. The pressure had gotten too much, and it stared to build and build. She couldn’t do it anymore, her alter ego wasn’t strong-willed. And so one day, when her mother was out, and she was home alone, pretty little girl did what had to be done, and then there was nothing – Demons, begone.

Helen came home with husband in tow, fussing over the state of the kitchen floor. And she saw her baby there, supine, lifeless, stone-cold. What seemed like ages had passed by, when, taped to the the fridge, she saw…

The note:

I didn’t want you to know. I was so ashamed. I’m sorry Mama, I tried. I’ve been living under your shadow for so long, trying to be you for so long, that I’d forgotten what it was like to be myself. Between school and music lessons and debate club and your anatomy lessons, I didn’t have a second to myself. I wanted to write, Mama. I managed to still finish a book and I couldn’t get it published because you’d never let me go out alone. And you never understood what I wanted and what I actually lived for. I’m depressed, Mama, truly. I’ve always been. I can’t keep up the appearances anymore. I’m sorry I was selfish, but Mimi took over and ended it. It’s always been Mimi and I, since you never let me have friends. I met her in play-school, in the mirror, a spitting image of me and we have been inseparable ever since. Mimi told me things – that she knew you had a licensed gun, for example, in your bedside drawer. That you turned into an overachiever because you had your own mommy issues. I don’t want to turn into you, Mama. I can’t be a control freak like you. Mimi is everything to me. She draws and I write and we will be okay. We love you, Mama. No matter what you did to me and how much you put me through, the truth is I still love you. Will always do.

“Sad”

“Sad”

“Hey.”

“Hi baby! Was just about to text you, what’s up?”

“I need to borrow fifteen grand. Stat. Thanks.”

“Okay, sending you the money right aw— hello? Ahahah. Oh you’ve hung up. That’s nice.”

“So A disappeared this morning, again, this time he didn’t really borrow as much. Only fifteen grand.”

“Do you see my eye roll right now, Sam? Do you? I’m your best friend and I can’t see you dating this guy and being his sugar mama anymore. Does he ever return the money he borrows?”

“That’s okay, really. This cafe is nice. How’s your cheesecake?”

“Nice try. I don’t wanna get involved anymore. If you’re happy with him, then don’t complain, you know?”

“You’re the only person I actually talk to. A never really has time to talk to me. He’s working a busy job and he’s too tired and I understand. But sometimes I get lonely, kinda.”

“Not to mention he never is too busy to ask you for favors. Not to mention he took Rachel out the other night for her birthday, but didn’t have money to take you out on yours. That’s okay, right? No cards. No flowers. No calls. That’s okay, yes?”

“Hey, birthdays are overrated anyway. Plus, they’ve been friends for over a decade now! I can’t be the jealous doubting type.”

“I can’t with you. Okay, I’ve to go now, catch up with you next week?”

“Sure.”

“A, I’ve been calling since eight, it’s dinner time. Are you coming home or – are you at the pub again?”

“Yeah, babe, it’s so noisy in here, I’ll come home late. Don’t wait up for me.”

“Cool.”

Diary:

So, A’s been unavailable emotionally for months now. I try to break up, he doesn’t let me leave. Sometimes I want to tell him that I want to be needed, and that I would love to have the old romance back, but I feel like he won’t get me anyway.

It sucks. When you’re doing a live-in relationship with someone, specially in this part of the country. What if he actually lives up to what he threatens to do, and then ends up telling my parents? What if they make me quit my job and flush my dreams down the damn loo and go back home? I struggled a lot to get where I am, and to work as the creative head of this brand I’ve adored since I was little. I can’t throw it all away for a man.

But what do I do? Keep up this facade? My Instagram is fire and my boyfriend looks cute in all those photos. People think we’re couple goals. This image I’ve created is something I can’t let go of. Isn’t it sad, what we put up with? Isn’t it sad, how we don’t want anyone to know? Isn’t it sad, that I’m a sugar mama, when all I wanted was to be loved and adored?

Rain

Rain

I detest airports. There’s no fun, being inside a building that’s constantly buzzing like a giant beehive. And I don’t like flights, either. What’s so special about a metal capsule that happens to be a cesspool of germs? Nothing.

And yet, there I was, laptop and tote bag in hand, waiting in line to check in. And then bam, they announced the two-hour delay. Just peachy. The sky matched my mood, it was grey and gloomy and I was grey and gloomy. If there’s one thing I hate more than airports, it would have to be weddings. I hadn’t been home, and I hadn’t even seen my friends – in ages. But when your youngest cousin is getting married, you’ve to act happy, right? You can’t be a grumpy sourpuss and try to rain on someone’s parade, you know. Never mind the fact that you’d just started a business and had to take your work with you, even to the washrooms. No, siree.

I was pushing thirty, they liked to say, and still single – and was therefore, the black sheep of the family. All my cousins were married with kids and dogs and big a** houses, and here I was, the sore thumb, holed up somewhere, living a life that was falling apart and with no prospects, they liked to point out all the time, all by herself.

I never really feel sorry for myself. I’m doing okay. I have a custom clothing business that’s rather popular with influencers and I have a team and an office and everything. But I’m not a doctor or an engineer or a chartered accountant, and therefore, I’m unsuccessful and dumb. And I feel dumber when I’m around my family. So yay, go me, on my way to a wedding where I would be taken apart and scrutinized. FUN.

When I finally boarded, I made sure to enjoy the last few hours of peace. I guess I did enjoy that flight.

Nobody came to pick me up: no surprises there. I was adamant about staying at a hotel and nobody objected. Needless to say, my relationship with my own parents is strained and there’s no fixing things now.

I changed and did my makeup quickly and got into an Uber. It was the sangeet ceremony and I was already late. The instant I got into the backseat, it started pouring. I had to do a bit of a headless chicken run trying to get inside the damn venue. Try running in a lehenga that weighs as much as you do, and you’d know that’s some serious cardio right there.

When you’ve got Pammi aunties and Jaya aunties around, your life becomes a movie and these guys only exist for one sole purpose – fake constructive criticism. I had to endure some body-shaming and some makeup-shaming and some career shaming and some unmarried status shaming before I broke down. Indian weddings suck. I mean, I never cry. But that was a long flight. And I was hungry. But they also called me fat and ugly. My mother wasn’t even looking at me. I kept wishing she would just come over and tell me it was okay, but she seemed way too busy with the wedding that she would never get to have for her own kid, and so I left her alone. I went out and stood by myself in a corner, getting more drenched.

It was pouring. Tears were pouring.

I kept wishing I’d never shown up.

And then he showed up. And he had the kindest eyes. And he had booze. And we downed our sorrows. He was cute. He had the nicest smile. And no wedding band.

As we talked more, I realized that the rain had finally washed my mother’s misery away.