Realising the value of each penny

Realising the value of each penny

Unique hobby

money matters A Padmanabhan

A Padmanabhan, a retired mechanical engineer, has been keeping a daily account of his spending habits religiously for the past 31 years and feels it helps in the process of saving.

Padmanabhan, who lived and worked in Mumbai for most of his life, recently shifted to Bangalore and now lives on Bannerghatta Road.

He informs that this habit started while he was working in ACC Cements and attended a meeting conducted by Nani Palkhivala.

“He spoke about how companies have balance sheets due to which they keep track of everything. I was inspired by that talk and decided to follow the same methodology in my daily life,” he says.

From that day, he started keeping a day-to-day and month-on-month account of the money he spent. And he continues to do the same even today.

The various segments include travel, food, education, medicine, child, entertainment, welfare, taxes, house maintenance, loan payment and the money spent on his parents and assets. “It takes only ten minutes everyday. And I do it daily otherwise I will forget,” he says. He says he preaches the benefits of this practice to everyone. “I asked my wife, Padma, to follow the same. Earlier she used to get irritated every time I enquired whether she had noted down the accounts but then after a while, she got used to it,” he says. “Whenever I do the Excel Sheet now, she comes and audits it,” he laughs.

Padmanabhan took to technology also with time and transferred all the data from his early years in the computer and now does the accounts on an Excel Sheet. And this has surely has made life easier. Showing a graphical depiction of his accounts on a sheet, he says this way he finds out if he has not been spending enough on certain items. Like I had not been spending too much on welfare earlier, which includes helping others in need. So I have increased the expenses on that now,” he says. “I have also increased the amount I spend on entertainment,” he adds.

While many may sayhis obsession with keeping accounts is equivalent to misery, Padmanabhan begs to differ. “I am fond of food and travel and spend with all my heart,” he says.

He says that the youngsters today earn a lot and often don’t keep track of their expenses but this habit would help them during their lean phase.

“They will be able to save well for the time that they may not be working. My son, who lives in the US, has recently started applying this habit in his daily life,” he says.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox