'Money brings strength': How astute financial planning helped this Indian expat follow her dreams

Dubai-based yoga teacher shares her relationship with money

By Melanie Swan

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Published: Thu 30 May 2024, 6:53 PM

Yoga teacher Brinda Hora dedicates her life to teaching a philosophy and practice she deeply believes in. The Indian expat, 43, lives in Dubai and is now in her 18th year. Her attitude to money is like her relationship to her spiritual practice, treasured and respected, and acts as an anchor for her as she leaves full time employment behind to continue on her own business ventures.

If you had to write a letter to money, what would you say?

Dear Money, please be kind to all; we respect you more than you know. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, keep us blessed always.

How would you describe your relationship with money?

It’s been a very interesting one, as I started a new chapter with money every time I started a new chapter in my life.

How do you think this relationship was formed?

My relationship with money was formed at the age of 19, when I started working part-time in an advertising agency back in India and continued my last year of college on the side. Every penny I earned was accounted for and I’d look forward to a renewed relationship at the end of each month.

What good or bad lessons about money management did you learn from your mother?

During my childhood, my mum used to run the household while my father mostly worked outside of India to make ends meet for us financially. I recall seeing my mom segregate cash for bills and keeping cash for running the house at the beginning of every month. She used to write down all her expenses in several diaries. Maybe I got that from her as since opening my business in 2020, I too write down each income I earn and money that I spend using an app.

Who has taught you the most about financial management?

I have always been good in calculations. In 2016, when I took the leap to study and follow my passion, leaving Dubai for the first time and moving to London for a course in Personal Training followed by Hatha Yoga in Austria and Ayurveda Nutrition in Kerala, I was on the road for almost eight months. It was this relationship with money and excel sheets that kept me going, to explore the world.

What do you think has been the most profound experience you’ve had so far in relation to money?

Money brings strength when you have it and weakness when you don’t, in my experience, and the same could be said the other way around as well. When I did manage to save some money and start the company, I was bold enough to work on the basics, company setups, health insurance, license etc as that was needed; but I was hesitant to spend on other things like a new or pre-owned car, an apartment in a prominent area or setup a studio. Of course, I would like these things in life as well and I know they will come. What I have now is a strong foundation built on the principles and beliefs of what I follow and the energy I share. When you are following your passion, with the right intention to do good for others, money will come. I believe the Universe has my back.

If you could give your child or your younger self one piece of advice about money now, what would that be and why?

Don’t be too tough on yourself, enjoy your life and time with close ones. Just be mindful on what you spend on. Abundance will come when the intention is right and set towards a dream to give back to the community.

Do you plan long-term for your finances, and if so, how?

I did until I reached where I am today as that was my first long-term plan, to open my own company. Now, I have 3-6 month goals as that’s more achievable. However, I do have other long-term plans as well; and at some stage it will have timelines and individual business plans. Even if I can make half of them happen, the purpose of my life will be well-achieved.

What is your long-term goal or dream which is pegged to your finances?

I want to have a studio to teach yoga along with meditation classes especially for kids, open a centre for animals' health, wellness and healing, write books; to name a few.

How much do you save each month?

I try to save 15-20 per cent of my earnings every month.

How much do you plan to have by the time you are 65?

By the time I am 65, without quantifying it, I want to have a place of retreat or retirement to continue doing the things I love to do and more, including animal care.


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