Money matters. Or does it really? Outlook Money brings to you this series through which we explored the under 35's take on money matters. Every generation has its share of distinct events that later gets recounted. Those from the early 1990s India had consumer durables as their object of desire. By the end of that decade and turn of the millennium, fancy cars had taken that place. Gen Z has grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. Demographically speaking, those under 25 comprise 50 million of India’s population. This is more than that of the total population of Brazil, Russia, Germany and Canada combined. Being personal finance specialists, it was only natural that we at Outlook Money got curious to investigate what Gen Z thinks about money.
It's all about the knowledge
When Mr.Tewari decided to take a long leave and left his dear students and colleagues to pursue a PhD in one of his most passionate subjects, Design History, his financial life as he knew it, changed. Tewari, taught architecture for three years at the School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal after completing his masters from the prestigious IIT Mumbai.
"The timing was good when I joined IIT Kanpur as the government had just announced a raise of Rs 7000 in the stipend starting January, 2015. Earlier it was Rs 18000. This raise was good enough to attract people like us to take a leave from our organisation and pursue research full-time." Though the cost of living is nominal at the IIT Kanpur campus, where he now lives, the stipend of Rs 25000 is a tough budget to live on considering his wife is not working currently since she recently gave birth to their son.
"Actually when Karnabh was born, it was not really that difficult financially as our families gifted most of the necessities for the baby. There is even competition from his maternal and paternal grandparents to see who showers most gifts on him! But this can't go on for long," says Tewari.
Tewari has invested in infrastructure bonds and has two fixed deposits. He has not invested in mutual funds and as of now, does not intend to do so in future. However, he is a subscriber to the NPS as he is a central government employee.
Mr. Tewari is on a long unpaid leave from School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal. He is to resume his teaching position once his studies are over. "You can't be too worldly, staying on campus," he says. "I have not bought new clothes in the last one and a half years. As it turns out, I had too many clothes that I hardly wore otherwise." He would rather spend his extra money on travel and books.
When asked what his main financial goals in life are, he shared with us his philosophy:" The only goal is to study more and know more as much as I can. Out of three prime goddesses in Hindu system, Saraswati (Knowledge), Laxmi (Wealth) and Durga (Power), I like to have Saraswati. Laxmi is essential to survive in this worldly setting. People love it and it controls people. I just wonder, what would have happened if the Govt. changed the Syllabus? Do you expect queues outside bookshops to buy new books?"