Financial freedom is of utmost importance as it provides individuals with the ability to live life on their own terms. It grants the freedom to make choices without being constrained by financial limitations. It offers the possibility of a brighter and more fulfilling future, where financial worries are no longer a hindrance to personal growth and happiness.
Anurag Tiwari, student of Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, tells MintGenie in an interview that he creates a mental roadmap and sets specific goals for investments and savings at the beginning of each month.
The different phases of his life, including being a cross-country runner, an armed forces enthusiast, and his love for numbers and puzzles, have aided him in self-introspection. These experiences have enabled him to recognise his strengths and weaknesses and have propelled his personal growth.
What does money mean to you? Is it the most important factor when it comes to your life decisions like what to study, career and so forth?
Money plays a significant role in my life as an individual. According to me, it gives you actual freedom to take risks and explore different domains without any mental barriers. Money provides financial security by meeting basic needs such as food, shelter, and healthcare. It also offers opportunities and choices, allowing individuals to pursue education, explore career paths, travel, and engage in activities that enrich their lives.
While money is not the only thing, it is one of the most important factors that solve a majority of problems and ensure a good standard of living. It is crucial to recognise that money can bring numerous benefits, but it is not the sole determinant of happiness or fulfillment. Other aspects such as relationships, personal growth, and a sense of purpose also play crucial roles in leading a meaningful life.
What do you spend your money on every month at the moment? Can you give a breakup in percentage terms?
For the past 2 years, I have been residing in New Delhi while pursuing my graduation at Kirori Mal College, Delhi University. As an outstation student, it is crucial for me to closely monitor my expenses. I strongly believe that understanding personal finance is a vital life skill that everyone should learn and adopt.
If I were to break down my expenses as a percentage of my total budget, it would be 20% on rentals, 30% on food and beverages, 15% on exploring new places and socialising, 25% on savings, and the remaining 10% on miscellaneous expenses, such as unplanned trips, hanging out with friends, and other miscellaneous items.
What are the things you want to spend money on?
I allocate a considerable portion of my budget towards my health and fitness. As a runner, it is crucial for me to prioritise my overall well-being. I invest in expenses related to healthy food, gym memberships, and sports accessories like shoes and fitness trackers.
Additionally, I allocate funds for traveling and exploring new places, both within and outside of Delhi. Trekking is also included in my expenditure as it contributes to my fitness goals and allows me to experience new adventures.
Do you save money? If yes, how frequently and what do you do with this money?
As an Indian, saving money is ingrained in our culture. At the beginning of each month, I create a mental roadmap and set specific goals for investments and savings. My aim is to save at least 30-40% of my income, but currently, I am saving 25% and working towards surpassing the 30% mark soon.
To strike a balance between my expenses and increase my savings, I actively seek out internships and content writing projects through fellowships, which provide additional sources of income.
What does having a job mean to you? What are the top two factors you will want to think about when deciding a company to work for?
The decision of having a job or not is subjective and depends on different perspectives. Attaining financial independence at a young age is crucial as it provides confidence to take risks, which in turn facilitates learning and personal growth.
Two factors that I consider important are the job description and profile, ensuring alignment with personal interest and basic knowledge, and the compensation package (CTC), which should justify the efforts invested. It is essential to calculate the opportunity cost before making a decision.
Do you think you have an understanding on how to save and invest? If yes, how did you learn? If not, are you trying to learn?
While I am still in the process of learning and exploring, I can't claim to have a comprehensive understanding of saving and investing. Currently, I haven't ventured into the stock market or mutual funds, but I have plans to gain knowledge and an understanding of trend analysis before considering these investment options.
Instead, I choose to invest my money in activities that contribute to my health, fitness, and personal growth. This includes participating in cross country and half marathons, as well as enrolling in certification courses and engaging in discussions to acquire new skills.
Do you follow social media influencers and follow their investment advice?
Personally, I don't actively follow social media influencers, but I do stay informed about current events and diverse opinions. I believe in carving my own path towards personal growth, and to achieve that, I strive to gain knowledge and learn from various sources available to me.
Do you talk to your mother or your father about money and learn from them or follow their advice?
Indeed, I engage in frequent conversations with my father regarding personal finances and money management. Being a respected teacher, my father has always emphasised the importance of money and encouraged me to invest by developing the courage to handle risks. I value and follow the advice I receive from both of my parents. My skills in money management, savings, and investment approach are a direct result of the teachings imparted by my father.