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Money can be a source of happiness or stress, depending on its usage, says student Sanjana Jha

Updated: 18 Jun 2023, 02:07 PM IST
TL;DR.

In order to comprehend what money means to today's youth in a growing world, this series explores students and young working professionals and their perspectives on money and finance.

Sanjana Jha, a political science student at University of Delhi

Sanjana Jha, a political science student at University of Delhi

In today's generation, financial literacy holds immense importance due to the complexities of the modern financial landscape. With easy access to credit, online transactions, and a wide range of financial products and services, young people need to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to make sound financial decisions.

Sanjana Jha, a political science student at University of Delhi, tells MintGenie in an interview that she believes in the importance of seeking financial guidance from trustworthy individuals or influencers whose advice holds value. She is passionate about engaging in creative activities that encompass writing, painting, singing, and any pursuits that stimulate her imagination and test her skills.

Edited Excerpts:

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?

'Apna Sapna Money Money' - a famous Bollywood dialogue that we can all relate to. Money is a medium of exchange that allows individuals to buy any product and service. Money can be any commodity, a common constant.

Obviously, money is a factor for me. Money is a tool that can help me achieve anything I want, starting from my goals and dreams to my favorite food. Money can also be a source of happiness or stress, depending on how I use it and how much I have. Money is not the most important thing in life, but it is something that I need to manage wisely and responsibly.

What do you spend your money on every month at the moment? Can you give a breakup in percentage terms?

Being an undergraduate and staying away from home in Delhi, a major proportion of the money sent by my parents is spent on my PG rent. After that, it's the food that I eat, starting from the college canteen, street vendors, to the cafes, restaurants, and food outlets I visit. This is because I'm never satisfied with the food provided at the PG. After all, staying away from home has made all of us realize the importance of “Ghar ka khana!

Now, let's get back on track and talk about the expenditure breakdown in terms of percentages:

Stay - 40%

Extra food - 20%

Study materials - 8%

Groceries- 15%

Other essentials - 10%

Miscellaneous expenses - 7%

What are the things you want to spend money on?

I have several things I would like to spend my money on. Firstly, I want to use my own money to buy something special for my parents, as a way of showing my appreciation. Additionally, I have a passion for art and have been drawing since I was in 3rd grade, so I enjoy collecting various art supplies to fuel my creative endeavors.

Despite already having a substantial wardrobe, I must confess that like many girls, I have a slight obsession with buying new clothes, particularly T-shirts. Lastly, as a teenager, I have a strong desire to go on my "YJHD" trip, and I am determined to fund it myself. Even if I go on a family trip, I would love to cover my own expenses.

Do you save money? If yes, how frequently and what do you do with this money?

Yes, whenever I get a chance to save money, I do save it. I use it for my savings, which I allocate towards something essential. At times, it is for more general purposes, such as buying some items for myself or as a token of appreciation.

I consider myself privileged because I can ask my parents for money whenever I need it, and they promptly send it to me. However, there are many who do not have that luxury. On my last birthday, I remember using my savings to purchase food packets and distributing them among those in need.

What does having a job mean to you? What are the top two factors you will want to think about when deciding on a company to work for?

Having a job can have different meanings for different people. For some, it is a means of making a living, while for others, it is a career choice. Personally, having a job means being able to pursue something of my own choice without any external pressure and to develop my skills in a professional setting. It also provides me with the opportunity to earn money and achieve economic independence.

When considering a company to work for, there are two important factors that I take into account: the company's culture and values, as well as the growth opportunities and benefits they offer. In addition to these factors, there are a few other aspects that matter to me, such as the job responsibilities and opportunities available, as well as the work location and commute.

What do you think about investing your money? If you have a certain amount of money set aside, will you want to invest it in the stock market, mutual funds, or do you just keep it in your bank savings account?

I believe investing money can be a smart decision to grow our savings. If I have a certain amount of money set aside, I would prefer to keep it in a bank savings account since I don't fully understand the intricacies of the stock market. While the stock market and mutual funds offer potential for higher returns, they also come with risks that I am not comfortable taking at this stage. By keeping my money in a savings account, I can ensure its safety and have easy access to it whenever needed.

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?

Although I have a good understanding of how to save money, I admit that I lack knowledge about investments. At present, I am not actively learning about investment strategies, but I am determined to educate myself on this topic in the future. I recognize the importance of gaining knowledge and skills in investment to make informed financial decisions and maximize my savings.

Do you follow social media influencers and follow their investment advice?

No, not at the moment. Currently, I am an undergraduate and rely on my parent's financial support, along with the income I earn from occasional paid internships. With the money I receive, I either spend it or save it, without considering any investment options. Consequently, I do not follow any social media influencers in the investment domain.

While I appreciate influencers who openly share their educational qualifications, certifications, and thorough research, there are others who are not equally qualified and provide misleading information solely for monetary gain, which I believe is not advisable to follow. It is important to seek guidance from trustworthy individuals or influencers whose advice holds value.

Do you talk to your mother or your father about money and learn from them or follow their advice?

Obviously, talking to parents gives you the solution to every problem. One should definitely talk to their parents about everything. I do share with them and learn some of the spending and saving practices.

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First Published: 18 Jun 2023, 02:07 PM IST