Financial literacy is becoming increasingly important, especially for generation Z. With the rise of digital transactions and online banking, it's essential that young people are aware of how to manage their finances effectively. From budgeting to investing, financial literacy is the key to unlocking a lifetime of financial stability and success.
Tushar Jain,a final year student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi tells MintGenie in an interview about how his mother's emphasis on savings and his father's encouragement to take risks has helped him maintain a balanced approach.
As the founder of DU BUZZ, an online media platform with a presence on YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn, he has been able to build a community of more than 15,000 students organically in the span of 20 months. Tushar is a person who aims to build something for the student community, and Du Buzz is just a stepping stone towards that goal.
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 can provide individuals with financial security, freedom, and opportunities to achieve their goals, pursue their interests, and enjoy a certain standard of living. For me, money is having financial freedom and independence, and not having to think twice while spending somewhere.
In today’s world where everything is growing and evolving, money plays a very crucial role in an individual's growth. Money plays an important factor in getting status and recognition in society.
One can't buy everything with money, but it ensures that one has one less problem. I've heard a very beautiful quote, “Money can’t solve your problems, but it ensures that you have one less problem.”
If we take the example of the startup world, most bootstrapped startups are started with zero investment, but if they have enough capital in their initial stages, they can use it in marketing, which really helps their startups to reach the mass audience. However, due to the absence of money, most startups can't reach a mass audience in a shorter period.
To conclude, money is not the only thing, but it's one of the most important factors and solves the majority of problems to a certain level, ensuring a good standard of living.
What do you spend your money on every month at the moment? Can you give a breakup in percentage terms?
For the past 14 months, I have been living in Delhi to pursue my graduation. Being an outstation student, it becomes necessary for every individual to keep track of their expenses. I believe it’s the first step in understanding personal finance.
If I were to mention my expenses as a percentage out of my total budget, it would be 20% on rentals, 30% on food and beverages, 30% on exploring new places and meeting new people, 10% invested in my own startup, and the remaining 10% on miscellaneous expenses, which include unplanned trips, hanging out with friends, and some other things.
What are the things you want to spend money on?
I usually like to spend money on traveling and on people who, in return, provide value to me, as well as on my physical health. My major expenses go into traveling, buying, and exploring new gadgets, which help me to improve my content across social media. Keeping your body physically and mentally fit helps you to make the right decisions at the right time, and this is the best thing that one can expect from God.
Do you save money? If yes, how frequently and what do you do with this money?
Yes, being a citizen of India, saving money is something that we start hearing about from childhood from our parents. Being an outstation student, it becomes important to save money, and I usually try to save 40-50% of the money that I earn from different sources so that, in case of any emergency, it can be used.
This percentage is saved from the money that I earn, not from the money received from my parents, and it comes from an internship, some freelancing projects, and YouTube monetization.
I am not into the stock market or SIP, but I am planning to invest in them very soon after understanding the basic fundamentals. The money which I save is generally used to appreciate my team members on a frequent basis, and I finance those using the savings that I have.
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?
Having a job or not is a subjective decision, but for me, if you are a graduate or in the final year and don't have future plans for a master's or something else, then you should definitely go for a job or have it as a backup. Dropping it just because you don't want to do the job is not a good decision when you are not sure of the next step.
Two factors that I believe one should consider, and what I look at, are:
i) Job description and profile are very important before choosing the job. Going for a profile in which you have an interest and some basic knowledge is important. Just going because the company is good or the CTC is lucrative won't work for a longer period if you don't have an interest in the work.
ii) CTC - One should consider the CTC and check whether it justifies the efforts which they will be putting in after joining. One should calculate the opportunity cost and then take a decision.
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?
Investing money is really a very good option and feels satisfactory, and investing money doesn't mean that you have to jump into the stock market. It can be in any form, like gold, personal fitness, gaining knowledge by completing skill-based courses, and many more things.
If I have a specific amount of money to invest, I won't directly invest in the stock market and mutual funds because of a lack of knowledge in that field. But yes, I will definitely invest in some low-risk but high-return portfolios like SIP.
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?
I won’t say that I have a complete understanding of saving and investing. I am still in the learning and exploring phase. As of now, I don’t invest in the stock market and mutual funds, but I invest in my startup and gadgets for content creation. I am still in the learning stage of how to invest in the stock market and will soon be jumping into it.
Do you follow social media influencers and follow their investment advice?
I follow social media influencers, but I never invest based solely on their advice. Before investing in something or making high-value purchases, I conduct thorough research and then make a decision on whether or not to proceed. Just because something works for an influencer doesn't necessarily mean it will work for me.
Do you talk to your mother or your father about money and learn from them or follow their advice?
Yes, I do talk to my mother and father about money. My mother urges me to save as much money as I can, whereas my father encourages me to invest the money by taking the courage to handle the risk. I gain and follow the advice received from both of them. My saving and investment approach is always balanced, thanks to my mother and father.