scorecardresearchMoney just a tool to pave the way towards financial independence, says

Money just a tool to pave the way towards financial independence, says student Utkarsh Kushwaha

Updated: 26 Apr 2023, 09:10 AM 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.

Utkarsh Kushwaha, final year commerce student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi

Utkarsh Kushwaha, final year commerce student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi

Financial independence is an important goal for the youth of today. It can bring a sense of security and provide the opportunity to make better life choices. Having the ability to make sound financial decisions and to be in control of one's own finances is essential to success and a secure future.

Utkarsh Kushwaha, a final year commerce student of Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, University of Delhi, tells MintGenie in an interview money plays a very important role when it comes to obtaining some status and prestige in society, however, it cannot become the end goal of life.

He is a national level quizzer having represented Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand region, securing the second runner-up position. Additionally, he has been an intern at various organizations, including Niti Aayog, Urban Company, and Impact Investors Council.

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?

Money for me is just a tool to pave the way towards financial independence. Though I cannot deny the fact that money plays a very important role when it comes to obtaining some status and prestige in society, it cannot become the end goal of life. Money is undoubtedly one of the most important factors in my life decisions, such as career, studies, or pursuing my passion, but it is not the most important one. There are other factors in combination with money that help me in reaching a decision, such as the will to pursue something, the degree of effort required, etc.

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

Since I live in Delhi, far away from my hometown Lucknow, I try to maintain a budget every month and sit at the end of every month to analyze my expenses and income. Usually, I spend the majority of the money on exploring various places in Delhi, trying out various cuisines, personal health, courses, investments, rent, and a bit of partying as well.

If I were to allot a certain percentage to my expenses, around 30% go into exploring various places and food, 15% into rental expenses, 10% to personal health, 10% to various skill-based courses, 15% to investments, and the rest 20% is miscellaneous which includes partying, short trips, and other unplanned things.

What are the things you want to spend money on?

The things I would like to spend my money on would be my physical health and travelling. Physical health is of utmost importance when it comes to feeling confident and complete. Similarly, travelling helps me soothe down my nerves and mental health. If you are fit both physically and mentally, that is the best gift anyone can give to themselves.

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

Yes, I do save a portion of my money, and that is a necessity since I am an outstation student. I am calling it a necessity for an outstation student because one never knows what sort of contingency could arise in the future, and we have to deal with it alone. I have a side interest to teach students, through which I earn a decent amount, and I try to maximize my savings from this particular stream.

The majority of the money that I save every month goes into two SIPs that I started early last year, and they have a lock-in period of 10 years, so there is a discipline that I have been following with the money saved, and I hope I continue to do it in the future.

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?

A job for me is an opportunity to learn new things, meet new people, and explore new possibilities. In the same process, it is also a source of earning some financial freedom. The top two factors that I would consider when deciding on a company to work for would be the culture of the company and its growth prospects.

These are the most important factors that anyone would consider while deciding to work for a company since the satisfaction of the employees in the workplace is directly proportional to the growth trajectory of the company.

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 my money feels really good and responsible since it is a step towards one of my major goals of being financially independent. If I have a certain amount of money set aside, I would invest a major part of it in mutual funds, as it is a reliable and safe option compared to other assets and gives a decent return in the long run.

A small portion would go towards slightly riskier/liquid assets, like direct stocks, cryptocurrency, etc. The reason for venturing into such risky assets is the low burden of familial responsibility.

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?

Yes, I do have a basic understanding of the concept of saving and investing. Though there is a plethora to learn further, implementing the basics is the real thing. I learnt the art of investing from various free sources available on the internet and I try to practice it consistently.

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

Yes, I do follow some social media influencers, but I do not follow their investment advice blindly. I do listen to their opinions patiently, but I do my own research from scratch before making any investment decision.

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 parents about money, though not so frequently. I do learn a lot from their advice; they have spent more years managing money than my years on this planet. I do listen to their advice thoroughly, but again, in the end, I do my own research before taking any decision regarding money.

 

Article
Blunders which the mutual fund investors must avoid
First Published: 26 Apr 2023, 09:10 AM IST