Ritik Jaiswal, 27, works as a public relations account executive in New Delhi.
He moved from his hometown of Kanpur, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, to New Delhi in 2016 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
He first started working in the PR industry in 2021 and earned a salary of 25,000 Indian rupees ($300).
Mr Jaiswal, who has been in his current job for 18 months, sublets a room in an apartment in New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar neighbourhood and says the arrangement “helps to save money, as it does not involve the expenses associated with renting a property”.
He has an elder brother who works in a private bank, his father is a government employee and his mother is a homemaker.
Mr Jaiswal plans to get married in three to four years.
What is your current salary?
My current gross salary is 52,000 rupees (Dh2,292) a month, while I receive 46,000 rupees after tax and other deductions.
Have you started investing?
Yes, I invest in stocks and mutual funds. I’m also planning to buy an apartment in New Delhi.
I started investing at the age of 25 and educated myself from YouTube and Google. I also discuss with my friends and colleagues about which stocks to buy or which investment to go for.
I usually prefer to invest in stocks of Nifty 50 companies including Tata, Tata Consultancy Services and Wipro.
I invest in stocks every month and my investment portfolio is worth 200,000 rupees.
Whenever I see there is a surplus in my bank account, I actively look for important initial public offerings to invest in because they usually offer better returns in a short time frame.
I also allocate 5,000 rupees every month towards mutual funds through a systematic investment plan. I started this investment this year.
I believe investing delivers good returns, while just saving money in a bank account does not offer attractive returns. The average interest rate you can avail of in India is 5 per cent to 6 per cent per year. So, I think investing in the stock market is wiser.
I invest in markets through the Zerodha stock trading app.
I also tried randomly investing in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin before the Covid-19 pandemic because someone recommended it to me. I invested approximately 10,000 rupees and the money grew to 48,000 rupees after a few years.
I withdrew the amount and tried investing again, but lost money this time around.
I also have a plan to invest in bonds, but am researching about the asset class and don’t find it very attractive.
Do you have an emergency fund?
I save 10 per cent of my salary each month in my bank account. This can sustain me for five to six months.
Have you started saving to buy a property?
I plan to use the savings in my emergency fund to buy a property whenever I shortlist something.
I will take my parents’ help to get the down payment ready and later pay the home loan instalments myself. The down payment usually varies between 20 per cent to 30 per cent of the total sale price.
I plan to buy a two-bedroom apartment that’s worth between four million to five million rupees, either this year or early next year. I will rent it out to help pay off my loan instalments.
What are your major monthly expenses?
I pay 5,000 rupees for my housing costs.
I also spend on domestic travel every three months since I like to visit new places. I last visited Bangalore and Pondicherry.
I also spend on shopping for clothes and fitness supplements since I am a gym freak. I am usually on healthy diets, so I buy protein supplements.
Do you have any debt?
No. I have a credit card, but I rarely use it. If I do, I make sure to pay it off in full every month.
I usually spend 10,000 to 12,000 rupees a month with my credit card to buy supplements for my diet. I do not use it to pay for my travel expenses.
Do you own a car?
The traffic in New Delhi is bad, so I don’t use a personal vehicle and travel by Metro instead.
Have you ever inherited a sum of money?
No, not yet. I have not discussed this with my parents as I believe this is not the right time. I will discuss this with them when I am 30.
I currently have no dependents but send money to my mother when she requests it.
How do you budget your salary every month?
I allocate 30 per cent on rent, shopping, fitness and other expenses, 30 per cent on stock market investment, 30 per cent towards savings (for travel, starting a business and buying property) and 10 per cent towards my emergency fund.
I don’t budget using a spreadsheet because I am very good with numbers and prefer to do mental calculations instead.
Growing up, were you taught about how to handle your finances?
Not at all, I learnt everything myself. You don’t receive any formal training on money management in India.
My parents gave me pocket money up to 15,000 rupees a month when I was in college.
I have been good with money management since childhood, so I managed that money smartly.
If you are living with your parents, then you are dependent on them. But if you’re living alone, then you learn to make decisions on how to manage money and how to live on your own.
Are you finding it more difficult to budget your money with the rising cost of living?
Yes, sometimes. But instead of reducing my expenses, I look for other ways to earn more money, such as by freelance content writing.
Do you earn passive income?
Yes, I earn passive income from the stock market. But I reinvest this money in stocks because I am investing for the long term.
Whenever I feel that a particular stock is not performing well, I sell it, withdraw the money and use that money to buy another stock instead, because I don’t need that money right now.
At what age do you plan to retire?
I plan to retire at the age of 50. Along with my work, I’m looking to start a business in the food industry next year, which will help me to earn money to retire at 50.
I will use the savings in my emergency fund and withdraw some money from my stock portfolio, if needed, to inject capital in my new business.
Once the business starts doing well, I plan to quit the corporate world.
It’s hard to sustain yourself long term in the corporate world because you must constantly keep proving yourself. There is a lot of politics involved in corporate life and once you somehow reach a higher level, there is no growth and you feel saturated in the job. It is a trap.
What are your occasional indulgences?
Clothes and travel. I sometimes spend on expensive, branded clothes and go to expensive cafes. I tend to do this once every two months.
Do you worry about money?
I don’t worry much about money because I’m very good at money management. I always calculate before doing anything.
What are your financial goals?
I always try to save more money towards the end of a financial year compared with the previous year.
I try to increase my savings by at least 10 per cent to 15 per cent each year. I managed to save about 250,000 rupees last year.
So far, I am on track to save 10 per cent to 15 per cent more than last year’s amount.
What is your idea of financial freedom?
Financial freedom is important because you don’t feel any stress if you have good savings.
It is crucial and people should begin saving very early. They should not wait until they are 24 or 25 to start saving.
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