Thursday, February 16, 2017

Like Hinjewadi Techie Boys - I don’t Own a Flat - So What?

You only live once...

Hi Ravi,

I regularly follow your blog and I like your sarcastic style of writing. I have read several of your articles where you have highlighted the importance of living a quality life versus living a life under pressure to own a house as soon as possible at any cost in huge debt.

I think in life we have to make certain choices where we cannot achieve what others can because our circumstances are different. Mine is another such case.

I am an IT engineer and a daughter and a wife.

I am the only child of my parents so their entire responsibility is on me.

My parents are simple middle class people who worked hard, saved every penny so that they can give me a comfortable life and a good education.

They sacrificed nearly every personal need of theirs so that I can go to a convent school, become an engineer and have a happy childhood with all worldly comforts. Beautiful clothes, birthday gifts, toys, ice creams, picnics. Everything was for me and only me.

Until I graduated we lived in the heart of Pune city in our very old ancestral rented home.

They did not even buy a new flat within the city limits although they could have afforded it.

If they had bought that flat they would have had to cut out almost all the comforts from my life and a quality education.

So they bought a cheap apartment on the outskirts in a pathetic locality (just as a backup) while we continued to live in our ancestral home.

That 1.5 lakh difference mattered to them. And they made a choice. Me.

When I graduated eight years back we had to move out of our ancestral home.

Our backup apartment is on 3rd floor with no lift and my mother has health issues because of which she cannot climb those 3 set of stairs.

So eight years back, at the age of 22, I had to think about our future accommodation.

My starting salary at that time was 24K and rent was 7.5k.

My father retired around the same time with a government pension.

There was not enough money to buy a new flat within the city.


So there were two options.

Option 1: Save those 7.5k of rent for my future life and let my parents stay on the 3rd floor in a sad locality.

If I save the rent money I may even be able to buy a home inside the city in 7-8 years.

Or in that money I can have a lavish wedding.


My mother’s diabetes had impaired her health and climbing stairs would have been extremely difficult. She compromised saying “I won’t get out of the house much so I don’t have to climb the stairs”. From age 55 she would have been trapped in a house for months like a caged animal.

My father too was old. Neighbours were not nice. Water supply problems were there. Medical facilities, our relatives and all the other things that we were used to would have been unreachable for us.

Parents were ready (as always) to live that life as of course they don’t want their daughter to spend 7.5k every month.

Our scrupulous traditional middle class parents will never touch their daughter’s money!

Option 2: Spend the rent money, I will have fewer savings and let my parents live a decent life.

All their life they sacrificed and adjusted.

Don’t they deserve a good life at least during their last years?

Importance of TIME in life! YOLO!! (You only live once)

My parents are not going to have these last (healthy) years again!! Soon they will cross mid sixties after which they will be too old to even get out of the house.

This is the time window (55 to 65 years) when I can give them the lifestyle they deserve as the proud parents of a highly qualified daughter. So I take the decision and rent out an apartment (against my parents wishes).

Our backup apartment stays locked.

Eight years have passed and option 2 has worked out really really well!


We live in a beautiful spot in Kothrud surrounded by greenery and beautiful bungalows.

My mother goes for walks every day since we live on the ground floor. She enjoys going to the market and being able to live a normal life.

My father is thrilled as there is a katta nearby where all the retired members like him meet in the evening.

All our relatives live nearby.

We live in a 30 year old 1 BHK and the floor tiles belong to the 70s era.

But the people here are so friendly we live like one big family.

I can get a flat on rent in a high rise in a cosmopolitan atmosphere in Baner or Wakad (where I would be very happy btw J ).

But here we are surrounded by Marathi families like ours.

There is an excellent hospital nearby.

The convenience, homeliness and the safety of the neighbourhood are important to me.

The society does not have amenities like swimming pool, club house but my home is filled with happiness.


Years passed, I got promotions and salary increased. I was easily getting home loan. 1 BHK was a piece of cake and 2 BHK was also possible.

But turns out not buying a flat was very wise.

There were many things that had to be handled first.

We planned our monthly budget well, saved most of my salary, spent smartly and also had a little bit of fun.

Four years back my mother had a heart attack. Several hospitalizations and a bypass surgery set me back by around 8 lakhs.

But that was easily managed. I was never tense about money and my parents were relieved that we don’t have to borrow from anyone.

I had managed my finances so well that I gifted my mother a pair of gold earrings 2 months after the surgery for a speedy recovery!

I am happy too!

I was able to save for my own wedding.
Since our wedding expenses were well within our reach we were able to enjoy it completely.

I have also been able to fulfill some of my dreams.
I am passionate about travelling and I have been to my dream destinations Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Dubai and New York.

In these eight years I have lived a fulfilling life.
Dining out in fine restaurants, going for shopping in malls are some of the things we never thought we would do.

My folks are happy that I am able to have fun and don’t have to scrimp and save like a person in debt.
I do not frown like a debt ridden son when some unexpected expense turns up.
I have seen the scenes from movies\tv serials where the son reproaches his parents when any expense comes up as he has a big loan and says “Baba atta kasa shakya ahe! Tumhala kalat nahi ka loan ahe”. Way to go son!

This is what you give your parents in return for their entire life spent on you!!
Unbelievably, I have seen this scene in real life also in many homes!!!
These guys have a 2 BHK and a Sedan worth 10 lakhs but they will frown upon if their parents\wife have to have something basic.

There was a time when my parents made a choice between me and their dream home.

When I grew up I made a similar choice.

It’s okay if I don’t have my own flat at the age of 26 like IT engineers do.

I will have it when I am 35 or 40 years old.

But these 10 years of my life were important to me.

Spending on top notch medical treatment, living comfortably, travelling around the world, saving for my wedding, supporting my husband were my top priority.

All the while I am saving money aside for my dream house too.
I am halfway there, slowly and steadily I will get there.
You must work out a plan that suits your circumstances and live happily because you only live once.


Are girls better home buyers than boys?:

In the last 10 years, I have talked to thousands of young first time flat buyers in Pune.

Out of them most of the boys were babies. Naive. Lacking worldly experience and understanding. Selfish. Irresponsible.

Against that the girls were wise, mature, responsible & caring ladies.

Like the girl in the above letter.

I am very much convinced that girls are not only better homemakers. The girls are smart homebuyers too.

What say you? Share your views in the comments, please.

Related Stories:

1) Intellectually Weaker Section (IWS) of Hinjewadi IT Engineers can learn a lot from this girl

2) Little Earth Covai Retirement Community Opens Admissions! Now, daughters can pamper their parents

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  1. Awesome blog sir and eye opener for all people to set priority rightly between materialistic things and loved ones. No doubt about it that women are wiser and much more mature with sense of responsibilities. But then I feel in our society parents are also to be blamed when they help their sons/daughters to venture into deals for which they are not quiet capable to take responsible and mature enough to understand pros & cons of there decision.

    1. 1) Eye opener indeed

      2) I completely agree with you about the parents.

      Thanks for sharing your views, FreedomFromCorruption.

  2. Hi Girl in the blog,

    Really loved your life story and congratulations on the way your are handling the finances + family. Superb!

    I am sure you are a continuous thinker on personal financing and surely will improve your skills with your experience and observations. This is one of the highly rare skill which you have and I wish you own a 3BHK or a bunglow someday.

    Keeping rocking and best luck for your journey.


  3. I am neither a financial expert nor want to preach how one should spend their money. But I had to say somethings on my mind after I read this.
    This is a new age idea that kids have to be the centre of universe for the parents. My parents did not neglect us, and did pamper us, but we were not considered when it came to financial planning. A little pinch doesn't kill. So they bought land and build a house little away from city, and we had to travel bit more to school etc. They didn't buy fancy things but bought lands. Basically they took care of themselves financially.

    In today's date buying house against the average salary earned by most seems expensive. But it doesn't replace a basic financial planning, house is just another asset bought out of savings to keep up with inflation-- an ideal scenario case, not applicable right now. Having fun is fine, but what about retirement planning, buying basic medical insurance for parents, term insurance in case that they are dependants on you, or even setting up money in a way they are independent from the interest they will receive from this planning, much better than paying for them and making them feel dependent.

    Travel and eating out is frankly a luxury I don't afford myself unless the income is extremely expendable. I would much rather save for a rainy day. Or buy an insurance or SIP. Peace of mind. Life is fragile

  4. Life is about the choices we make . Sorry Ravi I dont agree that girls are better than boys - rather it is upto the individual . I agree to Dev's practical comments above . The above example suggests a lack of financial planning . I come from the same Puneite background as the case portrayed above - I was able to be financial independent in first 10 years of working life - saving abt 70% of my income and investing in diversified assets while living a simple life inspite of working in IT . There are many similar people I know as well as the other spectrum of people who spent on personal loans , exotic vacations , branded items , expensive cars , pre launch bookings in village etc .
    I believe in balance - you should fulfil needs of your dependents not their wants as wants are unending -let they be fulfilled by the person himself .
    Western culture is living for oneself while eastern culture is all about sacrificing oneself for others . Why cant we think that I'll also live my life while fulfiling needs of my dependents and not sacrifice my life for their wants ? After all I also have a duty to myself ?

    1. Social pressures are different for male vs female. Now a days, (for arrange marriage) all these so called good / caring girls show interest in marriage proposal only if boy has his own flat (probably 2 BHK) and is not staying with his (caring) parents/family.

      A person is good or bad , he or she can be good financial planner or human being, sex - male or female has nothing to do it.

      Buying a house is always difficult across generations. There is good saying in marathi - घर पाहावे बांधून आणि लग्न पाहावे करून!

    2. "Now a days, (for arrange marriage) all these so called good / caring girls show interest in marriage proposal only if boy has his own flat (probably 2 BHK) and is not staying with his (caring) parents/family."

      - You nailed it on it's head. But one thing I don't understand - Why get married at such cost (loan for flat + away from parents) when you can buy same stuff without marriage ? In anycase, this is not marriage but going with highest bidder. Boy is nothing but Hindu Sheikh for them - Abu Bakr Al Togadiya !

  5. Dev

    Good thinking . Though I'm not a financial planner just would like to say that dont blindly put money in a SIP . That is great for a distributor not for the investor . Equity is at peak now going through the same hype and brain washing as real estate earlier .

  6. 90% of girls have 2 ears with nothing between them.

    Why do girls act as if they are handcrafted creatures while for boys there is tender floated which is awarded to Chinese company based in Shenzen ?

    Take the case of third class Indian arranged marriage system. Whom are the girls married to ? To the highest bidder.

    Boy 1 - Earns well, stays either with parents or in rented flat, moves around on a bike or has something like Alto or Wagon R & is almost debt free.

    Boy 2 - Earns well, stays alone in purchased flat with lot of rented money, drives atleast Honda City/Verna/Vento, is spend thrift & can't save much since lot of loan is there.

    Fact is boy 2 gets more offers.

    Girls are caring my foot. These are most selfish, highly self obsessed, benefit centric & top class emotional dramabaaz to hide their mistakes.

    This case is of Peth & new Peth (Kothrud). You ask me 1 & I can give you 10 examples how girls forced boy to stay separately from his parents. I can show you such cases in Karve nagar, Kothrud, Dahanukar colony, Mahatma society & much more. Girls want to take care of her own parents but same rule should not be applicable for boys. Had this not been the case, why the boy is staying separately from his parents post marriage despite being in same city ? And this I am saying even in cases where there is 3BHK flat, boy is forced by girl to move out.
    Ofcourse, in such cases, boys are not boys but out of boundary direct shot, 4+2 !

    And looking after parents and family is not just responsibility but duty. There is nothing great to drum beat that hey look how I care about my parents. She maybe feeling special that she takes care of her parents maybe because most of her neighbors elders must be in old age homes. This lady rather than going to Dubai or New York should go to Gujarat & Rajasthan & see how joint families stay together.

    "I will have it when I am 35 or 40 years old. "
    - This is precisely what we have discussed that 35+ is the min age to buy a house as you are sure about where you want to stay & also can buy with far less loan, thus more savings. But how much does society pressurizes boy to buy flat ? This lady who has written this email doesn't need to buy a flat, her husband needs to buy one, hence she could be carefree on this aspect.

    "I have seen the scenes from movies\tv serials where the son reproaches his parents when any expense comes up as he has a big loan and says “Baba atta kasa shakya ahe! Tumhala kalat nahi ka loan ahe”. Way to go son! "

    - And who makes that son to take loan at first place ? The girl. First before marriage to buy flat & then post marriage for bigger car, holidays, gadgets etc. It's the girl who looks at boys as ATM & then complaint that ATM can't dispense lot of money.

    "Against that the girls were wise, mature, responsible & caring ladies. "
    - Ghanta.
    Here is latest yedi on your blog. Other yedis can be found at your KUL Ecoluch blogs -

    Whether one saves money, donates it or blows it at gentleman's club in New York, Macau or Las Vegas is none of my business. But I am writing this because communist feminism is seen clearly in this blog.

    Baah, now call me sexist but I don't give a damn. Now Trupti Desai & her chappal chhap gang will sit outside Ravi's house to delete my this post ! Maybe Maneka Gandhi will also jump in.

    1. Totally agree with you. I am facing similar issues in my life. My wife's mother asked my wife not to live with me because I don't have a house. Basically my wife's family is forcing me to buy a house near to her maternal home so that my wife can stay near to her family. Also, my wife refused to contribute in home loan because she thinks it is my responsibility to get house and I should not ask for her support.

  7. So true!! This still remains a fact in Indian culture that we work hard and sweat to own a home and not to live life! Staying in a rented apartment seems like a stigma in society! I also went through the same in my career, I sold off my own flat and shifted to rented place to raise capital to start my own business which surprised many but it reduced immense pressure on my standard of living! I am in a business of construction and my livelihood depends on flat buyers but personally I always suggest that we should buy an apartment of our own only if we can easily afford it and it's not a burden on our standard of living! In countries like USA, buying apartment and cars is on a downward slope as many young people prefer to live in rented apartment and cars! The above blog is truly an eye opener and a reality of our culture!

    1. " I am in a business of construction and my livelihood depends on flat buyers but personally I always suggest that we should buy an apartment of our own only if we can easily afford it and it's not a burden on our standard of living!"

      - Agree 100% & this has to be appreciated since it is being said by a builder himself. Glad to see this.

      " In countries like USA, buying apartment and cars is on a downward slope as many young people prefer to live in rented apartment and cars! "

      - This is because house buying is not an emotional decision for them, neither do relatives frown upon if someone has not purchased a house. In pre-2008, lot of house buying which took place was only due to financial/monetary benefits which later ended up in sub-prime crisis & US has still not recovered from the damage caused due to this even till date.
      In India & in Pune too, I have seen big companies leasing office spaces despite the fact that they can buy not just 1 but 10 such buildings. Reason being renting works out to be far cheaper than outright purchase. Same goes with the case of flat.

      Car sales are up, mobile phone sales are up, air travel is rising 20% YoY but real estate sales are crashing.
      To have sustainable business, builders should focus on end users & volumes rather than making investors happy by jacking up prices where there are no buyers. This is precisely why real estate is in mess today.

  8. Greed:
    Naturally women are considered Greedy. They are very much like a frog jumping on the random stones in lake. The moment it sees stone dismantling, it jumps on to another & so on. Everybody must have observed it during college days about girls find 'better' option to 'jump' in case of studies or TP ;).

    The same thing applicable here too. Coming to getting married, girls choose best option in terms of income & the one who can splurge money on her Importantly. So guy with healthy assets, bank balance, FDs but average lifestyle, small car, rented or small flat, average furnished flat is big NONO for them. They can look for a guy who spends lot on Gold jewelry, big LED tv, sedan car, costly apparels & of course bigger flat with costly furniture.

    Pl do little more research & you will find that astrologically women are represented by VENUS which also indicates Money, Jealousy, Luxury, Flirting, Hypocrisy.

    Girls experience real peer pressure from there feminine group as to who excels bigger? So if a friend is married to guy with nice flat with hifi furniture, she start looking for 'better' option out of jealousy.

    Here is the catch: Women don't care for improving facial skin, nourishing it from scratch using some cost free home remedies rather they look out for costly cosmetics which will make their face look(?) healthy. Similarly, they don't care for loans, EMIs, financial dependence. On a contrary, presentation in the eyes of social & jealous feminine circle should look good. Since loans, EMIs are hidden (I mean not seen by people one can always bluff about NET WORTH). I have seen many people(mostly girls) lauding about their net worth in terms of property, gold etc.

    This whole plethora is driving world like crazy & one of the major culprit for high RE prices. Builders must thank women community for this.

    1. It is recommended to stay away from Sharaab (alcohol), Kabab (meat) & Shabaab (women) to lead a peaceful & successful life.

      Btw, this is an year old news about Indian men but very important.

      Married men twice as likely to commit suicide than married women: Report

      Married men are twice as likely to commit suicide than married women. However, after divorce or in the case of the spouse's death, men's propensity to commit suicide falls sharply.

      According to latest data by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), close to 60,000 married men committed suicide in 2014 as compared to 27,000 married women.