Tejaswini Chogtu has had a very busy quarter. She's just got back from her maternity leave to find a pile of workload on her desk. Her sister-in-law is getting married and then, of course, there's little Daksha who takes up all her time.
“I wish there were 48 hours instead of 24 in a day,” is a common refrain that you would hear in the Chogtu household, with husband Sandeep having just taken a transfer to Pune, which means taking over from where the predecessor left off and handling a new team. A doting father, Sandeep likes to spend whatever free time he gets with his little four-month-old angel. <b1>
“She's a stress-buster, especially when you come home after a hard-day at work. Daksha actually makes you forget that there are mounting expenses at hand,” says Sandeep, who along with wife Tejaswini lives in a spacious flat in Pune that the couple bought with a loan a year after they got married in December 2005. The current liability on the home loan stands at Rs 21 lakh.
Next on the agenda were cars, which were again taken on a loan of Rs 3.5 lakh. Tejaswini says this was necessary “as the public transport system in Pune is next to nothing.”
A loan taken for an LCD television and some investments later, the couple, which earns a combined income of Rs 80,000 per month, had thought of investing for their little one.
“But I guess, in these inflationary times, saving up for your baby is no child's play,” says Tejaswini, a corporate account manager with a leading telecom company. Agrees Sandeep, who is an area sales manager with a top insurance company, “We had thought of investing for our baby's future, but with the EMIs and a mounting cost of living, we are trying to cut corners instead.”
The EMI payments together come up to over Rs 35,000. Add to this the premiums for their investments that add up to another Rs 40,000 per year and household expenses amounting to Rs 10,000 every month, and there's very little saving left in hand.
True, Pune is a relatively cheaper city to stay in compared to the metros. “But most of our income goes into filling up our vehicles as we both have jobs that require extensive travelling,” says Sandeep, adding that with the way the oil prices are sky-rocketing, alternate means of travelling are becoming all the more urgent.
With the monthly expenses rising because of rising grocery and vegetable prices, the Chogtus are constantly trying to think up ways to be able to save more and invest wisely to not only beat inflation, but also to provide a better future for their daughter. “And hopefully we should be able to achieve this goal, because I'm sure the inflation should come down eventually and give us a breather to plan for Daksha,” says Tejaswini.