"Go big" is the mantra of the new generation, even if it means spending sums most adults might think twice before spending. With all that money, swanky wheels and high-end labels doing the rounds, we did a check on who spends where.
Look good and go
First and foremost is the fashion brigade who would die before wearing the same clothes twice. Levis and UCB are passé. This new breed flaunts nothing less than Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana or Louis Vuitton and the oh-so-expensive jewellery to go with it. Prateek, who spends more than three thousand rupees on just clothes, that too almost every week says, “Fashion changes everyday and one has to be a shopaholic if one hopes to be amongst the in-crowd.”
It’s no longer about clubbing within your means. For today’s youngsters, going for a drink with a couple of friends or on a first date costs upto ten thousand rupees. Raj, a third year DU student ran up a bill of nine thousand rupees on a casual night out at the restaurant Q’Ba. He says, “You can’t be afraid to spend if you want to have a good time. Plus, what’s the point of stocking up money if you can’t use it?” Obviously they haven’t heard of saving!
Driving to college isn’t a luxury anymore; it’s a necessity which an ordinary car can hardly suffice. Whether it’s an SUV built to have a party hub on wheels or a sleek ride, youngsters believe in making their car speak on their behalf. Vani, who spent more than a lakh on modifying her Skoda says, “My car is my baby. It’s just a different feel getting out of a ride as sweet as mine.” Incidentally, she is only in class twelve. As for the phones, teenagers believe in getting hold of the latest model before it’s released in the market, even if that means shelling out a few extra thousands.
Shopping for friends
As for those who feel money can’t buy friends, these party-goers have ample popularity-boosting tactics up their sleeve. Shrey, a 22-year-old freelance writer who booked an entire nightclub for ninety thousand on the occasion of his girlfriend’s birthday recently, testifies to this. He says, “It’s all about appearances these days. And you have to spend big to keep your popularity soaring.”
It’s becoming more of a rat-race where youngsters judge each other and even themselves on the basis of what they spend. The more lavishly you spend the more noticed you are. In the midst of such competition, the not-so-well-off often find themselves in an awkward situation. Angad, a B.Sc. student, says, “My friends want to go to posh places to eat or to shop every second day. It’s very awkward since I can’t think of a way of telling them that it’s not feasible for me.” Another problem many come across is running up credit card bills which prove too much to handle later on. Sakshi, a BPO employee ran up a debt of more than Rs 30,000. She says, “I just didn’t realize where all the money was going. You lose track of the spending when you shop with your friends.”
The why of it all
With bigger brands and more expensive stuff flooding the market on the wings of their enticing promotion, students are more and more tempted to give in. And it looks they’ve succumbed.
Dr. Samir Parikh, a psychiatrist agrees that this is becoming a widespread phenomenon. He says, “In this modern day there is a vast disparity between the haves and the have-nots, more so because acquiring something because of peer-pressure or otherwise gives the individual a feeling of superior status. This compels them to spend more.”