Long ago when Bajaj Auto was synonymous with scooters and vice versa, I was doing a job in sales. I wanted to buy a scooter but did not have enough money to buy it cash down (around 22000 INR in those days). I approached a Bajaj dealer and they were willing to give me a loan though Bajaj auto finance limited. I am not sure how much was the down payment I was supposed to make but I was short by Rs 1000/- in down payment. So after a lot of deliberations I approached my father and requested him to give me a loan of Rs 1000/- that will help me in putting the down payment for the scooter. My father was based in Mumbai in those days and after about a week or so I received a letter from him. He mentioned that he is very proud of me that I have decided to buy a scooter and will be paying for it myself, but he also mentioned that he is very surprised that when I don’t even have money for down payment how am I planning to put petrol in the scooter. He clearly mentioned that till I have enough money to not only put the down payment plus have a minimum of 3 months of EMI payment with me saved in a bank I should not go ahead with the purchase.
Needless to say I was very disappointed but since I did not have the complete amount for down payment I had no option but to wait. One of my uncles came forward to help me and loaned me 1000/- Rs that I was short of. (My salary in those good old days was around 5000/- month).
I got the scooter with help of this personal loan from my uncle and from Bajaj auto finance and brought the scooter home. But then started the real lesson in life, since I had to pay for petrol as well as the EMI for the first few months I was unable to return the 1000/- Rs loan taken from my uncle. This kind of opened my eyes and was my first lesson in personal finance. My father is now retired and lives in his house in NCR. Both my parents have always been very frugal with money as we were a large family and only my father and uncle were the earning members.
I guess these early lessons have helped me till today and have helped shape my money personality. I guess one of the biggest strengths we enjoy as a country is our healthy savings rate of 20+% compared to negative savings rate in some of the developed economy.
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