She is a non-conformist. But tech savvy, biker chick, ex-Miss India Gul Panag, known for her histrionics in films like Dor, is a sensible, grounded girl. She believes in earning well, living well and saving for a rainy day.
How much was your first paycheck?
I think it was in 1999 for a ramp show I did when I was in college. I got `10,000 for the one minute walk. It was unbelievable. For a young girl it was a huge sum and as your first income, it was fantastic.
It must have felt great.
Totally. I felt really privileged and really, really lucky.
How did you spend it?
I invested it. I put it in the bank which was the first thought that came to my mind.
And your next big pay?
Eight months later, my next big pay was the Miss India victory. There is nothing I can say which can encompass my feelings that day. I was on top of the world.
What does money mean to you today?
Money is a means to live life comfortably.
What do you invest in today?
I have a financial advisor who is my cousin as well. I follow his advice on investing my money. He understands me and my financial goals and helps me achieve that. I am a safe and sensible investor.
What do you splurge on?
I am hardly what you call a splurger. I don’t ‘agendafy’ everything in my life. If I like something I buy it or else nothing is on my wish list as such. I don’t really go through desperation for shopping. I go with the flow but there are also times when I resist the flow like all human beings. But I am also fine with bowing to my urges!
What was your last big splurge?
The last expensive thing I bought was my new motorbike, an Enfield 350 Electra 5S which cost `1 lakh. I am an avid Enfield rider and love motorbikes. I have plans to acquire a Harley next year.
What’s your money mantra – save or spend?
I am quite sensible when it comes to money. A wise man once told me that you should live on 1/3 of your income, use that for your daily expenses, save 1/3 and spend 1/3 of your income on enjoyment, gratification stuff like holidays and the extra trimmings of life. I have followed that motto to date and been successful too. I have savings and I enjoy my leisure time. I live well, so the motto has worked in all the sections of my life.
What advice would you give on handling money?
I think people should be sensible and live within their means always. Plan for the future, live according to a lifestyle that you can maintain over the years. And work out a money plan which can be sustained for the next five years at least and not just for the next five months!