How 2440 Indians think about money – 8 amazing insights (Survey results)

POSTED BY Jagoinvestor ON March 23, 2016 COMMENTS (55)

Today I want to talk about MONEY

Yes, you heard it right!. I want to just explore the role of money in our life and how it changes our thought process. I want to know how we think about money. I will share some really interesting insights I got by surveying 2440 people on some creative questions related to money.

I am sure you are going to enjoy this article and also get some takeaways at the end on how others feel about money. Our financial lives are very private to us. Our income, our struggle with money, our desires in financial life. All this is very secret to us. You do not know how hundreds and thousands of other people like you think when its related to money.

Do they share the same feelings as you? Do they also feel scared about the future? Do they also have stress like you in their financial life?

I will show you 8 amazing insights I got from this survey

Role of Money is our life

Money has a very important role to play in our lives. In a way, it’s one of the most important ingredients you can say. We need money for almost everything today. What we will ear, how others will perceive us, how famous we might be in our friend’s circle and if a father will be interested to give us his daughter or not?

Money has a big role to play in all these points which I mentioned above.

Money has in a way controlled our lives these days. We start our day going to work for money, a lot of people are into jobs they don’t like, but the EMI’s are to be paid anyways, so we continue.

There are many examples in life, where a person is amazing at X, but they are doing a job in the Y domain. The reason being MONEY. Money turns wonderful people into a monster. Money is a wonderful thing, but at the same thing a very dangerous thing too.

Our interaction with money

When we were kids, we had very little interaction with money. We got it from our parents and used it, we didn’t earn it and our notion about money was different. But once we get into the role of a breadwinner, only then we realize the game and how money turns us into a completely different person.

One of the best quotes to understand the effect of money in our lives is the below quote by Dalai Lama

dalai lama money quote

Survey with 2440 people – Results

Let me not bore you too much with my views on money and rather look at how people think about money and what impact it has created at their thinking level. I will now take various things I asked in the survey and share the results with you

Insight #1 – How do you rate the stress level because of Money Issues?

One of the biggest problems in today’s times is STRESS. Stress at the office, the stress at the home and everywhere and a lot of times, you will realize that money has a big role to play there.

  • Oh my god, How will I pay my EMI’s if I lose the job?
  • Will I ever be able to buy a home with this salary?
  • I am already 38 and have not saved a penny, How will my retirement look like?

Many such kinds of thoughts occupy the minds of today’s generation. When I asked this question – “How do you rate the stress because of money related matters in your life?” Here are the survey results

stress and money

Insight #2 – Does more money means more happiness in life?

So we all are running after money day and night, thinking that money will solve all our worries and problems. However, those who have earned a good amount of money know that it’s true only to some extent. A rather correct statement would be “Absence of money leads to unhappiness”.

Yes, money is very very important and damn!, I also need tons of money and sure it can buy you all those things which can give you lot of happiness and make you feel like the king, but then beyond a point your happiness graph will start to appear flat even if more money comes into your life.

And this is confirmed by the survey results. 59% of people have said that more money will only lead to only a partial increase in their happiness and not beyond a point.

money and happiness

And trust me, if you have not earned a lot of money till now in your life, this statement will look like an idiotic one right now. If you are earning Rs 20,000 a month, surely Rs 2 lacs a month will mean 10X happiness, but will 20 lacs a month mean 10X more happiness from that point? I don’t think so? What about 2 crores a month? Salman also earns that !, Vijay Mallya also earns that as well. I am sure they have many issues in life!

This topic alone is worth a full book in itself, but we will keep it short as of now.

Insight #3 – Which option will you choose, More money Today or in the Future?

Most of us want a lot of money in our life. Surely more than what we have today. But we all know that it’s not going to happen suddenly? You either have to sacrifice your today to build wealth in the future, or you can enjoy all your money and retire poorer. Or there is a 3rd choice that you keep a balance between today and tomorrow. So given a choice between these 3 options, which one will you chose?

This was no brainer question in away. Around 55% of people chose that have a better future and are ready to compromise today, may be because they know that in the future they will have fewer means of earning and it looks natural. We all want an assured future.

However, 45% of people said that they just don’t want their future with lots of money but even their present. So they want average money today and average money in the future also, making sure that there is a good balance today and in the future.

money now or future

Insight #4 – What is your relationship with money?

Have you ever wondered what your relationship with money is? I first came across the term “Relationship with money” from my partner Nandish Desai, and I am thankful to him to share it with me. I added a new dimension to my thinking. He has also contributed a full chapter on this topic in my first book – “16 personal finance principles every investor should know”

Money or wealth is a non-living thing, but still, we have a certain kind of mindset towards it. We have some kind of “relation” with money. Imagine money as a human standing in front of you, do you see a friend or an enemy? Do you see it as a master and you as slave or you don’t feel any relation with each other.

I was happy and a bit surprised to find that around 60% of people who took the survey identified their relationship with money as “Close friends” . It’s a great thing that most people see a positive relationship with money. However, a lot of people who have messy financial lives don’t share very good relationship with money.

relationship and money

Insight #5 – Do you hide your wealth from others?

How many people know your exact salary? How many people know the exact net worth you have? How much you have in your bank account, or your mutual funds or other assets? Do you under-report it to your friends, relatives or even some close family members like your siblings and even parents? Spouse?

Seems like most of the people do. Only 29% of people said that they don’t hide it from others, but rest others hide it. while 23% said coldly YES to this question, around 48% said that they do it to some extent.

No wonder that this happens. There may be many issues which can happen if the world knows that you have a lot of money. Some might just expect “help” from you, some might ask it directly and unnecessary attention and expectations come across which most of the people want to avoid.

Hiding money from others

No wonder, most of the people want to keep a low profile when it comes to showcasing their wealth.

Insight #6 – Have you lost peace in life due to money issues?

A lot of people are very stressed because of money matters. Someone from low income and high expenses, while someone might be due to medical expenses while is costing them all their income each month. Someone might be under debt which was passed to them from their parents and they are paying for it. Someone might have lost money in some scam and someone might not be able to fulfill their loved one’s wishes due to money constraints.

Like I said earlier, lack of money might make the life hell in this competitive world. Around 40% of people say that they don’t find peace in their life due to money issues. They felt they have lost it. Think about it. It’s quite a big number, so every 4 out of 10 people is stressed out and does not feel relaxed.

money and peace

Let me know what do you think about that?

Insight #7 – In the next birth, who would you like to become?

I wanted to know what people aspire to be and what kind of life they want to live in reality. So I asked a very different kind of question, that if they got a chance, then in their next birth whose life they would like to live? I gave 4 options as below who are all very famous for whatever they have done in their life, some are respected because of what they have done for our country and some are known for wealth or both.

The options were

  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Dhirubhai Ambani
  • Abdul Kalam
  • Ratan Tata

For a second, without looking at the results below, think for a moment about yourself. If you got a chance, whose life would you like to live in your next birth?

Here are the results and they might surprise a few of you.

money role model

Insight #8 – Are you scared that you won’t be able to accumulate enough wealth in the future?

No matter how good your career is going or if you are earning decent enough right now, there is always a bit of anxiety about the future. We have no idea how things will turn out in the next 10/20 yrs. Because of rising inflation, and multiple expenses people do not save the amount which they deserve and they are always scared if things will continue this way ever?

So I wanted to know how many people are scared of future and they think that there are chances that they might not accumulate enough wealth in their lifetime which is required for leading a great life they desire. Here is what people say.

Around 51% of people said that they are scared of this.

scared in financial lifeBelow you can find the profile of the people who took the survey. Around 90% of survey takers were below the age of 45 and only 2% were senior citizens. Around 14% of survey takers were women, which is low in a way and should improve.

survey profile

With this, I would like to end this survey here. I would like to know what you feel about this survey and if you got any insights on how other people think in this country. I would like to mention very clearly that the survey size was 2440, which is surely not the representation of the entire country, but it’s a good enough sample size for the net-savvy higher middle-class people who live in big cities earning decent salaries.

What do you think about the survey?

55 replies on this article “How 2440 Indians think about money – 8 amazing insights (Survey results)”

  1. Amit says:

    We all know the importance of Money in this challenging times.

  2. Pradeep says:

    I knew not many people would want to be Mahatma Gandhi. But I am surprised to see more people wanting to be like APJ then Ambani 🙂

    Always insgithful!

    1. Thanks for your comment Pradeep

  3. Sidharth says:

    Interesting insights

    1. Thanks for your comment Sidharth

  4. Sarang says:

    If you invest well and early regardless of your current income, you will be more than free of much of this stress. Key point is to find the right investment option/s and then tracking it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Sarang

  5. LACHHMAN says:

    Hi Manish
    It is not about more or less money NOW or in FUTURE.
    It is how we are accumulating and spending the same.
    In young age we have teeth/ desire but in most cases no money to buy the STUFF( food , life’s luxuries etc.).
    In old age we have accumulated money but the teeth or not there I.e. can not eat or enjoy the life luxuries.
    In Hindi it is said : jab dant hote hain to dane nahin hote aur jab dane hote hain to dant nahin hote.
    so money in life is balance of money with age. It is no use accumulating for old age and in old age not able to spend the accumulated money.

    1. Thanks for sharing that LACHHMAN

  6. ravi says:

    How to earn more money is more important than why money is important.
    If every person of our country aware that how to earn money then no one would sleep without food.
    please next time I want some one write on this topic.

    1. Thanks for your comment ravi

  7. Harsha says:

    Interesting. But the question of next birth and both Gandhi & Ambani getting the bottom-most scores, just says that mind is afraid to take risks and break the status-quo!

    1. Thanks for your comment Harsha

  8. Kirupa says:

    Nice article.. Most of the people thing alike me when it comes to money matters.. Nice insights.. Thanks for sharing it..

    1. Thanks for your comment Kirupa

  9. atul says:

    Very interesting survey results.

    I find people are more confused with priorities when it comes to money matters –
    Questions that can be added to the survey are related to
    – work life balance – how many hours one should work
    – Priority for family time vs work time
    – Planning Time for social events like business commitments or opportunities
    – Being after money at the cost of personal health / healthy lifestyle

    To me it seems that there is a high social pressure on life style and spend (maybe due to ads), and people do not feel successful unless they have a lavish lifestyle, this was not a benchmark a few decades ago.

    1. saurabh says:

      I fully agree with you Atul. U are correct people do not feel successful unless they have a lavish lifestyle.

    2. Thanks for your comment atul

  10. Babu says:

    Its a week sample …

    look like you got your target audience who are earning ” a good salary ”

    not balanced as the perception and attitude towards money from other classes is very very different

    1. The article mentions in the start itself that the survey represents net savvy , good earning , big cities people and not the whole of India !

  11. rajsingh says:

    it seems you deleted few survey questions.

    1. No I didnt . Why do you think so ?

  12. Ramaswamy says:

    Yes. Money is needed basically for our living the present life. Food, clothing, shelter are these three. Money saved in the Bsnk a/c or in shares will not be belonging to us. For children upto their college education level / marriage level we need to save money to dispense with our responsibility as parents. We should not run after money and remain greedy to earn more and more money. Do a charity in a small way like looking after the needs of the children of our servant maids, cook, Driver, security guard, flower vendors and vegetable vendors whom all we meet in our daily routine life. They help us physicall and we help them monetarily. It is a two way process. Let our children struggle on their own when they complete college education and try for job on their own and with their earnings let them establish themselves on their own. We should educate our children to be cultured and charity minded. It is a recycling process. MANEY CREATES MORE MAD PERSONS IN THIS WORLD. DHARMAM is a word coined in HINDU PHILOSOPHY. Let us follow it.

    1. Thanks for your comment Ramaswamy

  13. AnandDoctor says:

    Hi Manish, nice initiative! We need more Indian surveys – too many times we just see extrapolation of US surveys.

    I’d like to point out a small discrepancy that you may want to rectify – Question/Insight # 3 – the total of the responses come to 105% (45%+5%+55%).

    1. Will fix that 🙂 . thanks for pointing out !

  14. murli says:

    Money is a very dreaded and contentious issue. Money is a friend when we use it judiciously and respect it. As Robert Kiosoky in his book Rich dad Poor dad that we should not become slaves to money as that will make you miserable. Money is very important upto a certain point but if you are obsessed it will compel you to resort to unethical and unscrupulous means. Money should further the cause of humanity. Hoarding money for money’s sake will quarantine you from friends and relatives. Generosity and compassion should be pursued with excess money.

    1. Very good comment 🙂

  15. ANJANA says:

    very true .in case of a miss happening in the life money would be a close friend of family out of all the relatives and also carries a lot stress if you don’t have the proper knowledge of investment options and fear of loosing it.

    1. Thanks for your comment ANJANA

  16. Siva says:

    extremely superb survey

    1. Thanks for your comment Siva

      1. SivaKumarDattu says:

        no mention

  17. dkyamdagni says:

    survey is gives indication of persons mostly in the age 25-45 .people in the age group of 60 and above may hv different view points

    1. Yes, agree with you !

  18. Asimendrakumar says:

    Money is very important till one’s basic needs are not fulfilled. After that it’s capacity to give happiness reduces gradually. After basic needs are fulfilled he trys to live a good life and future security. After that it cannot give more happiness. But if a person is ambitious and wants name and fame he may go for more money for happiness. A businessman is always insecure because of unpredictable market. So he may never be satisfied with money to beat his competitors

  19. Shivakumar says:

    Good survey. Nice reading. I am on verge of being a Senior Citizen. With respect to money the below phrase is very true. LESS IS BAD , MORE IS WORSE

    1. Thanks for your comment Shivakumar

  20. Arun says:

    Good survey. But I think age plays an important part. It may be useful if survey is done among similar age people.

    1. Thanks for your input ! , its a good idea. However this is more of views of people between age 25-40

  21. tushar says:

    True fact of Life :
    a person is amazing at X, but they are doing a job in Y domain. Reason being MONEY and lack of options available

    1. Thanks for your comment tushar

  22. RD says:

    This is the first time i came across such survey.. very interesting and insightfull. Thanks Manish

    1. Glad to know that RD ..

  23. Ajita says:

    It is an interesting survey. But my question is “Why there are only 14% of women ?” Is it because they do not earn well, or do not live in cities or are not net savvy or is not concerned about money? What is the reason? From my perspective with only 14% of women the survey is bound to be incomplete. You are looking at money from only male perspective.

    1. Narayana says:

      Just because you earn well doesn’t mean all the women in India are earning the same. If you see the statistics, only 20.4% of the total women population are employed in the organised sector. Central govt has only 10%, public sector 17.9% and private sector 24.5%. So 14% participants in the survey is not much of an issue.

    2. Yes thats correct. In our experience, the women show less interest in money matters compared to men at this point of time, which is really unfortunate.

  24. SSimha says:

    A nice article and survey. In my opinion and suggestion – it is all about means and ends – meeting the means to the ends. It needs some good planning and nevertheless some sacrifice – be content not afraid, but need to change with times the way you live. Certainly the future is uncertain , and in India where we do not have a social security system , people need to be aware of inflation and power of compounding – focus on basic needs and serving the society with what can give. – Good (sound) Health, Peace & Cheer must be the aim. Some amount of living discipline – good exercise to maintain health, simple and nourishing food, friendliness and caring towards others go a long way. Being contented with what we have finally

    1. Hi SSimha

      Thanks for your sharing your valuable comment on this topic. Please keep sharing your views in future also


  25. Peter says:

    Its very much true what Dalai Lama quote. We need to understand it clearly that we need to find true happiness when we acquire more and more money in our life. Money has to lead us more happiness then only its useful or else its misery or hell on earth that its.
    Good and interesting survey.

    1. Thanks for your comment Peter

  26. Shravan says:

    Hi Manish,

    Awesome Analysis! Valid questions on money.

    Thank you for sharing!


    1. Thanks for your comment Shravan

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