Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The 'youth' budget

Two days after the dust has settled on P Chidambaram's budget announcements, so has the euphoria.

Within the fine print are several nasty li'l zingers like 'fringe benefit tax' which, if implemented, will make life quite painful for employees and employers

The folks who will probably be least affected by this will be the 20-25 year olds in their first or second jobs, earning below 25k a month.

To this bunch, the favourable changes in tax structure are going to offset the negative impact of the other proposals. In any case, being relatively junior these folks don't enjoy that many fringe benefits in the first place.

Yeh maal bikega
We usually spend based on how rich we 'feel' - not just how much money we have in the bank. Right now, young India is feeling good and more likely than ever to spend.
Clothes/ movies/ eating out are perennial favourites but among the bigger ticket items:

Mobile handset upgrades: The 15-20k category will see more buyers, looking for specific applications like megapixel cameras and PDAs.

Foreign vacations: With air ticket prices tumbling (Air Lanka recently made a fantastic offer for those willing to travel in March) more young people will make impulse foreign trips.

A Southeast Asian holiday of 4-5 days (all included) is possible in abt Rs 20,000 per person - if you wait for a good 'deal'. With Jet, Sahara etc also flying to KL, Singapore, Bangkok - expect more such goodies :)

Diamond jewellery: Thanks to DTC's terrific marketing, diamonds are definitely on the young woman's radar. And they aren't going to wait for boyfriends or husbands to buy it for them. Rings and pendants upto Rs 10,000 - in a variety of designs - will work their magic.

IPods: Since young men can't buy jewellery (well, not the expensive kind - beads are OK) they're gonna go for gadgets. And the hottest gadget around is the IPod. It will not sell in large numbers - but will have its die hard fans.

Enjoy it while it lasts... Before you 'move up' in life and fnd yourself saddled with a home loan, car loan and 'fringe benefit tax'...

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