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Photography as his drug of choice, Tanmoy is living the life

It's not all wine with lunch and sleeping in on Mondays
By OLM Desk | March 28, 2017

Money matters. Or does it really? Outlook Money brings to you this series through which we explored the under 35's take on money matters. Every generation has its share of distinct events that later gets recounted. Those from the early 1990s India had consumer durables as their object of desire. By the end of that decade and turn of the millennium, fancy cars had taken that place. Gen Z has grown up in a time of rapid change, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations. Demographically speaking, those under 25 comprise 50 million of India’s population. This is more than that of the total population of Brazil, Russia, Germany and Canada combined. Being personal finance specialists, it was only natural that we at Outlook Money got curious to investigate what Gen Z thinks about money.

Busting stereotypes about freelancing

There used to be a time when freelancers got the remains. But with companies facing a talent crunch, that's no longer the case. Tanmoy Bhaduri is a case in point. A freelance news and documentary photographer based in Kolkata, 25-year old Bhaduri is busting all stereotypes about working from home and flexible timing. He started his career as a journalist in 2014 but it didn't take long for him to realise that he preferred creating images over writing.

But how much of a financial compromise must the new freelancer make? Bhaduri, whose photography niche makes him much sought after, claims that it's not all wine with lunch and sleeping in on Mondays. "In freelancing I have to arrange my own health insurance, I don't get paid when I take time off.  Sometimes I can't find a single assignment, especially in monsoon. That makes it hard to plan and manage financial affairs," says Bhaduri.  However, despite all the difficulties he is happy to have junked his regular employment as freelancing, eventually, gives him the independence and freedom to work at his own terms.  Bhaduri has worked with various national, international publications like The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, and The Caravan and is currently working for Pacific Press Agency and Italy based, NurPhoto Agency. From time to time he also conducts his own photo exhibitions where he gets a chance to sell his pictures and earn a good amount of money.

On an average he manages to earn around Rs 20,000 every month from various freelance projects and admits that the job always requires him to be on his toes to survive in the business. When asked about his spending behavior, he claims that major part of his income goes in travelling and other routine expenses and besides his mandatory spending he plays things safe. "I am an avid saver and it's important for me to prioritise my finances bearing in mind irregular income flow. Therefore, I always try to follow-spend less than you earn principle," adds Bhaduri. For him the biggest stressors of freelancing generally revolve around money. "I didn't know the first thing about topics like retirement or insurance. I was pretty much winging it, just hoping to pay each bill as it came along," claims Bhaduri. His father takes most of his financial decisions and has parked his money in bank term deposits and has also bought life insurance and medical insurance for Tanmoy. 

Bhaduri calls himself lucky as he doesn't have any financial liabilities at this stage. He lives with his family in Kolkata and contributes around Rs 4000 every month towards his family. Talking about his financial goals, he said he aspires to be financially independent. "I want to have full control over my income because sometimes I have to sell my photo stories at a bare minimum cost and most of the times I cannot take too much time to bargain with clients. So, I am not left with enough money to buy new cameras and lenses which are important purchases for my career," says Bhaduri. Talking about his future financial goals he said he would like to have a stable income and is also planning to join a good company as a permanent staff photographer. "I think it's important for me to switch to a regular job so that I can get a stable income and be in a position where I can financially support my family," he adds.




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