Oh yes, life in plas­tic is fan­tas­tic

Viswanathan Anand on the gov­ern­ment’s fis­cal plan — and his own un-Johnny Dep­p­like ap­proach to money In the year when cash­less be­came the by­word, here’s look­ing at some of the most ex­pen­sive items bought us­ing a credit card

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Su­jata.Reddy@ times­group.com

“I wanted to see the tax pro­pos­als es­pe­cially with the churn we saw in the fi­nan­cial world this year. The gov­ern­ment got a lot of money through de­mon­eti­sa­tion, which gives them a lot of f lex­i­bil­ity in other ar­eas. I’m also curious about elec­tronic pay­ments, and how much we can min­imise the role of cash. I’m happy to see the big push on in­fra­struc­ture and hous­ing, be­cause that’s nec­es­sary.

An­other good thing is that the fis­cal deficit is not go­ing to go up much.

The sur­charge on those earn­ing be­tween ₹ 50 lakh to ₹ 1 crore is log­i­cal. I just hope the tax process is sim­pler. I also feel just a sur­charge on a mi­nor­ity is not go­ing to help much. We need to get more peo­ple in the net.

Speak­ing of sports, a higher bud­get will help. But ad­dress­ing the is­sues of ad­min­is­tra­tion and pol­icy is more im­por­tant.

My ap­proach to my money is sim­ple. I en­sure I have a good sense of what’s com­ing in and what’s go­ing out. Once you have that you can pretty With cash see­ing a crunch, it’s been a time when plas­tic has got all the credit. Rewind­ing to those episodes when big bills had pre­cious lit­tle to do with big buys:

When Chi­nese bil­lion­aire Li­uYiqian­swiped­hisAmer­i­can Ex­press credit card to buy Amedeo Modigliani’s ‘Nu couché’, his paint­ing of a re­clin­ing nude

While I have ad­vis­ers, I try to un­der­stand things my­self too. The sto­ry­line any com­pany gives you when sell­ing stock has to make sense. If there was a stock I didn’t un­der­stand, I wouldn’t buy it even if my ad­vis­ers told me to. I should be able to ex­plain what I spent my money on and why.

When it comes to spend­ing, I don’t blow money. But I also don’t com­pro­mise on the pri­or­i­ties — like trav­el­ling com­fort­ably for tour­na­ments, my son’s ed­u­ca­tion, health care and my home. You can’t be penny wise, pound fool­ish. Oth­er­wise, I’m not Johnny Depp (whose rumoured $2 mil­lion a month life­style has made him broke).

My one in­dul­gence is hol­i­days. I’m willing to spend a lit­tle more on those. And it keeps me mo­ti­vated as well be­cause at every point you must have some­thing to look for­ward to. Some of the places on our list are Mex­ico, Peru, Aus­tralia and New Zealand.”

— As told to Ak­shay.Sawai1@times­group.com woman for $170.4 mil­lion, he hit two birds with one stone. Not only did he get his hands on a cov­eted piece of paint­ing, but thanks to the num­ber of air miles he ac­cu­mu­lated in the trans­ac­tion, he may just never have to pay for a plane ticket again. comes to ac­quir­ing what he loves. In the 1990s, his credit card was ch a r ge d wit h an ap­prox­i­mate $450,000 on flow- ers­forthen­boyfriend-cum­man­ager John Reid. Try beat­ing that!

In 2011, a buyer bought a di­a­mond through his credit card on a mo­bile app. The di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring valued at $300,000 was bought off Blue Nile, a web­site that spe­cialises in gold, plat­inum and di­a­mond jew­ellery. The de­tails of the buyer are still not known.

It would be safe to say that Amer­i­can businessman and phi­lan­thropist Eli Broad went over bud­get when he swiped his credit card for a cool $2.5 mil­lion on a paint­ing, ‘I... I’m Sorry’ by Roy Licht­en­stein, at a Sotheby’s auc­tion. And this was in 1995. On the plus side, his pur­chase earned him fre­quent flyer miles of 2.5 mil­lion.

Over a decade back, Ce­line Dion splashed around $ 2 mil­lion on a hu mid i f i e r to keep her com­pany at home and dur­ing her trav­els. Lesser mor­tals usu­ally make do with one cost­ing any­thing be­tween $ 30 and $ 200 but Dion wanted the purest air to soothe her lungs.

PICS: GETTY IM­AGES, THINKSTOCK PHO­TOS

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