5 Simple Lifestyle Changes To Save Money

Broke again?

Last days of the month and you can hardly make ends meet?

Desperately waiting for a message which reads “Rs. 30,000 credited to your account XXXXXX4545?”

Too embarrassed to confess your inability to pay the beer bill at that happening pub?

Too old to ask your parents for help and too young to save any money?

Trust me; one is NEVER too young to save money.

Whether you earn Rs. 20,000/- or Rs. 2, 00,000 (I already envy you), it is important to start saving starting from your first salary. Fortunately, you don’t have to skip dinner or start living in a pigeonhole for that. A few lifestyle changes and tada – your moment of pride and happiness as your bank balance mounts up steadily. (You can even send me a ‘gurudakshina’ from it! ;)).

  1. Note down all your expenses

Write down all of your expenditures and analyze it. I guarantee you’ll find something that either you didn’t know you were spending money on, or you felt was unnecessary. If you don’t want to keep an excel on your computer, consider an app that will automatically track expenses for you (MoneyView, Walnut, Quick Expense Manager are the popular options), or write them down in a notebook.

  1. Grocery shop on a full stomach.    

Mrs. Sharma, who spent 5 years expending Rs. 50,000 a year to cover her family needs and managed to cut her grocery bill from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 5,000, recently shared her top tricks for reducing your grocery expenses. “Don’t go grocery shopping when you are hungry! You will end up spending way too much on things you will regret buying and feel guilty about eating ’’, she said. Bad deal, eh?

Try eating a healthy snack before heading to the store so your cravings for packaged foods aren’t out of control. Your budget — and waistline — will thank you. 😀

  1. Take pleasure in simple living

Do you really need to upgrade your iPhone 6 to iPhone 7? Does your old, reliable i10 (or Dhanno for that matter) deserve to be replaced with that overpriced sedan? Can you ever love that dazzling FOSSIL as much as your Dad’s Titan watches? Is it worth buying Steve Madden on impulse and regretting later? (Okay, I admit I have done it.)

Some expenses aren’t just worth it. Remember, your Fossil will always have an Armani to compete with and every Audi will humiliate your Honda city.  Simple living and high thinking is still the best way to live. (Remember, the Rs. 2, 00,000 category too is an audience. ;))

  1. Go homemade.

Exploring new places is fun, trying out different cuisines is important and loitering around on weekends binge eating desserts while celebrating your freedom is heavenly. After all, what else are we earning for?

But if you are eating out 5 days of the week, you and your health are in serious trouble. Learn to make at least basic Dals and Sabzis. Also, most hotels (even Dhabas) are So, you can afford that ‘London Dairy Belgium Chocolate’ you always crave for from your savings in service charges, service tax, VAT and tip alone.

  1. Walk, walk, walk

If your office is at a walking distance from your place (Lucky you!!), please walk to it. Don’t take the cab. You’ll also end up saving the money you spend on that fancy gym (which you never go to) and stay healthy. Make it a habit of taking the stairs instead of the escalator. Too clichéd I know. But it works. Also, be social and form a carpool. Less pollution and more money- ‘Man me laddu foota’? 😀 😀

Remember, emergencies are like uninvited guests. You never know which one knocks at your dinner.

A few lifestyle changes and you will never be broke again!

Cheers!

Say Hello to instant money transfers

India moves a step closer to becoming a cashless economy this month with the launch of unified payment interface (UPI), the brainchild of RBI governor Raghuram Rajan. 

“For a number of years, we have been saying we need a revolution in banking in India. I think we can confidently say the revolution is upon us. What we have in India is the most sophisticated public payments infrastructure in the world,” Rajan said at the launch of the UPI.

What exactly is UPI?

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It’s a secure and free way to transfer money instantly, any bank to any bank with contacts in your phone. It will allow users to pay for transactions as low as Rs 50 and go all the way up to Rs 1 lakh.

The UPI system will allow customers to send money and make payments almost as easily as sending a text message. Fund transfer will be possible 24*7, including sundays and public holidays.

It can be used in many day to day activities. To name a few:

  • Paying utility bills
  • Buying railway and movie tickets
  • Direct payment at online shopping websites and retail stores instead of using cash, or cards, or wallet
  • Transfer of money to friends and relatives

How does it affect me?

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Painful account numbers or IFSC codes are no longer required!

Further, no time will be wasted to add beneficiary as you just need one unique virtual payment address.

Rs. 0.50 per transaction will be charged. On your bank statement, it will appear as IMPS transaction.

 

What is this virtual address?

Think of it like a new & unique email ID for payments such as name@bankname.com or a mobile number@bankname.com

For example, if you want to receive or make payment through a particular bank account, you just have to give your virtual financial address (XYZ@sbi) to the other party.

Is it safe?

Absolutely!!! The new interface is built on the same infrastructure as the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS), which is currently used by banks for real-time transfer of cash. Similar to OTPs, UPI will have MPIN to authenticate the transactions, as mandated by RBI.

In case of a transaction failing, customers will be able to raise a complaint from within the app itself.

Final thoughts?

Some 21 banks have already enabled UPI on their own apps, some of which are already available on the Google Playstore; the iOS (Apple) version will come later. India being an Android country, UPI has rightly focused on getting the more important version first.

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All in all, a great move to make cashless payments faster, easier and smoother for millions of people in India.

Do not forget to share your thoughts on it.

Cheers!!

Please Relax, It is Just Tax

Even though we have said it umpteen number of times, we would keep saying it.

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Yes! WHY SO SERIOUS.

It is that time of the year when everyone is a “little worried” about filing IT returns and paying tax as the date closes in. Well, Fintuned would like to help there. So, here is a quick 5 slide on how we can help. 

Cheers,

Mihir

Crowdsourcing Content

When we started Fintuned, we always had a vision to make Fintuned a portal that not only distributes financial wisdom but also becomes a venue where everyone can share their financial stories/wisdom/ideas/tools and any other thing I missed out on 🙂

Do you know why? Because:

we believe that best learning stems from healthy experiences

we believe that best learning stems from diverse ideas

we believe that best learning stems from sharing stories

Basically, we believe that the best way to know is to seek answers in stories that are all around you! Think about your life and your learning and you will realize that we aren’t wrong.

So, to get this into effect, we are doing something that will add immense value to Fintuned’s patrons.

We are inviting everyone of you to share your stories/wisdom/ideas/tools with every single one of Fintuned’s patrons and if you wish, we will keep it anonymous. You can rendezvous with us in more ways than one:

Email: fintuned.net@gmail.com ; Facebook; Twitter

Albert Einstein

Cheers,

Mihir

All in One: New form 12BB for salaried employee

As a salaried employee you have to submit your income tax declaration statement at the beginning of every financial year to your employer. It is a provisional statement which has details about your proposed investments and expenses for the given Financial Year that are income tax deductible. Till now there was no standard format for this.

So, Income Tax Department has recently launched a new Form 12BB, which from now onwards has to be submitted declare HRA, LTA, Section 80, and interest paid on home loans.

However, with the introduction of Form 12BB, government has standardized this process.

The notification will be effective from June 1, 2016. Here are a few important things you should have before you fill up this form:

Sr No. Nature of claims Evidence or particulars
1. House Rent Allowance Name, address and PAN number of the landlord/landlords where the aggregate rent paid during the previous year exceeds Rs. 1, 00,000.
2. Leave travel concession or assistance Evidence of expenditure
3. Deduction of interest under the head “Income from House Property” Name, address and PAN number of the lender
4. Deduction under Chapter VI-A Evidence of investment or expenditure

You can download Form 12BB from here. It’s a PDF version. Below we have provided a snapshot of the form, so that you can have a look at it and see what all to file.

form-12BB

For any assistance, you just need to drop an email at fintuned.net@gmail.com

Cheers!

 

Cost of Ignorance is Greater Than The Cost of Insurance

This post has been written by our guest contributor Tarun Bachhawat, with help from the Fintuned Editorial team.

“If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you will most certainly be right” – Steve Jobs

When I sat down to write an article on insurance policies (just because I recently bought one) a strange but hard-hitting thought donned upon me. I wondered how to tell people about the significance of insurance, the tax benefit people get from paying premiums etc. A second later, I rubbished all the thoughts.

WANT TO KNOW WHY? Because I realized something – buying an insurance policy is the simplest of decisions one has to take and whether you like it or not, it is absolutely naive to ignore it. Think about it. When questions like – “What will happen to my family when I am not there”, “What if I meet with an unfortunate accident” etc. come to your head, how can you ignore taking an insurance policy??

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Honestly, you don’t need articles or someone like me to tell you about the significance of purchasing insurance. You just need to have compassion and common sense. That’s it.

But, there is a problem…

Continue reading “Cost of Ignorance is Greater Than The Cost of Insurance”

A Policy Without Politics

This post has been contributed by guest author Milan Jha, with assistance from Fintuned editorial team.

Three years back when Raghuram Govinda Rajan took the divine but immensely challenging role of RBI’s governor, he was hailed as the poster boy of Banking, the sexiest figure in Banking among other such sizzling titles. As a matter of fact, this article by Shobhaa De back in 2013 clearly highlighted the eye-catching attractiveness of our deserving RBI governor. Tales aside, Raghuram Rajan has been successful in exceeding expectations of stakeholders. As with any central bank, Raghuram has achieved this stellar performance by making use of his magic wand.

“The Monetary Policy”

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Continue reading “A Policy Without Politics”

Because Wealth Is a Matter Of Choice, Not Chance.

This post has been contributed by our guest contributor Mohit Arya with help from the Fintuned Editorial team.Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It is how much money you keep,” writes Robert Kiyosaki in the personal-finance classic, “Rich Dad Poor Dad.” scrooge-mcduck

On this note, I am glad to share my first post on how a salaried people should aim at creating wealth. Let me clear it first. Putting money in savings account giving you 4% or 6% return does not count as an INVESTMENT, at least a smart investment. The interest you get is too nominal to make your dreams come true.

Continue reading “Because Wealth Is a Matter Of Choice, Not Chance.”

Everything There Is To Know About HRA

An exhaustive FAQ with respect to HRA that everyone needs to keep handy.

  1. What is HRA?

HRA or House Rent Allowance is a grant provided by employer to employee to meet the cost of living in a rented house at the employer’s work location. Such HRA forms parts of the salary that employee receives from employer every month.

  1. What is the tax exemption available in relation to HRA?

Least of the following is exempted:

  •  Actual HRA received from the employer
  •  Rent paid – 10% of the salary
  •  50% of Salary, in case the employee resides in metro cities, otherwise 40% of salary
  1. I stay with my parents/relatives. Can I take HRA benefit?

Of course, you can! However, this is only possible if you have entered into an agreement with them and actually make the payment every month, preferably by cheque.

*Quick tip*: Avoid claiming tax benefits on rent payments made to the spouse as the arrangement can be characterized as a sham transaction, say experts.

  1. Can I pay rent by cash?

Yes, you can. However, it is advisable to make bank transfers or cheque payments for future references.

  1. How does HRA flow back to the owner/parents?

Owner/Parent will taxed for the rental income after a 30% deduction.  If they are retired and do not derive any significant taxable income, the rent would be tax free in their hands.

*Quick tip*: It gets better if the property is jointly owned by both parents. Then you can divide the rent two-ways so that the tax liability gets split between the two individuals.

*Quick tip*: If their income exceeds the basic exemption limit, you can help them save tax by investing in their name under Section 80C options

  1. Can I claim HRA and Home loan deduction at the same time?

Yes, only where you are staying and paying rent as well. One of the cases this is frequently seen is where home is bought are in 2 different cities.

  1. I am a self-employed person, Can I claim HRA?

No, as you are not receiving a formal salary. However, you can claim a deduction under section 80GG of the Income Tax Act for the rent incurred on the residence.

  1. What is considered as an evidence that I am paying rent?

Rent agreement or rent receipts is the proof. Please note that you will have to submit copies of rent receipts or rent agreement, depending on what your organisation stipulates.

  1. Is there any role of PAN card number here?

Yes, if rent paid by you is more than Rs. 1 lac per year, you need to submit pan card details of the owner. In case the owner do not have Pan Card, a declaration will do.

  1. Is there any particular format for rent receipt?

No particular format for rent receipt has been specified, but please ensure it mentions the following relevant information:

  • Amount of rent paid
  • Period/month
  • Mode of payment (Cheque/Cash)
  • Your name
  • Landlord’s name
  • Landlord’s signature
  • Residential address
  • Date & Place
  • A revenue stamp of Rs 1 for payment (both cash/cheque) exceeding Rs 5,000

If there are any further doubts that you may have, please reach out to us.

Cheers,

Mihir

Income Tax Returns: An Assurance Of Your Financial Health!

Just the other day, I got a rather usual message from a teenage cousin. It was a troll message on the famous Alia Bhatt ( now you know why its rather usual :P). This is how the message goes (pardon me if you have already heard this one, because it is undoubtedly naïve)

Alia Bhatt: Dad, what is your plan for the weekend?

Mahesh Bhatt: Income tax returns!!

Alia: When did the first one release? 😛

To be honest, I know it is a poor joke. However, the only reason I put it here is to highlight the significance of filing Income Tax Returns [(Even Mahesh Bhatt files it ;)]. Also, the aim of this post is to assert the importance of filing returns when your taxable income is below the prescribed threshold.

Individuals, whose total income without allowing any deductions exceed the basic exemption limits are mandatorily required to file Income Tax Return (ITR).

So, what does total income, without allowing deductions mean?

For this, you first need to know the existing exemption limits, beyond which you are liable to pay tax.

For Assessment year 2015-2016, the basic exemption limits are the following:

  • Individuals below the age of 60, the exemption limit is INR 2,50,000
  • For senior citizens, whose age is between 60 to 80 years, the exemption limit is INR 3,00,000
  • For super senior citizens, whose age is more than 80 years, the exemption limit is INR 5,00,000

Let’s say, Mr. X has an income of INR 2,80,000 and his deductions under section 80C come to INR 50,000 for A.Y. 2015-2016. Hence, taxable income is INR 2,30,000 (INR 2,80,000 – INR 50,000). Now, since this amount is below the thresholds mentioned above, the tax payable is nil.

However, here the striking point is – Mr. X is required to file his returns because his Gross Total Income (total income before allowing deductions) is above the exemption limit of INR 2,50,000 (assuming he is not a senior citizen).

Now, the question is “Why should one file the return when his/her income is below taxable limit?”

Filing income tax return does not necessarily means paying taxes. There are a number of benefits that will ease your life and future plans if you file tax return. ITR acts as a credential of your financial well-being and serves as an evidence of your income. Additionally, it makes you a good law abiding citizen (like how Mr. Modi says).

Continue reading “Income Tax Returns: An Assurance Of Your Financial Health!”