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”


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.



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!”

UPDATE: Illustrating Gratuity’s Tax Treatment.

As we promised, here is a simple example that illustrates the taxability of Gratuity. If you have any doubts with this illustration or in general, please reach out to us at fintuned.in@gmail.com


Mr. X had been working with a private company since past 15 years, 7 months. He is retiring on 5th April, 2014. His current Basic Salary = Rs 60,000 pm, DA = Rs 8,000 pm. He is going to receive a gratuity amount of Rs 7 lakhs on retirement.

Note: Mr. X’s basic salary and DA have been the same since past 1 year.

Lets consider 2 situations here – (A) Mr. X is covered under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972; and (B) Mr. X is not covered under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972.

(A) Mr. X  is covered under Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972

Maximum exemption from tax is least of the 3 below:

(i) Actual gratuity received; – Rs. 7,00,000.00

(ii) Rs 10,00,000;

(iii) 15 days’ salary for each completed year of service or part thereof – 15/26*16*68000 = Rs. 6,27,692.00


Therefore Rs. 6,27,692.00 is the Gratuity amount which is exempted and the balance amount will be taxable as per the Income Tax slab  for the year in which the gratuity amount has been received by the employee.


(B) Mr. X is not covered under the payments of Gratuity Act, 1972

Maximum exemption from tax is least of the 3 below:

(i) Actual gratuity received; – Rs. 7,00,000.00

(ii) Rs 10,00,000;

(iii) Half-month’s average salary for each completed year of service (no part thereof) — 34000*15 = Rs. 5,10,000.00


Therefore Rs. 5,10,000.00 is the Gratuity amount which is exempted and the balance amount will be taxable as per the Income Tax slab  for the year in which the gratuity amount has been received by the employee.

Still In Fray Over Your HRA?

Note: This idea has been contributed by our passionate intern Harshita, with inputs from the entire team.

There is no doubt in the fact that the second best moment in the world is to see the mail that says “The salary has been credited to your account”. Some of you may argue that the second position is not the right assessment, but since am the author, my opinion will prevail ;). And for me, the best moment in the world is finding a washroom when you are in dire, uncontrollable need (No, it is not creepy!)


Well, this blog is not about judging the creepiness of our jokes or deciding upon the position of several human emotions. As you might have noticed, our job is to develop your money sense (Haw, you did not know that yet 😛 ). In keeping with our noble mission, let us quickly get to the topic for this post. So, coming back to my point on salary, it is quite dear to see that mail in your inbox. However, if you would have taken the pain of glancing through your salary slip, the first thing [again, no debate on first or second please ;)] that gets your attention is House Rent Allowance or HRA. Not to stretch this any further, let me head straight to the discussion on HRA.

Before we proceed to any analysis, let us begin with the fundamentals of HRA :

HRA is defined as an allowance paid by an employer to his employee, in order to help him/her meet the rental expenses of his/her accommodation. Therefore, the HRA is an integral part of your salary and warrants proper scrutiny before acceptance of the offer/hike etc.

Time to tax your brain (A bit only)

Though the Income Tax Department might be treacherous on many occasions, it is kind enough when it comes to HRA. The Income Tax Act of India provides for deduction of HRA, while calculating income under head ‘Income from Salary’. As I mentioned above, the HRA is a part of your salary and like the other components of salary, it is taxable under the act. However, the Act allows for certain deduction under the HRA component i.e the amount you do not have to pay tax on. This particular deduction is calculated as:


(I) Actual house rent allowance received from the employer;

(II) Actual house rent paid minus 10% of basic salary

(III) 50% of your basic salary, if you live in a metro city (40% for non-metro).

Yay! So, now you have understood the quantum of deduction available (I would suggest memorizing this schedule so that, it is handy when you require it).

However, as most of the flowery things in life come with *terms and conditions*, then why not HRA. So, here are certain T&C that you need to keep in mind when it comes to HRA.

– HRA has to be received from the employer,

– Rent has to be paid (Duh, isn’t that obvious)

– Salary means basic salary plus dearness allowance,

As you would know, India is a land that loves myths and misconceptions. Again, why not with HRA. So, let me try and bust these misconceptions:

  1. HRA is available to both salaried as well as self-employed individuals.

No. There are certain benefits that are available to self-employed individuals under section 80GG of Income Tax Act, subject to fulfilment of certain conditions which may resemble HRA, but the terms cannot be used interchangeably.

    2. Claiming deduction of both HRA and home loan principal/interest payments.

Smile because it’s a YES. It is possible to effect such an arrangement with a tinge of astute tax planning skills. So, this is when you can leverage such an arrangement:

  • You can pay rent to your parents and claim HRA, while claiming for home loan principal/interest payment on the same house. However, please make sure that your parents show parallel rental income in their IT returns. Additionally, there has to be a proper rent agreement between you and your folks.
  • You can let out your own house and stay at the rented house, therefore, claim HRA for rented house and home loan principal/interest payment for the owned property. In this case, you will have to show the rental income from let-out property in your return.
  • In a genuine case, you can have a self-owned property and at the same time, stay in a rented house. Now, this is possible if both the houses are located in different cities or if in the same city, the owned house is far away from your workplace, making it difficult to commute. In the latter case, you may take a house on rent near your workplace. But beware, if you pay rent to your spouse, you may face difficulties if scrutinized (see, even the government wants couples to be at peace).

Well, give a clap to yourself. You have patiently gone through the article and that too without yawning for once (See, I drink bournvita for such confidence).

You can reach out to fintuned.in@gmail.com for any queries/clarifications/jokes etc.


In a State of Tax SOS, Try ELSS!

The deadline is fast approaching. If you still haven’t done your tax planning, it’s time to gear up. There is no need to sweat because we are here just for your help (sounds awful lot like some marketing line, is it). Therefore, in the next three months, we will be focusing on a mix of tax related articles that will help you in efficient tax planning and save you some hard-earned money.

FU Tax!

So let us begin this series with an article contributed by Miss Riddhi Kharkia [ACA], a good friend, on Equity Linked Savings Scheme (ELSS).

First off, what is ELSS?

ELSS or Equity linked savings scheme is a type of mutual fund with a particular mode of making investments. It is a scheme that invests 65% of its corpus in equity and equity-linked products. As you can see, it is almost similar to any other mutual fund scheme with a slight variation in investing style. They are the favorite picks for tax planning because they offer dual benefits. Since the money is invested by the fund in equity i.e stock markets, investors get the benefit of capital appreciation plus dividend (if the scheme is dividend-oriented). In addition to that, investment in ELSS would is eligible for deduction to investors u/s 80C, which is capped to a maximum of Rs 1.5 Lakh. [Happy, huh ;)]

A detailed section on benefits.

When it comes to putting your money in any financial instrument, you want to do it with eyes wide open. So why not with ELSS?

To help you invest in this product with full-awareness, here is an elaborate section on benefits of investing in an ELSS.

  1. Since ELSS invests money in equity, it will help you to grow money when the stock market grows over a period of time. Currently, the SENSEX is on a decline owing to some heavy profit-booking activity and falling crude prices. As such, it is actually a good time to invest in the markets. In the later part of the article, I have provided my top three ELSS picks that could be your beginning point for taking the plunge!
  1. Investing in ELSS can help you in utilising tax exemption of Rs 1.5 Lakh in 80C, in case you have not been able to utilize it fully with traditional weapons like LIC premium and PPF/EPF investments. Take a stab at ELSS funds; you will like it 😉

ELSS comes with a lock-in period of 3 years only, the shortest among all tax saving options under Section 80C. In the case of SIPs, each installment is considered as a separate investment and will have a 3 year lock-in period from the date of such installment. The redemption on maturity is on first in first out basis.

After 3 years, you can remain invested for a longer period if you are pretty impressed with the returns and don’t feel like pulling out your money. A 3 year horizon is pretty decent time to help you grow money after considering market fluctuations as well. Additionally, a SIP gives you the benefit of rupee cost averaging. No, it is not some complex jargon but RCA simply implies that a SIP evens out the volatility in the markets and on an average, each installment gives you a hefty return.

  1. ELSS is the only tax saving investment that provides tax free returns for short period. Any returns received from equity funds after 1 year is tax free. Hence any dividends/returns/capital gains obtained from such funds are tax free.

When should you invest in ELSS?

Unlike a fixed deposit scheme or a regular insurance policy where investors can shell out money in lump-sum, this product requires a more mindful approach. Since it is an equity investment, It is prone to market risks and fluctuations and as such, the timing of the entry and exit is very important.

As I mentioned above, the best way to invest in a mutual fund (in this case, an ELSS fund) is creating a SIP because of its ability to generate steady returns over a specific horizon.

How to pick a winner?

Yes, this is a significant question because no one here wishes to lose money. While there are some definite parameters to look for, let me also point out that since an ELSS fund invests in equity, it has some inherent risk associated with itself. So the parameters you should ideally look out for are

  1. Long term performance of the fund.
  2. A glance at the holdings. (You can just take a look at the sectors it is invested in)
  3. Fund manager and performance of other funds managed by him/her.

Honestly, these parameters will give you a fair idea about the fund but as they say, research is never enough. Considering that, one may definitely divulge into further research on aspects like peer performance, expense ratio, leverage in the fund etc.


In comparison with other products under 80C, ELSS stands out both in terms of liquidity and stability. When compared with PPF, I believe PPF is a good investment option when you have surplus funds and you don’t need money in near future (a 15-year lock-in is huge). ELSS is viable when you want to maximize your returns along with tax savings in a shorter tenure.

As promised, here are my top three picks among ELSS funds that should help you get started in the least!

Note: Mutual funds generally offer two schemes – dividend (profits are given to investors from time to time) and growth (profits are ploughed back into the scheme leading to higher NAV). Here’s a look at the performance of the two types of funds.

*In no particular order*

  1. Reliance Tax Saver (ELSS) fund – Growth
  2. Axis Long Term Equity Fund – Growth
  3. L&T Tax Saver Fun – Cumulative

Disclaimer: It is your money. So, please read and invest!!

Protection + Returns!! Want To Know More?


You know, how as kids we always had this urge to expand abbreviations using our creativity and then showcasing it to the whole world for laughs. Well, now we aren’t kids anymore (Though on children’s day, most of the Whatsapp texts ask me to keep the child in me alive 😛 ) but still, when I asked my friend if he had any idea of ULIPs, this is what he said: Yes, I know ULIPs. They stand for Unclear lackluster investment plans. Surely, it made me laugh first, but at the same time, I took the opportunity to talk about ULIPs and their significance. It just took a few minutes out of his schedule but he walked away with good knowledge of ULIPs. So, here I am, trying to do the same for you so that you may employ your creativity better and expand some other acronym 🙂

A Unit Linked Insurance Plan (ULIP) is a financial product which offers dual benefit of protection and investment/returns. Basically, it is an insurance policy/plan that is linked to capital markets. Under such a plan, a part of your investment goes towards providing you with a life cover and the remaining portion is invested in a fund. This fund then invests the money into the capital markets (equity, debt or both as per the plan of the vendor).Till here, I have just talked English and barely any finance and therefore, I am assuming that you would have understood the concept behind a ULIP. Wow, the first step is done and now that you have understood the ULIP funda, let us proceed to know more about this product.

The more, the better 😉

If you had to pass some financial aptitude quiz then knowing this much would be enough [they ask no more 😉 ] but I believe that your objective is to invest in a ULIP some day and for that, we have to drill down deeper. Before I go on to cover the kind of charges that are involved in a ULIP, the tax treatment of a ULIP etc. let me talk briefly on why I chose ULIPs as a point of discussion for this post. Let me warn you that the next 4 lines or so might be boring as they discuss history of ULIPs [don’t we hate histories] but if you have come till here, I am sure you will do just fine.

After the 2008 financial meltdown, Indian indices also took a bad hit and during that phase, ULIPs became a maligned product owing to lower returns and other structural flaws. However, ULIPs got a good makeover in 2010 in terms of product features and regulations. Now, after the elections in May, the stock market has seemingly embarked on an incessant rally and as a result, the stock market rally plus modifications in ULIP’s structure has brought this product back.Therefore, in a way, this is the best time to know about ULIPs.

YAYYY, you have now successfully gone past the history without yawning [sarcasm intended]. So, now you know of a couple of things about ULIPs i.e the meaning and their significance/relevance. Hoping that you are somewhat convinced of investing in an ULIP [if not, just see the growth in BSE sensex and you would feel the itch to make some money], let me straightaway jump to the charges that are involved while investing in a ULIP.

In terms of charges that are involved in a ULIP, it is important to understand that certain charges which may vary according to vendor and plans and hence, it is always advisable to go through the brochure/sales pamphlet or any other document that enlists the features of a particular ULIP. Now, there are approximately 8-9 broad charges that are involved in case of a ULIP. However, I believe that it is not wise to load you with all the information at once primarily because a good number of these charges are levied only when you exercise special features. Hence, the prudent thing to do is to go through the information provided by the insurer while purchasing the policy and that too, quite thoroughly. Undermentioned are a few charges that are common and mostly levied in case of a ULIP.

a. The Allocation charges: Charged as a percentage of premium upfront, the quantum of this charge varies across vendors, with a general maximum of 2 percent. Remember that it is taken before allocation of any units under the plan and is normally highest in the first year.

b. Policy/Administration charges: Simply, a fee taken for administration of policy. However, the way it is deducted is a bit abnormal. Basically, the charge is recovered through cancellation of units rather than a money transaction.

c. Fund management fees: As with any mutual fund, the fund manager of a ULIP fund does not work for free as well. Hence, this fee is deducted before arriving at NAV of the units.

Well, this is pretty much it. Yes, there are a few other charges as well but I do not think it is necessary to burden you with all information now. I believe you are quite smart to figure out these charges, when asked to pay and in case you might have problems then, we have a 24*7 assistance portal just for you.

Something grand, in the end! (woah, so bad rhyming)

To be honest, it is not something grand but since it is the end of this post, I thought to build up some climax :P. But, yes, as I promised, here is what you need to know about taxation of ULIPs.

Any premium you pay on the ULIP qualifies for deduction u/s 80C (just remember this one section, please) and the overall limit for deductions u/s 80C is INR 150,000 for A.Y 2015-16. However, the deduction is only applicable to the extent of 10 percent of sum assured. Any amount over and above that limit, will not qualify for deduction.

In case of a ULIP, there are couple of ways in which a payout is possible. One of them is the receipt of money by nominees on the death of the policyholder. As per tax laws, the money received by nominees is TAX-FREE.

Second payout route is payment on maturity of the plan/policy. In that case as well, the receipt is treated as payment received u/s 10 (10D) [No need to remember this section] and is also TAX-FREE. In fact, it is important to note that not all life insurance policies enjoy such a benefit u/s 10 (10D). However, ULIPs do.

Well, that is about it for this post 😀

Thank you for reading through and stay tuned for upcoming post on “A comparative study of different ULIPs”,


Two commercials to help you manage money well!

Today, I saw a couple of advertisements in succession and come to think of it, both these ads have a profound impact on our financial life. The first ad was from a colossal retailer called “Home Shop 18” and while, I believe most of you would have watched it, I would still like to refresh it for you.

So, it shows two cats Billy and Sunny( Cute ad, isn’t it?) who are traditional business owners and throughout the advertisement focus on this one simple and known message:

“Shopping makes a person happy”

Well, the statement is definitely true and does not need any extensive description as most of us would have indulged in “retail therapy” umpteen number of times.

The second one.

Coincidentally, the story completely turned around and I was surprised to see the ad that appeared after the first one. It was from the stable of one of the biggest online marketplaces in India i.e “OLX”. The point that they tried to hammer into my head was completely opposite to the first one as for them:

“Selling makes us money and hence, selling makes us happy”.

In fact their ad message says “Turn your cell phone into a sell phone” (Quite witty, ain’t it. You decide)

Before I proceed, I just want you to close your eyes and play these ads one after the other and in case you haven’t watched any of these ads the please open your eyes and click on the links embedded in this post. [For your eyes only :P]

So, which money personality should you adopt?

Buy/Sell, do what makes you happy

To be honest, there is no perfect answer to that.

One of the basic thoughts expressed by most of personal finance advisers is : Sell items that you don’t need and get some value out of such unused assets. In fact, this point is given such thrust that eBay could easily hire all money matters advisers (including myself) to market the concept of eBay.

No, I am not criticizing this thought because it does form the basis for a very important concept in personal finance called “Passive income channels”. However, it would not be viable to include the funda of passive income in this post because I don’t want you to feel sleepy by reading brutally long posts.

Do not just be the OLX type.

It is definitely worthwhile to be of the OLX personality type i.e a person who believes in selling off things/items that might be of negligible use. But, is it just sufficient to have the OLX personality to be great at managing money.

The answer is in the negative for the sole reason that you cannot be a great money manager without having an element of the “Home Shop 18” personality. Now, I say this not because I am insane but because real money management does not only deal with saving money. In fact, a major portion of personal finance exercise involves calculated spending that ensures a qualitative life. Remember, money is just another resource and like every resource, management of money means utilization of same in the best possible way.

No confusion, great combination!!

I guess you might be quite perplexed on deciding the ideal money personality that could help you manage money better. Well, the answer to that is a proper balance of both the personality traits. Generally, it is seen that people are skewed towards either the “Home Shop 18″ or the “OLX” style of living and in order to avoid such a situation it is necessary to do a course correction every single time one feels that he/she is over indulging in retail therapy or hoarding excessive money in their wallets.

Therefore, to be good at personal finance, the essential requirement is to use money to help you lead a quality life for the entire lifetime. As such, there is no rigid rule with respect to the money personality that you should adopt. On the contrary, it is a sustained balance that comforts you and makes you happy.

Hope you had a fun time reading the post and in case you have any queries/suggestions, please use the comments section or mail us at fintuned.in@gmail.com 🙂


Disclaimer: This blog post and the blog do not support/endorse any of the brands mentioned above. The names of the brands have been used for educational purposes only.

Money Management is all about DIFY and DIY.

It is true that we are not that comfortable with abbreviations. Among other reasons, one thing is that it sparks a big surge in our inherent curious being. To tell you about myself, the moment I see any abbreviation in an article I immediately open up a new tab on chrome and look for the word without considering the article I am reading at that point in time. (However, I am changing this habit for the better)

I would NOT want you to do something like this and I promise that you will know all about the short-forms here in a while. (Also, I will keep any irrelevant gyaan to minimum). The inspiration to write this article came to me after a friend of mine pinged me this: “You know, I have heard many advocates of personal finance, money management etc. but never in any of their talks I have understood how to start the money managing exercise and as such, never bothered about it.”

Come to think, it is a legitimate question because may it be a gym workout, study for a big course or practically anything in life, the big question is “How do I start?” Well, in this blog post I have tried to devise a simple methodology that should help you start the lasting exercise of money management.

Kanna Keep calm


See, I gave away the first abbreviation (Hope you might be a little happy now).  Well, it is not a new rocket science approach but just a redefined way of  looking at things. Personal finance is all about you (including you near ones) and hence, it is significant to realize that you have to do-it-for-yourself before embarking on this journey. To do this, you just need a plain paper and a pen and give this heading. Then, divide your future lifetime into a series of time periods depending on your outlook and potential to achieve time-bound targets and start mentioning the dreams/things you have to do for yourself.

Let me give you an example:  If I were to make my DIFY sheet, it could go like this:

Time cycle                            DIFY        

By 25 years                               Get a car (hatchback preferably)

25-30 years                              Own a flat of say xyz sq ft.

And so on…………..

So you see the funda right? And it is not at all difficult because you know what you want to do for yourself.  Just one more thing to make it more valuable would be to add a monetary value to your DIFY. For instance, besides my “Get a car” DIFY, I should add Rs. 8 lacs. Though, it is a small tweak but its effect is profound 🙂


Can you say with any certainty in which direction a football player would hit the ball if the goal post were to be removed. Obviously NOT! And not only you, he himself would not have an idea about where to hit the ball.

Sadly, I have seen a good number of people do this with their personal finance exercise as a result of which, they make the move in erroneous directions and do not even know if a goal is scored. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we at least have some idea of where to go and I am happy to tell you that you have already done it. Now, if you can then grab the same DIFY sheet and make another column called DIY.

What I want you to do under this column is to just scribble anything about investments, savings, instruments (FD, bonds) etc. that you know about can help you reach your DIFY target.  So, you can write things like “Invest in fixed income”, “Invest in stocks”. “Save 10% every year” etc.

Well, congratulations on successfully starting your money management/dream achievement exercise. Now, research on your DIY elements and seek help from family, professional or for that matter, any resource you can grab.

So please go now, take a sheet and do it. All you would have to sacrifice is making 15 Maggi packets i.e 30 minutes. [Sorry, if it wasn’t funny 😉 ]

Any questions or feedback! You have the power of attorney to the comments section.