BlockChains: Technology that’s taking over the world BIT by BIT

How Blockchain is becoming a pinnacle of the Fintech Revolution

When I first sat down to write this article and tell you all about Block chains and how they work, I thought I’ll create a synopsis of the concept, its applicability and much more. But the topic has come across to be so vast and fascinating that a mere thousand words cannot suffice it. So I’ve tried to explain it in the most basic terms to give you a basic idea about what it is, how it functions and where it is currently being applied (We all know about Bitcoins, but there is so much more that this revolutionary concept can do. )

It all started back in 2009, when Satoshi Nakamoto published the paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” and brought Bitcoins and Block chains to the spotlight. It is renowned by many as “the biggest technological innovation since the internet”. Since then, Bitcoins and blockchain technology have both exploded with each Bitcoin now being equal to 169553.21 Indian Rupee (As on 20th July 2017) and the Block Chain industry seeing funding of over 1 Billion dollars from investors.

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So we now come to the most fundamental question, what is BlockChain? Continue reading “BlockChains: Technology that’s taking over the world BIT by BIT”

Trade Big, Pay Less! Thanks to the Discount brokers!

Shopkeeper: Rs. 51,500/- only.

Me: What??????

Shopkeeper: It’s an iPhone, Ma’am.

Me: Yeah, right. (Grumpy face)

And I came out of that shop with a heavy heart knowing full well that my Dad had just spent half a lakh rupees on a phone he would use only for making and receiving calls, something he was easily doing with his Nokia 6600 (whose even scrap value is zero) all these years.

I am sure we have all felt this feeling. When we ordered double cheese lasagna (with guilt trips) at our favourite restaurant when all we needed was Daal-Roti to quench our hunger. Or when we bought the top model of a car with Bluetooth, touch screen and speakers knowing well that we wouldn’t use these features.

Already feel that pain??

Let me make your heart heavier. Continue reading “Trade Big, Pay Less! Thanks to the Discount brokers!”

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!!

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!

 

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.

Solution
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.

What Do The Numbers Tell Us?

It is beyond any doubt that we live in an era of numbers and it is impossible to imagine a World that believes in any hypothesis without numbers to back it up. May it be political rallies where we see to-be MPs shouting out big numbers in order to criticize the ruling government or an interview where the interviewer is grilling the candidate to test his ability, numbers play a pivotal role.

The most recent and popular target of number stories is “Apna own bollywood” as quality of movies is now gauged on the basis of box-office collection (The benchmark being Rs 100 crores).Even Sunny Leone’s latest movie Ragini MMS 2 used the strength of numbers in its tagline:

2 mai zyaada mazaa hai” (Translation: There is more fun in 2).
  [You are free to ponder upon its implications 😉 ]
Okay, before I lose you into thinking about the movie, songs, Honey Singh or Sunny Leone, let me tell you about the purpose of this article. As I mentioned, numbers are highly significant to impose any thesis on people and hence, I am here to introduce you to some numbers that could make you think more about your money. Just before we start, let me clearly point out that none of this numbers are made up. They have been taken from reliable sources. (Plus. you have Google with you to check its veracity.). So here we go:
4,866 crores is the amount of unclaimed insurance money lying with life insurance companies as at the end of 2012-13.
250% is the growth in amount of unclaimed money with life insurance companies over a period of four years starting 2009-10.
So, both of this numbers relate to unclaimed insurance money and emphasize of an extremely important point. The reason, as explained by IRDA, behind such massive amount of money lying with insurance companies is the fact that dependents are not aware of existence of a life insurance policy. So, if the husband has paid big premiums for securing the life of his spouse and the spouse is not aware of it, then the whole exercise is fruitless.
Takeaway: Let me tell you that while there are other reasons like delay in settlement of claims, complexity of claims process etc. behind that massive number, the biggest reason is failure to track finances.
In most of the households in India, financial information is kept by the breadwinner to himself/herself whereas the ideal approach is to let the family know about each and every of your investment. A lethargic attitude and other factors are responsible for the failure to maintain a log book on investments, which is must.
Hence, if you are reading this blog but do not have your investments tracked and informed to the family then my earnest request is that you do it ASAP!!
22,636 crores is the amount lying in inoperative Employee provident fund accounts as at the end of February, 2014.
We think that working people have a good idea of their money and can take adequate care of the same. Well, think again!!
As per data, the mentioned amount is linked to EPF accounts that are lying dormant for more than 36 months and have stopped earning interest. The primary reason that these accounts have become inoperative is because employees holding those accounts have moved on to new jobs but have missed transferring their EPF accounts to the new employment.
Takeaway: Again, as in the case of unclaimed insurance, the problem is failure to track your investments. For employees of big corporations, it is a tough to miss the transfer of EPF accounts since the payroll teams aware you of these accounts. However, it might not always be the case and the ideal approach is to keep a record of all your investments including the EPF accounts, lest you have a sharp memory that can remember everything.
1101 crores, the amount of unclaimed dividend lying with companies as of 2013. Once this money stays unclaimed for a period of seven years, it is transferred to Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) post which no claims are entertained.
Takeaway: While there are various reasons behind unclaimed dividend, the primary reason is insignificant amount of dividend on an individual basis. The implication is that individuals hold a limited number of shares of companies and hence, the dividend due to them is quite low.
As a result, people are not highly bothered by dividend announcements and to top that. they are not quite aware of their portfolio as well because it is largely handled by stock brokers.
However, any amount of money is important and should not be forgone because of the magnitude. The ideal way to go is to keep a tab on the annual reports, dividend announcements etc. made by these companies and monitor your portfolio so as not to miss out on your income.
21% is the fall in savings rate in India since 2008. The current saving rate stands at 30.9% of GDP of which household sector is the biggest contributor. Household savings rate dropped a percent in 2012-13 to 22.8% of GDP.
Takeaway: Well, the takeaway is obvious here, isn’t it?
The need to save money is the basic principle in the skill of money management. However, I would like to make a small addition: As important it is to save money, it is equally important to channel it to productive use. Thus, it is extremely necessary that your savings are not lying idle at home but are being used to generate more money.
So, that is pretty much about the story of numbers behind “Money” in India!
Hope that these numbers would strengthen the hypothesis on “managing money”.
Any thoughts/opinions, please mention in the comments below!
Cheers