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!

Building Reserves v/s Debt Reduction – A Choice Worth Examining

This post has been contributed by Subhashini Attalani with editorial assistance from Team Fintuned.

Before you begin reading this article, let me tell you that this is not one of those traditional personal money management article(s) that you have been consuming. Yet, this article will afford you some amazing insights that will not only help you manage your money smarter but be super helpful when you make the decision about a crucial aspect regarding your business and that’s the debt appearing in your books.

Slide1

Thomas Fuller once remarked, “Debt is the worst poverty.” And, don’t we strive to minimize/end poverty? But should we always try minimizing debt when we have extra cash? That is an interesting question to address and let us try doing that in this post. Continue reading “Building Reserves v/s Debt Reduction – A Choice Worth Examining”

Keep More Than One But Forget None

This article has been contributed by our guest contributor Anchal Beriwal and edited by Fintuned team. The article is a good read for people in the age group 25-50.

Confused with the title of the article?

Well, today I came across a Business Insider post that mentioned the thinking differences that exist between rich (could be read as successful in today’s parlance :P) and average people. While I am not completely vocal about the way the article/piece was positioned, there was a line that has remained with me, which said:

“Rich people make money out of other people’s money while the average people think that one needs money to make money”. Again, I don’t support the statement as such and it is absolutely subjective but the part that you can use money even when you don’t have it reminds me of something.”

You probably guessed it right? It absolutely reminds me of credit cards 🙂

I am sure John Biggins might have fallen short of cash and therefore, thought of this idea and invented credit cards. In India, credit cards have always been an adverse money leverage option for people. However, as more options are available and with an increase awareness regarding the use of plastic money, Indians have begun using plastic money proactively. Probably, it is right if I say that we are aping the west in our spending culture as well. Truth be told, credit cards do have some indispensable benefits. For example, fulfilling immediate liquidity requirements and building positive credibility are a few of the positives.

But why am I harping on the benefits of credit cards? No, I do not represent any credit card company nor intend to be with one. This is because as we get accustomed to using credit cards, it is all the more important that we use it smartly.

Most of the banks provide privileges and schemes on applying for their credit cards resulting in a wide array of options to decide from.  For example

Love cash > go for cards that give cash backs

Love free stuff > go for those that offer freebies

If I may credit cards also come in different flavors. There are the superfluous travel credit cards that offer credit services on travel, hotel stays and conveyance and then there are awesome cards that provide credit facilities on meals in food joints and restaurants. Therefore, it is good to have more than one credit card, if you can manage them well.

In case you skipped that last sentence, read it again. To be absolutely specific and repetitive (not annoying :P), keep more than one credit card, if you can manage them well, which means payment of bills, maintaining limits etc.

*Do not screw your credit score

As a corollary to the last section, let me mention about something to take extra care of i.e. your credit score (am sure you know all about it). In case you are not aware,  RBI has entrusted CIBIL, Equifax and Experian to maintain the credit scores. CIBIL or the Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited being the oldest is more popular. These organizations collect and maintain records of every person regarding his loan and credit card transactions. These records are then used to prepare Credit Information Report (CIR) and credit scores and provided to banks and financial institutions to evaluate the credibility of a person.  Read more about it here.

#Quick tip: Simply owning more than one credit card does not affect your credit score in any way. The credit score depends on two things and they are payment of credit card bills and usage patterns.

As such, coming back to the point of having more than one credit card, it increases your overall credit limit. Owing to division of usage over more than one card it results in low usage per card. The lower the percentage of outstanding debt, the better the credit score.

Better offers, better credit scores, higher discipline etc. are some of the amazing benefits that ensue when you keep more than one credit card. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and experience it for yourself 🙂

Cheers

A Study On Buying A New Car V/S A Used Car

This article has been written by our guest contributor Harsh Singh Chauhan, with help from the Fintuned Editorial team.

I have always been a big fan of cars. You might casually say “Men will be Men” (please don’t take me to be a sexist) but cars are a passion for a good number of people. From the reel life of James Bond to the real life of living legend Michael Schumacher, cars represent a different but special class of machines and there is no denying the fact that a car has the ability to depict some milestone in a person’s life.

Buying car means happiness

Truth be told, I can go on and on about cars but probably, this isn’t the place for it. It is quite obvious that this post is related to cars in some way (who starts talking about cars randomly? Actually I can) and as I mentioned, a decision to get a car represents a significant milestone in a person’s life, even financially. While it is established that a car is an essential financial decision, an interesting dilemma that people face is a choice between buying a new car or a used car.

Continue reading “A Study On Buying A New Car V/S A Used Car”

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??

life-insurance

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”

inflation-cartoon

Continue reading “A Policy Without Politics”

Small Lessons To Make Your Life Larger & Wiser!

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

Just yesterday, I was watching the latest commercial from the stable of Royal Stag featuring the Bollywood A-guy Ranveer Singh. Basically, the punchline of that advert conveys the message that the culmination of small moments make your life large and one should strive for the same. Steering past that interesting life lesson, the reason my post begins with this annotation is because I could not think of a better introduction to the post.

Royal-stag-keep-perfecting

I assume that after reading the above paragraph, your instant question would be, “How does this relate to money management or finance in general, at all?”

Truth be told, you aren’t wrong in asking that question. The reason that I started with a synopsis of this commercial is because while watching this ad I was reminded of a short but insightful conversation with my father that turned out to be the best investment advice ever.

How did it play out?

One morning my dad saw my wallet that had some papers, money and my credit cards and said, “Do you carry everything in this one wallet?”  I simply replied, “Yes.” Post this answer, the conversation played out somewhat like this:

Dad: What if you are pick pocketed?

Me: That is sheer bad luck. There is nothing one can do about it.

Dad [Smiling]: There is a difference between hard luck and being foolish at your own will.

This remark did irritate me slightly.

Dad [Noticing the change in my expression]: Have you ever noticed how I keep my cash?

Me: Yes you keep some in your shirt, some in your right pant pocket and some in your inside pocket.

Dad [Smiling again]: Good. Have you ever thought why I do this? It is because if I am pick pocketed then I don’t have to worry as I will have some money in a different pocket which will help me reach home safely.

Honestly, that was a cool and helpful advice. Post this, he went on to share some more insights which I have shared below.

#1 Diversification is the key. Whether it be as big as managing your money portfolio or something as small as carrying your money, some assortment is important. In case of investments, you have to ensure that you try to cover considerable number of options, as per your risk appetite.

#2 Distance of pocket is directly related to the nature of your expenses

As my dad’s shirt pocket is the closest, it meets his daily expense requirements like travel, paying for a small snack in the evening etc. Similarly, the liquid amount in your bank account or hard cash has to be on you to meet you low-magnitude expenses.

The pocket in your trousers represents the requirement for short term plans like going for a short trip, buying a good watch or phone among other things. Finally, the inside (secret) pocket where my dad keeps a major chunk of his money is most difficult to access and he generally avoids taking out money from this pocket. As he mentions, this money generally represents savings for your long term requirements like marriage, education etc.

#3 Saving the best for the last: – Limit the use of credit cards

To be absolutely clear, my father is not at all against the use of credit cards and for myself, I have a couple of cards that are used to purchase tickets or pay online fee, pay taxes etc. That being said, he is against spending a portion of the money that you haven’t earned and on things you might not require. So the basic idea is to avoid spending money on luxuries that you have not earned or by taking money on credit from the bank.

Conclusion

In my brief but absolutely helpful conversation with my father, I learnt amazing money lessons that you might find in text books/lectures/seminars but don’t care to implement the same in a disciplined manner. I sincerely hope that my learning has made good sense to you and in case you have any doubts/suggestions for me, please feel free to reach out.

Cheers.

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.”