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Break the Mould

 

A true journey is over when we really cover a distance. This distance will see some discoveries, some additions or some changes along the way. Momeywise is also on a journey, a start of a journey, to be precise; and we are urging fellow women to join us. One thing we are sure about getting out of this journey is Breaking the Mould.

 

Our financial habits have shaped up due to multiple reasons over time and they won’t die hard. As much as we have wished to get caution in spending and bring discipline in planning or investing, a lot remains desired. However, if we persistently try, we can break the mould & take charge. And much to our surprise, reap benefits too. Here are our top 3 recommended ways:

 

  1. Look at the big picture: You may be a habitual saver but ever increasing prices will outgrow your rate of savings and then what? What you need to do is invest and not only save. Your invested money will grow to give you returns over and above inflation.
  2. Tackle the fear: Do you feel the market movement, calculating RoIs or mutual funds is beyond you? They are complex or boring? Seriously think again. Its nothing to be afraid of. There are professionals who can help, tools that are handy and best of all – transactions that are quick.
  3. Today is a good day: Age, burgeoning expenses, uncertainties – the more you delay, the more you lose. On the other hand, the longer you give time to investments, the higher the growth. We will start illustrating with simple numbers shortly. But for now, we can’t stress more about starting asap.

It’s easy to not to try. But that’s not us women. We are known to adapt to various roles, most times with zero training. If we decide to break the mould, WE WILL.

The power of small

Home economics is no stranger to ‘The power of small’. Yup momeys, I am referring to the small savings we manage every now & then.

We have all had situations where a little fortune out of our savings kept aside bailed us out of unforeseen situations. A medical emergency, unexpected wedding or birthday shopping, unplanned purchases for home or self, numerous ocassions can pop up when small sum plays a big role.

This post is to draw attention to a fast gaining investment feature called SIP – Systematic Investment Plan.

Understanding SIP

SIP or ‘the good EMI’ as it has been fondly called is a sure shot way to make your small savings grow. To give some background, SIP is a feature offered to MF investors. Mutual Fund is a collective pool of money in which various investors put their money for returns. This pool is managed by experts who in turn invest it further to fetch gains for their investors. Now to invest in a mutual, there are 2 ways – lumpsum which you can do one time and second is SIP.

SIP is any fixed amount (starting Rs. 500) that can be invested every month on a set date into a mutual fund scheme of your choice.

Why SIP

Now comes the real part. SIP is increasingly being used by investors because of 2 main reasons:

1. Flexibility to invest small sums over a period of time.

2. Great returns due to the power of compounding.

Compounding Advantage


An investment has to be given time to give worthwhile returns. And when you invest through SIP, you turn little sum into big money. As you invest month on month, your base increases – sum you are investing plus the returns keep getting added. This is how you benefit from compounding. To explain better, suppose you put Rs. 2000 every month in SIP for 10 years. The principal you have put is Rs. 2,40,000. With a modest rate of return of 12.5%, you will have Rs. 4,78,763 at the end of 10 years. You can use this calculator to find out more: https://www.mysiponline.com/sip-calculator.php

This supersedes any Recurring deposit returns you will make over long term. Mutual Funds are seeing unprecedented interest from new investors and SIP is becoming a favourite. But you don’t have to follow anyone for the heck of it. You can do an SIP for the sheer benefit it brings. Just resolve to make small savings into big as a first step and rest will fall in place. Start today!

Don’t lax, pay your tax

Momeys.. Bet your lists are going berserk with holiday season approaching. For a lot of us, travel would be on cards. A flurry of hosting to playing guests at weddings & parties will take up time. Add to that the pressure of turning out your best – a few salon visits & shopping trips – there goes any possible free time out of the window. But no one’s complaining. After all December is a time we all love waiting for.

Now having looked at literally the brighter side 😊, this post is to remind about the money that shouldn’t fall prey to taxes. We have seen from very close quarters, fellow momeys have heavily procrastinated, only to loose money to tax.

November-December can be busy time but it shouldn’t come at the cost of tax planning. For those in mid to high tax brackets, this is a great time to take stock. Here are simple steps to approach tax planning:

1. Calculate your year’s taxable income. For eg. If you have rental or interest income in addition, add it to your salary.

2. Determine your tax bracket

3. Check if you have any deductible investments like Home loan payments, life insurance, PF contribution, PPF etc. Under 80C, you can get tax deduction upto 1.5 lacs.

4. Check for any shortfall in the deduction limit of 1.5lacs. If the tax free investments are not totalling to 1.5 lacs, you need a tax plan.

5. Revisit your financial goals. If your money requirement will be soon, you will have to look at lesser tenure options.

6. You believe in No risk – No gain? Momeys if you want utmost safety of your capital, choose safe fixed income options like PPF or FD. If minor volatility doesn’t bother you, you can take some risks with market linked options like NSC, ELSS.

7. If youYou want higher returns, then zero down on NSC or ELSS. (ELSS would be our choice)

8. Save your investment proofs in a folder. While filing taxes, you will need the proofs handy so ensure you keep them easily locatable.

9. Invest because today is the best day. The sooner you finish tax planning and have your choices ready, go ahead and make a purchase. Often delay in investing leaves you in lurch when employer’s HR asks for proofs. For lack of proof, they deduct tax from salaries. You could totally avoid such rude shocks.
In the end, all we can say that is every money cautious person is taking stock of their tax liabilities ahead of the spending season . Are you too momey?

Momey hacks to up your Productivity

Taking breaks will never be a formula forgotten. It peps up the vigor while breaking monotony, enriches with new experiences thus promulgating productivity. Actually the key to keep going harder is taking sufficient breaks. 

I, too was lucky to enjoy some travel after a busy festive season. Of course the work backlog had hit the roof owing to festal spirit in October. And then an impending holiday in first week of November made things more frantic. But the best part is I learnt some productivity hacks to mange all the demands on time before taking off. Some that make it to the top of my list are here.

1. Slot your ‘Mail Time’

Mails constitute a fair deal of the work. I usually would slot mornings & evening for an hour or two everyday. This keeps me abreast of all the work, ensures same day responses and keeps things under control.

2. Delegate, delegate, delegate

Something I learnt early in my professional life, a good manager is able to get things done from resources. As a momey, holding onto all the work can drive you to breaking point.

3. Lunch hour in beast mode

While breakfasts are to be like a king’s, the lunch can be a quick affair. The work momentum doesn’t get broken and helps you wrap up your day in time. For young moms, late hours is a toughie. All the more reason to crunch lunch time.

4. Embrace Digital

I used to be a very offline person until I became a Mompreneur. Now presentations, number crunching or writing, I manage most of my work on mobile. Plus, apps are a whole world of convenience. From ordering groceries, to managing calendars, banking & investments, keeping tab of health parameters – everything is done easily, systematically and on the go.

5. Follow a Passion

Be it the clickety clack of the camera, or the soulful music, fitness or gardening to nurturing the bibliophile in you, it’s important to be passionate about something.  Indulging in an activity of your choice is paramount to keep productivity levels high. Studies have shown that people engaged in creative hobbies performed between 15-30% better at work. (Read https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/how-your-hobbies-effect-work-performance.html)

6. The ‘2 minute rule’

For newbies, the 2 minute rule’ says finish all your under 2 minute tasks there and then. This rule works brilliant for us moms who struggle with backlog. You close on a lot of small tasks that can become a nagging pain if left unattended.

Go ahead momeys and pack a punch!

​Buy & Cry, the traditional approach on purchasing Gold!

Hey Momeys, hope you had a great Diwali filled with loads of shopping, feasting, dressing up and gossiping!

As we get back to our normal routine lives, the feeling that the festival is over takes over. While I was trying to keep up with my little one this afternoon, my neighbour came in with her daughter. Kids started playing, leaving us to do what we do best – gossip! She showed me her recently bought beautiful gold earrings and then narrated the long story behind it. She told me how she and her husband went to a branded jewellery store to buy gold bangles on Dhanteras, as a tradition, but ended up buying these earrings.

They went to the store in late afternoon to avoid the festive rush but could not escape the buzz. She was clear that she wanted to buy bangles for her but the store was so crowded that each sales person was handling around 6-7 families at a time.  The more she tried to inquire, the harder she got pushed back. Amid this chaos, finally she had to settle for gold earrings as she needed to buy something atleast on the ocassion of Dhanteras. Well, their hardship didn’t quite end there; they had to spend an hour and a half to pay for those earrings before they could leave the store. The worst part of her story was that even after taking all that trouble she didn’t like the earnings and was repenting her decision of not buying the bangles.

Now she wanted to know our side of story – what we bought on Dhanteras and from where. I said well my husband bought gold ETF during his tea break in office. We bought 99.5% pure gold within 5 minutes sitting miles away from the maddening rush at the Jewellery stores!! Her next obvious question was how we did pooja without the physical gold? Well we took the print of our account statement – after all we are moving towards Digital India!  She was completely stunned!!

Here’s quick maths for all of you to show the cost difference between my gold & my neighbour’s gold:

She paid Rs. 32,966 [including making charges (10%) + GST (3%)] for 9gms of 91.6% (22k) pure gold (P.S. and she didn’t like what she bought)

We paid Rs. 25,026 [including the brokerage charges (0.75%)] for 9gms of 99.5% pure gold

Apart from the costs involved, another major difference was our motives behind buying the gold – Mine was to invest in gold for my daughter’s wedding (she’s 5 right now) and hers was to buy anything made up of gold for Dhanteras. So what was your motive for buying gold Momeys? Hope your purchase did not make you cry. Just have to buy smart!

Have you planned for your child’s future?

Diwali storms up the social whirlwig; food, dress up and meet up is all on cards. The usual worry of how to keep the kids gainfully occupied is thankfully averted during such catch ups. They find playmates and enjoy their time, which for us parents is a huge load off.

 This diwali, we too had some great fun socializing. A new parent couple among our friends got talking about how responsibilities are keeping them engaged. Life has been very different after their child’s birth and one responsibility they can’t get a handle on is money planning. More discussions among the group led to finding out that it is a rather widespread question, parents are grappling to figure. It obviously became imperative that a blog post covers the topic of planning our children’s future.

Before setting out on a task, we have to understand what is it going to achieve. So parents unanimously voted Education and Marriage as goals to work for. Both are gargantuan expenses and require disciplined action. Depending on your age, children’s age, your risk profile, choice of education field and costs involved you will have to ascertain a sum required after a said amount of time. We are mentioning the tools you can use for investing. 

SIP

When you keep a horizon as long as your child’s growing up years, SIPs in small to mid cap funds and balanced funds are your best bet. They let your money gain with the benefit of compounding year on year. For those with some risk appetite, consider funds which invest a considerable part in equities of growing companies. Balance funds are slightly less risky because they have equity and debt (such as term deposits, bonds) instruments both.

For the uninitiated, SIP is Systematic Investment Plan better known as ‘the good EMI’. You invest every month a fixed sum as small as Rs. 500 into a mutual fund. The fund is managed by a team of experts and they in turn invest in various instruments to generate returns. We have more posts on MFs coming momeys 😄


Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
This has to be our favorite for those who have daughters. The scheme encourages parents to build a fund for the future education and marriage expenses for their female child. The scheme currently provides an interest rate of 8.3% p.a. (new rates are likely to be announced). It allows deposit upto Rs. 1.5 lacs in the name of your daughter every year and it matures when she reaches 21 years of age. You can either choose monthly or yearly contributions. Momeys should absolutely consider monthly contribution!

Insurance

Well it’s not our favorite, but we have to bring it into discussion to give you our reasons. If you search online for children investment options, you will find a gazillion ads by Insurance companies luring you with child plans. What should you do? Well our advice would be to ignore. They are mostly selling ULIPs to you which are far inferior in returns to mutual funds and charge expensive premiums. You might as well directly invest in MFs through SIP.

However, we have to add that you must take insurance, as life cover to safeguard your family and children in an unlikely event.

Gold ETFs

Gold ETFs are exchange traded funds that passively track the performance of Gold Bullion. These funds buy gold with investor’s money (on the behalf of investors) and convert it into units. 

Gold Exchange Traded Funds can also be an option if you want to invest for using them during marriage. These are traded on stock markets and are a great alternative to physical gold.

With children, you wouldn’t want to take a chance. So invest today for their tomorrow.