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!
Increasing consumerism has led to living in a debt trap. Thanks to Credit cards, we are forever caught in a circle of debt, a viscious circle. Its hard to come out of it and just in case if you do, you are soon back into it. It’s a modern day reality and there’s just no denying it.
Well we have become such slaves to plastic money that we have stopped seeing the scenario outside it – There’s no economy other than debt economy. So much so that sometimes there’s oversight of the added benefits that come with Plastic money. Credit cards can have some real smart uses if you take note. Moms, here are our 5 most favorite ways to enjoy advantages that come with owning a credit card.
1. Credit Period
A credit card is supposed to let you spend in peace without having to pay right then. This should be best done by using the card in accordance with billing cycle. Say your bill gets generated on the 19th of every month, you should use cash or debit card till 18th and then use credit card for the remaining month. You enjoy a greater credit period because expenses from 19-30 of the month are only going to reflect in your next to next bill. Like the expenses between 19 -31 of October will come in the December bill as you get to enjoy a credit period of 40 days usually.
2. Lounge Access
It is a super handy feature we can utilize during the long haul flights. Especially when traveling with kids and older people. You can stretch your limbs, enjoy complimentary food & drinks and use the wifi. Just make sure you carry the add on access cards when you pack.
A higher tier credit card brings in added memberships or experiential cards – it could be dining-out cards or membership programs of five star chains, a privileged club or pre-paid/ discounted invites for holidays. Definitely have fun using the memberships till they are complimentary.
Again the higher tier cards offer you concierge services for various kinds of bookings, including movies. Did you say, “Yay”?
5. Reward Program
This may be an oft used feature since many of us love shopping with points. Credit card companies are always adding new merchants to offer a wide variety of redemption benefits. If you can make the effort of finding out which categories of card purchases attract higher points, then you can swipe your card for those purchases and max out the benefits. Also keep in mind, when taking a consumer durable or car, swipe your card to pay the down payment instead of writing a cheque for it. A fat amount will earn you more points; you should of course promptly pay your credit card bill.
Momeys! Use these hacks to become a credit card pro.
Moms you might just say, “Now that’s a rhetorical question. Of course we are over paying”. The pinch of Home Loans is so hard that it does appear as an over-paid debt. Especially because home loans are so long in duration compared to other loans like Car, Education or Personal loan. By simple estimates also, you pay double the loan amount back to your lender. This blog however is not the usual expensive home loan rant.
We recently visited the bank, for our KYC updation for a 2 year old home loan. It actually was a 2 minute process which required our signatures as per some newly introduced e-KYC rules. The loan account being least of our favourites, was hardly ever looked into, which led us to enquire about the on going rates. To our happy surprise, we WERE OVERPAYING INDEED. The rate of interest had reduced by a whole 1%. We found that bank does not automatically apply the reduced rate (which we were told at the time of availing the loan) and it required our instructions to do so.
Another learning that came out was that the rate reduction is not without a charge. We had to give a SWITCH OVER fee. To clarify the point, the current 9.55% rate was brought down to a new rate of 8.65% for a year. Post a year, if the rate of interest continued on a downward spiral then we could ask the bank to bring it down again.
The switch over fee was not transparent though, and we couldn’t ascertain the basis of calculation. But we could definitely see benefits of paying it one time and bringing down EMI for our balance 198 EMIs, saving a couple of lacs in the long term.
So as we sat back in the evening thinking through the day and reading some advice about managing a home loan, here came our take-outs:
1. Keep an eye on news about RBI’s Monetary Policy review meetings and even other news about interest rate changes.
2. Check the rate of interest with your lender periodically (atleast once a year)
3. If you are being charged for switching to lower rates, negotiate with the lender to pay as less as possible.
4. Use your bonuses, windfalls, big payments to pay the loan back. The earlier you are debt-free the better.
5. If you are foreclosing a part of your loan, ask the bank to reduce the tenure instead of the EMI.
6. Two way tax benefits should be used – First, the interest component of the loan is eligible for deduction upto Rs. 2 lacs under section 24. Second, the principal repayment allows you deduction of upto Rs. 1.5 lacs under section 80C. To know more about tax benefits on home loans, you can see: https://cleartax.in/s/home-loan-tax-benefit
We wrote about Millennial Moms yesterday, and we know the millennials are all about experiences than acquisitions. We came across a great piece on Millennial women setting out their #lifegoals and living them up.
Hay Moms! We have been writing a lil’ too serious all this time. So we thought of breaking away from that and sharing some ideas to have fun. We all enjoy a good laugh, good food and good company. Here’s to some new and old party plans to get your thoughts going:
1. Bring in the Karwa chauth
There’s perfect setting on Karwa chauth day – you are dressed up, in company of friends and family and food is on your mind.. but you can’t drink or eat that day. You can 2 days before though. Organize a mehendi get together with your friends and make it into a party. Chatter, dancing and drinks can help you prepare for one day of absolute abstinence.
2. Let the games begin
Diwali is here and its game on for a round of cards. If you are worries that your young one is too impressionable and may not take the cards well, switch to board games. Its double the fun plus you can have folder kids join in too. Go on and make some money.
Sometimes you can party up for no reason making a sudden plan and for such parties the good old pot lunch or dinner and Bring Your Own Booze works fantastic. Its not a strain on the host and everyone gets to enjoy their fave drinks. If you are a new mommy, please excuse yourself from the contribution and just join the fun, you deserve it.
4. The spa kitty
Well for those active in kitty groups and tired of eating similar food at similar places, look out for group deals for spa or pampering sessions. The spa-lons are more than happy to work out group deals in non peak hours.
5. Shop out loud
There ain’t no therapy like retail therapy. Period.
6. Networking Clubs for women
Mom’s who have entrepreneurship on mind or plans to get independent but looking for direction can sign up for women’s networking club. Its not only helpful but recreational as well. The networking jam ups, lunches, complimentary workshops are loads of fun things that come along.
Money knows no short cuts. It takes an effort if not an army 😊 to accumulate the riches we so desire. Momey-hood is a tough role but no one can do better justice than us at being good money-managers. Here are our absolute best habits for Moms to excel with money.
- Ledger of expenses: An account of household expenses keeps the overheads under check. It also motivates to save more by keeping an eye on outflows.
- Due-dates: A calendar for all payment due-dates keeps you prepared for any big expenses that can knock down liquidity such as: School fee, Insurance premium, SIPs, Loan EMI, House help salaries, Credit card payment and the like
- Saving first rule: A good part of (minimum 30%) monthly income should be first and foremost kept for savings / investments as a rule. The balance should be used up for family’s expenses.
- Create separate funds: To fund your wish lists, create small pools such as travel fund, festive shopping fund. This will ensure you plan your recreational expenses and not do them on impulse. You can exhaust these funds and start all over again for your next goal.