Girls just wanna have fun

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.

3. BYOB

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.

Successful habits of a Money Managing Mom

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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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

​Tax saving options for Women

Taxes are inevitable whether you are employed, partner in family business or an entrepreneur. Tax planning is important to ensure your earnings don’t suffer from heavy tax outgo-s, last minute rush or late filing penalties.
Moms, today we are sharing options for availing tax deductions so you make use of right options well in time and save up on taxes.
Tax Deduction
Section 80C of Income Tax Act allows for a deduction of up to Rs. 1,50,000 for investing in tax saving options. Two most known ones are Public Provident Fund and Employee Provident Fund. Let’s look at some other options.

5 year deposits: If you don’t want to take too much risk, invest in 5 year deposits with any bank or post office. You can’t get deductions upto Rs. 1.5 lacs under Section 80C. 
Sukanya Samridhi Yojana: For girl child below 10 years, SSY can be taken where you can deposit upto Rs. 1.5 lacs each year for a fixed return of 9.2%. The best part is both interest and maturity amounts come tax free. The lock in period is 11 years for this scheme till your daughter reaches 21 years of age.
ELSS: Equity Linked Savings Scheme give you tax exemption while giving you attractive returns. The fund is managed by professional managers so you don’t have to worry about market movements, ELSS have a lock in of 3 years.
Life Insurance: If you are a primary or an equal earner in the family, then you must consider getting a life cover through life insurance. The government allows for a max amount of Rs. 1.5 lakhs to be deducted annually for tax benefits.
National Pension Scheme: Working women who would like to save for retirement should consider NPS. There are 3 distinct profiles for you to map your risk profile: Equity, Corporate bonds, Government securities. The exemption you get for NPS cannot exceed Rs. 1.5 lacs annually.
Home Loan: Home loan repayments can get you tax deductions and in 2 ways. There is deduction allowed upto Rs. 1.5 lakhs in principle amount and upto Rs. 2 lakhs in interest repayment. You must make use of this even if you are a co-worker along with your husband.
Also find from local registrar office, if there is a stamp duty concession for women buyers, which is usually around 1-2%.

There could be a marginal rebate of .05% on home loans for women which should be checked with the lending bank.

Be a smart mom in saving your tax because Money Saved is Money Earned.

Is physical gold the real stuff?

Mommies, how many of us are ever-ready to go to the family jeweler’s store? Sometimes planned purchases, sometimes as company to a relative or friend and some impromptu visits often lands us in the jewellery store. And when does a visit translate into a purchase, is something we have all failed to fathom.
What doesn’t help is most jewellers are gifted sellers, plus the charm of yellow metal is too good to resist. Add to that those monthly installments’ schemes perpetually available. A purchase or two is so guaranteed.
Such unplanned visits may return us back with our piece of gold but it also robs us of our small savings. Usually, the purchase is funded partly by accumulated cash from our monthly kharcha and partly by credit. So we empty out our hard saved cash and also come under debt, atleast for a few months.
Secondly, Jewellery is for its emotional value. It can best be used as a gift for momentous occasions like marriag but hardly ever for profits with gold rate appreciation.
Thirdly, the jewellery cost includes making charges which could range between 10-15% above the gold’s value. When you sell it, there is usually 15% deduction again on gold value by the buyer. So effectively you lose out. Let’s illustrate this with an example.
If the gold rate today is Rs. 30000 per 10gms and you buy 10 gms of jewellery, you are charged by conservative estimates some Rs. 350 per gram as making charges. Your total cost here comes to Rs. 33500. Now say gold value appreciates by Rs. 5000 per 10 grams to Rs. 35000 per 10 grams in a few years. You want to sell the same jewellery. While the value is Rs. 35000, the buyer deducts 15% of gold value i.e. 5250. You get Rs. 29750.
What was the realization after a sharp rise in gold price? You had to pay Rs. 33500 but you would get only Rs. 29750.

The idea of this piece is to drive home the point that emptying your savings for jewellery is not the wisest thing to do often. There are certainly better uses of your money.

​Your checklist to becoming an W-investor

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Hola Momies! First up we have to lay it out..

An W-investor is a combo of:

  1. Woman investor
  2. Winning investor

If you are new to investing, then we have a fun checklist here for you to find out if you have the makings of becoming an W-investor. Read on,

     ●  You make a budget every month for                      expenses: if yes then you have a discipline            to identify your cash flow. You can surely             graduate to Goal-setting for your family               and tread on the path of Financial Planning        – a must for becoming an W-investor.

 

  • You have a kitchen garden: or some home plants. When you nurture plants, you learn to have patience because there are no quick spurts, fruition takes time. This is true for investing also. A sense of time horizon is key for an W-investor – you get returns over time.
  • You compare prices in supermarket: you are either the kind who compares or you are not; there can’t be a mid way. There’s good news in store if you compare because same buying behavior will also apply to financial products and instruments. Say while purchasing Insurance you have to compare premiums or while opening an FD you have to compare rates offered by banks.
  • You like experimenting different things for family: Despite knowing your choices clearly, you like to dabble with different cuisines for family, signing up for new apps, exploring news brands in groceries.. You feel calculated risks are important to experience a variety of things.  You have thw truest grain of an W-investor because investing comes with some amount of risk for sure. And no risk is no gain.
  • Even if small, you save a sum every month: Be a proud mom for being able to save because most people are not. There are various instruments which can work with small amounts but when consistently done, can payback well. Own the badge of W-investor guilt free because your SIP may just be the smartest investment around.

 

 

Money habits and children

​On a family holiday in US recently, I noticed my sister-in-law engaging her children in money games. Each of her two kids earned themselves $20 as Rakhi allowance. A pre-schooler and a 4th grader then set out to making the best use of their moolah.

Let me add the money was not handed out easily, it was almost labor of love because the kids were made to sit for a small puja followed by an Indian meal (right till plates were empty) and then finishing up some study time. It also came with a rider that screen time, bad behavior, sibling fights will lead to deductions from this amount. Must I  add, this was the best possible outcome since we had the calmest kids in company for one whole day.
Now comes the part which pleasantly surprised me. The kids accompanied us to a nearby mall. I left the kids with their mom for their shopping while I decided to lose my way in Macy’s. The disney store, play zone, toy shop were visited one after another.

A couple of hours later we met to grab a bite together and I saw nothing purchased. I was told, “Well, we are doing a recce”. Post eating, my shopping ensued and so did theirs. Atlast, I gave up after having scoured Sears, Dillard’s and a few other stores. I met the kids & mom to find major discussions about latest spiderman costume, pack of cards, barbie set, glitter colors. Soon the money was less for our boy here and loans were sought and sanctioned from sister, but not without conditions of her taking the favourite seat in car on way back home. Somehow plans changed and our man traded the costume with a copy of ‘Diary of a wimpy kid’. Now he was in surplus. Rakhi feeling finally dawned on him and he gifted his sister much sought glitter colors, saving the balance for piggy bank.
At this point, their money was far from over. But my realization had come on the importance and ways to giving children an early start to money habits.

4 things you silently thanked your Mom for!

Our first teachers are undoubtedly Moms. There are a thousand things we learn from them –  taught and untaught. Here are 4 qualities we imbibed from them and can’t be more thankful for.

  1. Patience – the biggest virtue of a mother – Wondered sometimes if word patience came from the word Parent 🙂 When the madness is at its height, and you know that you have to slug it out, its perfect time to remember how your Mom would have handled the mayhem. Infinite inspiration descends ofcourse.
  2. Healthy food choices – Superfoods, high protein diets, organic – these words may have sprung up now but our mothers’ kitchens were taking care of all dietary essentials long before we realized. Thank heavens we are now able to give it to our kids.
  3. Together is Family – No celebrations are complete without over fave people around. Great that we got this early on and now don’t miss a chance to bring everyone together for our kids.
  4. Think tomorrow – Living in debt is definitely not a value our moms regarded as one. We saw them maintaining savings stash somewhere to fund a dream or take care of proverbial rainy days or simply for better future. Imbibing from our moms, we ensure there’s always some surplus so that slipping into debt doesn’t become a practice.