The Corporate Mom

Hello Moms! This is our part 2 in the Millennial Mom series. I am sure you recall our first one was The Media Mom.

To get started, I remember a discussion that dates back in time when I was a salaried employee. I was discussing my tax plan or rather the lack of it with another female colleague. I thought I was in pits as far as my investments were concerned, but to my utter surprise, my friend said that she has never made a single investment on her own. “There is something done by her husband on CA’s advice”, were her words. At that point, we were joined by another team mate and a senior, and the all women’s team shared their investments. A 5 year FD and real estate respectively were spoken of as their investments. But when asked, why these instruments, for what time horizon, what would be their future money requirements be like, these questions drew a blank. 

Now, Moms let me profile these women. Working millennial moms, married to high pressure jobs, over worked most of the times, all very well paid. Academically, management degree holders, fitness lovers, keen readers, well turned out, well travelled, conscious eaters and aware parents. Wouldn’t you expect them to be on top of their finances? But here’s the truth, they may have been HNIs along with their spouses but they were clueless about wealth creation.
Just like my colleagues, there are many millennial moms who have high disposable incomes but lack of awareness, interest and time add up to their financial ignorance. 
So there! We are sharing investments that the uninitiated can consider. These are overall recommendations which can aid in wealth generation and tax planning. However we do encourage our Corporate Mom to take help of a professional financial planner.

Emergency Fund: This is a critical element that we all must pay heed to. All the planning may go for a toss if we don’t keep an accessible emergency fund. Keeping all the money invested with a long term view may not be the best idea since exigencies can come down as a hard reality.

You should consider your 3 to 6 months expenses in emergency fund. If you are savvy about growing your money, then you can park the emergency funds in short term debt funds.

ELSS Funds: Equity Linked savings schemes are an ideal tax saving tool which can give better returns than traditional tax saving schemes. These are essentially tax saving mutual funds that come with a 3 year lock-in.

PPF: For those who are risk averse can invest in PPF for its tax efficiency but declining interest rates are definitely playing dampener on the returns. Plus a 15 year lock-in is a long enough horizon to get above-moderate returns from market linked products.

Mutual Funds: The equity markets have been climbing charts for the last few years. MFs have also been doing well therefore. Since MFs are professionally managed by a team of experts, they can be the best vehicle for working people. You don’t have to monitor market movements everyday basis. 

New investors with a long term horizon should start with large cap funds or balanced funds. 

The most preferred way for the salaried is Systematic Investment Plan better known as SIP. We will speak about it in detail in a following post.

Term Insurance: An important part of financial literacy is life cover. However due to misspelling and ignorance, it is not emphasized enough. Term Insurance is the protection that all income generators should take to cover for their lives in case of any uncertainties. It is a must for the Corporate Mom who makes a crucial contribution to household income.

In addition to above, working moms can also invest a small portion in Gold ETFs or if keen, then dabble in Equities with a long term view.

In the end, all we can say is investments don’t take as much time as we think. Moms and all women should consciously take steps towards investing. Remember Earning for Spending is not the deal, Earning for Growing is.

Checklist: How not to go broke this Diwali

It’s that time of the year when we all say Mera waala Pink.. We are feverishly preparing. Starting with Ganesh Chaturthi, followed by Durga puja, Diwali and right till Bhai Dooj, its packed with festivals. 

To give you a dekko of what all has played on our minds, here’s a cheat sheet of to-dos:

● New upholstery and wall painting

● Cleaning and home decor

● Sweets and savouries – home made and purchased

● Clothes 

● Gifting

● Pooja essentials and crackers

● Hosting a card party and attending a few 😄

This fervour is not going to leave anyone untouched. To achieve all this, major spends will happen. 

I recollect last festive season came as a big learning for a friend. Saying she went overboard in prep, would be an understatement. Some hasty swipes and she was up against massive credit card bills. Soon the festivals were upon us and she was having a delusional celebration owing to money worries.

To prevent from getting carried away, here’s is a checklist everyone should run past.

1. Have you checked inflow (salaries, bonuses received) vs. outflow (fixed expenses, bonuses paid to support staff or house help)? 

2. Have you made a festival shopping budget?

3. Have you made a list of people you need to gift?

4. Are there things you can up-cycle from some other time – especially clothes / gifts / crackers

5. Have you considered saving / investing a part of your diwali bonus?

6. Can you recycle the ethnic attire in the upcoming wedding season?

7. Are you ditching physical gold purchase for ETFs or a child plan?

8. If bringing home a new car, have you paid maximum possible down payment to keep EMIs reasonable?

9. Have you regularised your festival leaves with your boss to avoid loss of pay?

10. Can you manage yourself rather than calling for professional services like home cleaning, decorations and catering?

A motley of measures can save you the post celebration crunch. Have a happy Diwali Momeys! 😊

Millennial Mom

Have you often caught yourself saying, “Life’s one heck of a bitch right now”. Finding your plates too full or sometimes too much to juggle between – you must be a Millennial Mom.

Millennial Moms have unconventional jobs, role demands, work schedules, and therefore a much higher need to be financially savvy. We are doing a series on how Millennial Moms with varying roles should be dealing with money. Here’s the piece for our first role.

Role 1: Moms who run the Media

Graphic Designers, TV anchors, Executive Producer, Creative Directors, Director of Photography… These mom’s have challenging careers and work differently from regular employed workforce. The work comes in erratic shifts, for days at a stretch sometimes and sporadically.

Most times work comes on assignment basis in the creative field. While the pays are handsome, the receiving g date is not fixed like the salary. How can one then make the best calls in managing money. Here’s a practical guide.

Pay yourself first

Freelancers are very much like the entrepreneurs. It is important to reward yourself to keep going. Take aside your salary to last you your next expected payment before you use it up in clearing the dues.

Use apps to track your payment or follow ups

A hard part of freelancing is deferred payments which you have to diligently follow up. The right apps can keep reminding you for follow ups and keep a note of your money reserves vis a vis expenses.

Emergency fund

We can’t stress more about the need of emergency fund for everyone and its even dire if your pay-checks are irregular. Emergency funds can be limited for salaried individuals who have medi-claims and other cover. But it’s critical if you are independent.

Using the upfront payment mode

When making large purchases like car, camera and heavy equipments, prefer to use the upfront payment option. Since you can time the purchase after a big payment credit, paying lumpsum will earn you rewards like bigger discounts and cash backs. You also avoid the EMI headache and heavy interest rates charged on taking loan.

Don’t compromise on Investment

Not having regularity in payments should not become an excuse to not invest. Make lumpsum investments if recurring is not possible.

Financial Advisor

The financial terms may scare you or you may be very busy to figure the investment tools. Also in freelancing, there are no employee benefits like PF, Gratuity etc. you must engage an advisor to plan your insurance, retirement and other investments.

Get a life cover

A lot of people misunderstand Insurance as an investment tool only. While it can give returns but primary use of Insurance should be of covering your life. Absence of life cover and medi claim can land you in quite a spot in case of any uncertainties.

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.

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.