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?

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! 😊

Are you max-ing out Credit Card benefits?

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.

3. Memberships

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.

4. Concierge

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.