The changing times of Saving & Spending!

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Hello Everyone!

Times of crisis can bring uncertainty for many reasons…and the Corona Virus Pandemic is no exception! It has been 4 months since the Lockdown, the Economy has slowed down, Businesses have shut, and there is a wave of unemployment all over!

It seems that we are going to step into a new world once this pandemic is over. But, in this new world, suddenly Income has either vanished or reduced. We have been exposed to new risks which have led us to totally new dimensions of Saving & Spending!

We are gradually starting to normalize things by unlocking step by step, thereby hoping for recovery. The questions about Personal Finances are popping up in everyone’s minds. The basic pillars of Income, Saving, Spending & Investing have undergone a drastic change in last 4 months.

Millions of people are left without Employment & those are the ones who are most hit by the Pandemic. Many monthly income earners have been sitting without a pay or have settled with a significant pay cut since the Businesses are closed. Income has evaporated largely through various segments.

But with the Income, Spending has changed considerably too. Individuals are cutting back on lot of impulsive expenses. For Instance, expenses are not incurred on eating out, entertainment, travel, clothes…it is the NEW NORMAL, isn’t it?

Beyond the essential commodities & utility bills there has not been a single penny spent. It is wise to avoid any big purchases at this point of time. Create a priority based spending plan.

In case you cannot make your financial ends meet, contact your Creditors for assistance. Creditors might offer reduced payments & fees.

Just remember that we all are stuck in this Pandemic together & there comes a tomorrow with a ray of new sunshine & hope!

More Later…

 

Will India bounce back?

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India is a strong economy which has emerged stronger in the last few years.

The pandemic which we are caught in between will take sometime before it is finally gone.

India has taken early steps by way of an extended lockdown of 40 days. It is at the cost of human capital and financial capital. There are going to be several dents in the economy before we see things coming back to normal.

The business models are going to see structural changes and capex is going to change to a great degree in businesses,  be it large and small.

As we look forward to the opening of various services in the next few days and finally after the lockdown….work is not going to be the same.

There are questions going on in people’s minds :

  1. How soon can we see growth ? In how many months or quarters ?
  2. Can I work from home efficiently ?
  3. How will employees travel to work with social distancing in a crowded place ?
  4. How can I change my Business Plans for the next fiscal to meet the new Normal ?
  5. Will I continue to be gainfully employed ?

And many more doubts and questions to which I think nobody has answers. But I can add here that Indians have more resilience and we have taken so many events in our life that we will come back stronger and better….it may take time but we would be able to bounce back as an alternative emerging power to China.

We have to be prepared and take the plunge to move the economy ahead.

Once businesses have a certain clarity as to how this would shape up , we Indians have always surged ahead beyond call of duty and put the country in place.

Yes India will bounce back, we have the resilience, patience, knowhow and the will to do what it takes….we have world leaders which have set examples to the large economies in many ways….

I look forward to the new India which will have the right mix of humanity and responsibility to take the next leap as our destiny is carving a new innovative era for us……..

More Later…

Are you financially prepared for the current situation?

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Hello Everyone!

We all are living in extremely tough times. The Coronavirus Pandemic has leashed the Businesses all over the Globe. The situation is tight with restrictions & lockdown in the whole country. The businesses have hit badly. The Pandemic has adversely affected the Stock Market too thereby slowing down the Economy.

Are you financially prepared for the crisis?

  1. Emergency Fund

I have always said in my previous Articles that it is very important to have an Emergency Fund which equals to your 6 Months Salary. This will take care of your monthly commitments that you simply cannot get out of! Use Bank Fixed Deposits & Liquid Funds to part your Emergency Corpus. However, make sure that you don’t stop investing for your Future Goals.

  1. Avoid withdrawing from the Funds linked to your Goals

Most of us would think that they can withdraw the Investments made for their Child’s Education or their Retirement. But, that would be a huge mistake! It is important to get over the current Financial Crisis but it is also vital to meet your Goals.

  1. Assess your Insurance Needs

Check on your Insurance Needs. Check whether your whole family is well insured. These days, Hospital Bills can surely run a big hole in your pocket. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are adequately insured.

  1. Do your Budgeting

Cutting down your Monthly Expenses is one of the best ways to prepare for the crisis. Do your monthly budgeting again since your entertainment expenses like Restaurants & Movies will be cut down. Make a point to use this as a Saving for your Emergency Fund.

More Later…

Till then….Stay Home Stay Safe!

How to cope with Financial Stress?

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Hello Everyone!

The Coronavirus Outbreak has surely created a chaos in the whole world. The Economies have slowed down giving a financial crunch. While we are sitting tight in our homes with quarantine mode on, it is natural to be stressed & feared.

Here are some ways to overcome your Financial Stress & Anxiety…

  1. Accept the current situation

A lot of anxiety dwells when we don’t know what the current situation is or what is going to happen in the near future. The first step to overcome your anxiety is accepting the current situation & facts. Your life is going to be different for a while. Worrying about your Finances during these times is natural, but don’t pressurize yourself with unwanted stress.

  1. Don’t take unnecessary risks

Don’t gamble on the Stocks in the hope of higher returns if you don’t have enough disposable income. No one can time the Market. Thus, make sure that you have enough money to take care of your basic needs first.

  1. Don’t look at your Investments continuously

Currently, the Stock Markets are in a bad shape. If you are a long term Investor, then just sit tight on your Portfolio. Don’t stress yourself by looking at the current value of your Investments every now & then. Don’t get carried away by your Emotions.

  1. Don’t panic by listening to Rumors

News travel fast these days but Rumors spread even faster. Social Media delivers News as well as tons of Rumors. Don’t get panicked by these Rumors.

  1. Use the Quarantine Time as an Opportunity

There is a lot of negativity around us, we are complaining about staying home. But isn’t this the much needed break for all of us? Our lives had become so fast that we were not even taking care of ourselves. Now is the time when you can pamper yourself, spend time with your family, brush up your hobbies & so on. Look at the positive side & I am sure you can cope up with this anxiety!

More Later…

Stay Home, Stay Safe!

Do you know your Financial Rights & Duties?

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Hello Everyone!

The Republic Day – the National Holiday of India is here. India will celebrate its 71st Republic Day this year. This day marks the inception of the Indian Constitution which specifies the Fundamental Rights & Duties of the Citizens.

Are you familiar with your Financial Rights & Duties…???

Know your Financial Rights

  1. Right to return an Insurance Policy

Insurance Sector is inclined to lot of mis selling of products. People end up buying policies which they don’t need. There may be hidden charges along with the premiums which may cost you more. Some policies are not suitable for your Financial Goals. You have a right to return the Policy within 15 days after receiving the Policy Document.

  1. Right to not pay for Debit / Credit Card Frauds

You have the right to not pay for any unauthorized transactions on your Debit / Credit Card as far as you can justify that they are not carried out by you. You can block the card with immediate effect & inform the concerned bank.

  1. Right to know any Changes in the Mutual Funds

You have the right to be notified about any changes in the Mutual Fund Schemes that you have invested in. The Investors have the right to exit the scheme if they want to before the changes are enforced.

  1. Right to get Tax Refund

After filing your Income Tax Return, you have a right to receive the Refund within 90 days. In case you have not received your Refund, you can approach the concerned Officer or raise a query on the official Website.

  1. Right to know the Commission paid

You have a complete right to know how much commission you have paid to your Agent / Broker while doing in Financial Transactions like Mutual Funds & Insurance.

Know your Financial Duties

  1. Duty to Pay Taxes

The Income Tax which we pay goes in developing our Nation. Thus, make a point that you don’t evade Taxes. Pay your Taxes on time.

  1. Pay dues on Time

Make sure that you pay all your dues like Loan Payments, Credit Card payments on time. It is your duty to pay your dues on time & avoid financial mess.

  1. Duty to be truthful

It is your duty to furnish proper & true details while purchasing any Financial Products. For Instance, disclose all the necessary details regarding your Health while purchasing a Health Insurance Policy.

  1. Duty to Nominate

Do not forget to nominate in your Bank Accounts, Insurance Policies & Investments. Not having a Nominee may lead to disputes in the future.

It is imperative to be aware of the Financial Rights & Duties. This will enable you to make the right financial choices.

Happy Republic Day!

More Later…

Financial Lessons from Makar Sankranti!

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Hello Everyone!

India is a country of festivals. This day is celebrated as Makar Sankranti, Lohri, Bihu & Pongal in different parts of India.

As the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti has come, here are some financial lessons which can be taken from the festival…

  1. Be prepared

Makar Sankranti is marked as the kite flying festival. You need to be prepared in order to soar your kites high in the sky. Similarly, it is crucial to prepare yourself well before making any sort of Investment. Make sure you are thorough with the Terms & Conditions of the Investments you make.

  1. Look at the Target

While flying kite, you need to pay attention towards your kite so that no one cuts your kite. You have to keep an eye on your Investments too that is tracking your Investments closely. This helps you in achieving your Goals.

  1. Long Term Commitment

You stand the whole day flying kites to deal with the other kites that come in your way. The longer you wait, the more you gain! Thus, being an Investor you have to make long term investments.

  1. Striking a Balance

Makar Sankranti marks the beginning of Indian Summer. The day becomes longer & the nights shorter. However, on this day, the day & night are of equal duration. Managing our Personal Finance is all about striving to balance things out at all time.

  1. Selecting a proper Thread

It is very important to choose a proper thread which will hold your Kite to fly high. Similarly it is important to select right assets in which you will be investing your Money. Make sure that you choose your Investment Avenues depending upon your Risk Profile, Goals & Investment Period.

Happy Makarsankranti to Everyone!!!

More Later…

Beginning of a New Decade…

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Hello Everyone!

We are about to start a new year & enter a new decade now! So are you preparing your Finances for 2020? Have you thought of where your Finances currently stand & where would you like it to be…?

I am sure you must have taken steps to strengthen your Financial Foundation. Here comes that time of the year when everyone sets New Year Resolutions, but do you stick to your Resolutions???

Well, I think that setting down Goals is beneficial when it comes to something as important as money & to accomplish them we just need an actionable plan!

  1. Review what you have spent in 2019

In order to know where you want to be in 2020, you must figure out where you have been! It means pulling up your Bank & Credit Card Statements of the year & laying emphasis on points like….

How much did I spend each month on Necessities & Wants?

Dis I waste my Money?

Did I overspend?

Did I splurge my Money in buying unwanted things?

Does my saving match with my Spending?

Thus, analyse your spending patterns.

  1. Check your Credit Report

Have you checked your Credit Score? Do you have a Good or a Bad Credit Score? Your Credit Score determines your Creditworthiness…it is extremely helpful in getting your Loans approved. Thus, it is important to maintain your Credit Score & take steps to improve it if you have a bad Credit Score.

  1. Boost the Contributions towards your Retirement

Year by year you are coming closer to your Retirement. Have you made enough for your Retirement? Make sure that you increase your contribution little by little every year.

  1. Repayment of Debt

Make a plan to repay your Debt. Commit to fast tracking the payoff process. Contribute a little more towards your Debt. Pay off the smaller Debts like Credit Card Payments, Car Loan & so on rather than bragging it!

  1. Cut down your Bad Habits

 Identify your bad Financial Habit & cut it down to avoid a hole in your pocket. Habits like impulsive shopping, excessive spending on housing, being uninformed about your debts, relying too much on your Credit Cards can affect your Financial Wellness.

The New Year is a great time to do some analysis of your Financial Life. Thus, take an honest look at your last year’s Financial Performance & make sure that you don’t repeat the same mistakes again!

Wish you a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

More Later…

How do you handle your Credit Card?

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Hello Everyone!

Credit Cards have become a necessity of our Lives, isn’t it? Many a times, we end up swiping our Credit Cards carelessly! Do you check your Credit Score regularly? Is it a good Credit Score or a bad Credit Score? If it is not up to the mark, what efforts have you made to improve it?

Your Credit Score determines your Credit Worthiness…it is extremely helpful in getting your Loans approved & getting Premium Reward Credits! The best way to maximize the benefits of Credit Cards is to understand your Financial Lifestyle – your Money Needs & Wants.

It is very important to maintain your Credit Score. Here are a few points….

  1. Pay your EMIs regularly

Your Payment History is the most influential factor while determining your Credit Score. It depicts your ability to pay back debts effectively. From a Lender’s point of view, a history of timely payments is a good indicator.

  1. Stay Alert

Credit Card Issuers offer free, personalized & automatic alert messages to your phone & email.

  • Available Credit
  • Balances
  • Payment Due Dates
  • Payment Histories
  • Purchase Activity

Make sure that you keep a track of these things.

  1. Make bigger Purchases when prepared

Once you have created a habit of paying your bill in full, you are better prepared to use your Credit Card for slightly large purchases. Continue to keep your purchases low, 30% of your Credit Limit or less. Handle your bigger purchases efficiently.

  1. Don’t use Credits to make ends meet

Don’t use Credit Cards to pay your Loans or Bills. If you use Credit Cards for fulfilling your basic needs then it is not going to work for you in the long run. It might get you through the immediate crisis but over time, you will end up paying more Debt. Don’t depend on your Credit Card for each & every purchase – be it big or small.

  1. Check your Credit Card Statement

The best way to check your monthly statement is to keep all of your Credit Card receipts each month, then tick them off against the charges on your Statement. Here are some things you should look for when checking your Credit Card Statement:

  • Duplicate Charges
  • Large & Unusual Charges
  • Changes in direct Debit Amounts

Building good Credit Score takes time so don’t try to rush it. Use your Credit Card responsibly. If you maintain your Credit habits, then you won’t have the difficult task of repairing your Credit Score later on!

More Later…

This Diwali…Plan your Finances!

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Hello Folks!

India’s favorite Festival…Diwali is here! Are you all set to begin the Celebrations?

It is the time of the year when everyone purchases New Clothes, Gold, Electronic Appliances & several other items. Basically, it is considered to be an auspicious time for starting a new thing! Also, all of us end up spending a huge amount in this festive season…right?

Well, this Diwali make sure that you also take care of your Finances…Here are a few points that you need to consider:

  1. Repay your Debts

Diwali is the time for Bonuses. If you owe too much Debt, repay it with the extra money. Credit Cards are the worst forms of debt. Outstanding Credit Card Payments, Car Loan, Personal Loan…just pay it off rather than bragging it! This will bring you a relief psychologically as well as financially.

 

  1. Start investing for your Financial Goals

During Diwali, we end up buying whole lot of new things. We buy these gifts to celebrate the Festive Season with our Family Members & make them happy. Similarly, every Individual has a specific set of Goals in their Lives. Each of these Goals have to be planned in order to achieve it. Thus, start investing for your Financial Goals!

 

  1. Put your Balance Sheet in order

You end up splurging money & doing impulsive Shopping. Track your Expenses.  Try to plan this Diwali in your Budget.

 

  1. Plan for Additional Tax Breaks

If you fall in higher Tax Bracket, it is a good time to invest in avenues such as ELSS, NPS and so on to yield Tax Benefits.

Wish you a Happy & Safe Diwali!

More Later…

 

Have you cleaned up your Finances?

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Hello Everyone!

The whole country is hitched to the Government’s ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’. Are you up for the Cleanliness Drive…???

How about starting with cleaning up your Finances…???

Make it a point to clean up your Finances by considering the following points…

  1. Review your Expenses

Start by reviewing your Expenses – how much of your spending is need based & how much is unplanned or not required. Take a look at your Credit Cards Bills. Don’t take too much of Credit. Reviewing your Budget from time to time is mandatory with changes in your Income & Goals.

  1. Review your Investment Portfolio

Your Investment Portfolio is a mixture of Investments with different level of Risks & Return. Come out of the Investments that are not doing well. Your Portfolio depends upon factors like your age, risk profile, return expectation, Income & so on. Your Portfolio is churned when any of these factors take a turn. Thus, make it a part of your cleaning ritual to review your Portfolio whenever required.

  1. Create your Financial Calendar

Categorize your Short, Medium & Long Term Goals & choose suitable Investments to accomplish them. Also, make a note of important financial dates such as premium payments or deadline for tax filing. Make sure to stick to the dates.

  1. Close dormant accounts

Holding unused Bank Accounts can be expensive. If you have an old account which has not been used for a while you need to close it to avoid penalties. Clean your Finances by closing down such dormant accounts & consolidate your Funds in Active Accounts.

  1. Check your Debts

Debts are an essential component of Personal Finance& they can help you attain your Financial Goals. However, taking more Debts can be burdensome! Just don’t go on taking Loans to accomplish your Goals. Make sure your Debts are in sync with your Goals. In case you have multiple Loans weighing you down, set a priority list with the most expensive ones on top.

More Later…