Sunday, November 30, 2008

November Final Update and December Goals

November is almost gone. I lost my CC and 50000 bucks in one second. That happened almost in mid of the month and then we were very demotivated to save. So we are little over budget this month, minus the loss. Major goof ups from our side:

1) Eating Out and Outing budget is over shoot.
2) Gifts is again high.
3) Bills were high, because we had some pending bills.
4) I had 6 No Spending Days from 8 planned.

I know what all I did wrong, so no point in analyzing.

My Cell phone is 5 years old and in very very bad shape. It switches off automatically every time i am talking to someone. I desperately need a new one. This is shaking my next month's budget too. I wanted to wrap everything in 30000, but it seems I have to goto 32000.

So this is my goal for next month: 32000 for all monthly expenses.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lost Credit Card and 50000 Rs

Date: 14th November 2008
Time: 5:00 PM

My DH was coming to pick me and he stops to get the petrol. After taking the petrol, he throws his CC at the next seat and in the night when we came back home we realized that CC is missing. Our first reaction was instant, get it blocked. We might have lost it some where. It was 9:00 PM. He was about to call and parallely told me that we might have left it in car. We thought latter is more possible then former as we have many times left our phones in the car only to find them in morning. So we decided to check our car in the morning ( Yes i could have check it right then but my car's internal lighjt is almost non-existent, so it was nearly impossible and my torch is broken). In the morning I got up quite early and checked my car for CC. Alas, it was not there! :(

I told my DH and we called up our CC company immediately to block the card, and the news, someone has already used my CC for 50000 Rs somewhere around 10:00 PM last night. Yes, I have lost Fifty Thousand Rupees in almost a second. :(

I filed the FIR and am still waiting for transaction details to file a dispute with CC bank. I have no clue what to do! Feeling sad and angry like hell even now. Why am I being frugal all the time when someone can steal my money so easily. :( Why should I save for future when every investment is falling like dry leaves from tree. :( Why always me? I am saving from the day I started earning, while all my friends used to spend all at that time. Result after 4 years: They are much better then me today or same as I am. :(

Yes right now I hate everything and I am angry over every thing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tracking - 12 November 2008

Yesterday was my second no spend day. I missed one more no spend day because just in evening I realized that its someone's bday and I hosted him a birthday party.

Well, no matter how much I try, this column of my expense sheet dominates month after month. I am never able to reduce gifts expenses. I love giving gifts and surprises to my near and dear ones. I have tried everything that I can think of to reduce this one but all in vain. I really need to think of some strategy here and put it to work. That should be my next month goal!

Anyhow, by now I have almost finished half of my monthly budget. My new tracking mantra of month seems to be huge hit as of now(Goals for November). Credit Card bill is quite under my control so far. I will try to master this mantra by practicing it for another 3 months and then make my budget more granualar( i.e. will start deciding budget per column as in grocery, etc seperately).

My Numbers updated:
No Spend Days: 2/8

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tracking - 9th Nov

I got my first no spend day for the month. :)
Long way to go yet.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

3rd November 2008

Beginning of the new month always seems tough. I have to pay the bills, buy the stuff needed for this month. This takes up all of mine money and energy. As a trend I generally spend 50% of my money in initial one week. At such a time, it seems impossible that I'll ever have any no spend day :(. But my experience of last month tells me that this is the way it goes. In the first week, no matter how much I plan, I can't have any day without spending.

My plan for achieving this month target is to get 2 no spend days per week. Today is Tuesday and I have to get all the vegetables for week from our weekly market. If I book saturday for other grocery shopping per week, then it seems that I might achieve my target this month. I am sticking to weekly shopping for this month, for 2 reasons:
1) Market is a 2 minutes walk for me.
2) Once in a month grocery shopping some how doesn't work for me.

No matter how granular list I make, I always slip with some items and again have to rush. So I started a new practice, make a list of all the things that I bought last month. In the beginning of new month, I go shopping for all the items that was needed in last month using the list. Once I am done with this one time shopping, I make a weekly list of items that I needed other then those in previous list as and when I remember something or needed something. I have fixed one day per week to shop for this appendix list. And yes then I append these new items to my monthly shopping list. I hope, this method will work for me.

So far I didn't have any no spend day. :(

Will keep you all updated by my progress.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

November Goals

So now is the time to set next month goals:

1) Have 8 no spend days. I am reducing the number so that with little planning I can think of getting them.

2) Wrap up all my expenses including all the bills and petrol in Rs. 25000. This time it will also include DH CC spending for the month. I guess I am comfortable with cash expenses by now. Now is the time to take care of stuff that he do thru CC. Again an experiment, lets see how I do.

October Final Update

October is gone and that was my month. I struggled through out, reasons many:
1) Last month's goof up
2) Inflation increases as an every day phenomenon
3) Tight schedule in office
4) Festival season

But there was the biggest positive that came out of september, this month DH was supporting me rather then questioning me in budgeting. He really helped me in cutting down eating out expenses. My september experiment paid off really well, more then I expected it to. So I am glad with the results.

I spended Rs4000 more then I actually budgeted. Which is 26% more then I wanted to. Quite bad, isn't it. But I guess I should be able to control it as it seems to be in categories like Gift, Home Stuff and Misc.

Out of 10 No spend days that I planned, I got 5. Again only 50%.

Overall, atleast numbers wise, October was a failure. :(

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Meme

Thanks Emily for tagging me. This was fun. :)

* Five Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:

1. Have 365 clothes. (Anti frugal I know)
2. Have 1 KG of gold jewellery. (Anti frugal I know)
3. Explore complete India.
4. Learn to play drums.
5. Want to run a marathon.

* Five Things I Can Do:

1. I can write small stories.
2. I can make salads.
3. I can knit.
4. I can do gardening.
5. I can keep all mf my stuff and DH's stuff propelrly managed.

* Five Things I Can't Do:
1. Can't Drive.
2. Can't Cook with interest.
3. Can't be diplomatic.
4. Can't overeat
5. Can't get up early in the morning.

* Five Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex:

1. Voice quality
2. Sense of humour
3. Intelligence
4. Ability to think outside the box
5. Family Values

* Five Things I Say Most Often:

1. love you ( of course to my DH)
2. C ya ( to my hubby who is always bussy when ever I call him)
3. Get lost ( to all my friends when they overpower me while pulling my leg)
4. hu ha ha ha (i fake out this laugh when some one tries to pull my leg)
5. ram ram ( this is way I start my conversation with my mom and dad)

Tracking - 25th October 2008

Yupee, that was another no spend day. So I got 5 out of my planned 10. It seems bad, but given I did no planning to club my expenses and this is festival time in India, I guess I did well. I doubt that I can get any more no spend day in this month, but I'll keep this blog updated, in case I get that. :)

My numbers: 5/ 10

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tracking - 24th October

I got one more no spend day.
I never expected this. Yesterday I was so scared by all the bad news around regading finances and economy that I was afraid to buy anything. But that helped me to get one more no spend day.

Numbers so far:
No Spend Day: 4/10

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

One more no spend day

I got one more no spend day. Managing home and planning in a way to get no spend days seems to be so much difficult. Either grocery, or something pops up. :(

Well, here are my numbers so far:
No Spend Days - 3/10

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mid Month Update

I am really running busy now a days. With new work and festive season around makes life very busy. And here are my number so far, very de-motivating :(

2/10 (with 12 days already gone).

It seems to be almost impossible to meet my targets this month. :(

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

1st October 2008

I had a bad start for the month. I spent 1800 bucks in just one day. :(
Most of it was on grocery and other house hold related stuff but still, I am upset.

My No Spend Days: 0/10

Septembers Final Update and October Goal

September is gone and my marriage is 5 months old. :) wow.

Neways, this blog is not about my life, only finacial part of it.
September was not my month, DH managed it and blown it off.

1) We needed more money then actually allocated, we went over budget. :)
2) CC bill is blown. Quite predictable but not all his fault. He only added some to it, rest were few bad things that just happened along the way.

But yes we really splurged, ate loads of Pizzas, watched 2 movies but not much of shopping. I also had two get together in last month, so all OK.

October, is again to me. Lets see how I fair, I hope of doing good. :)
My goal:

1) simple as always, limit my home budget with Rs. 15000, and lets see how I fair.
2) Have 10 no spend days in october. I am doing this for the first time but lets see how i fair. :)

And yes, I was checking on the contingency cash that I have accumulated through money that I saved while managing house. In just three months, I managed to save around Rs 6000, out of which we already took 1000 last month to meet the ends. So, now I am left with Rs 5000 and thinking of putting it in some saving account. Lets see how this goes! Will update you all, but thought of sharing this with you all.

Me seems to be back.. atleast for now

I missed this, reading and writing.
I almost read all that you all wrote in the meantime, even though not commented much.
First of all some updates from my side:
1) I recently changed my team I work for. It was tough, I was working on last product for almost 3 years and was completely in my confort zone, but thats exactly what I hate. I love everyday to be tough and challenging. Initial 15 days in this new project were very very tough. I don't know linux, I dread it. Now that will be main platform for my development, so things are going to be tough for another 6 months. But I am sure I'll learn a great deal in return.

2) Last month, DH managed home finances(or shall I say blown them up :)), but I guess he has tasted what I wanted him to know. This I'll be able to comment more only in coming days. Exactly about my finances later, but it was fun. I mean yuu just sitting and he managing the numbers, fun. :) We should do this every 6 months.

3) I finally recovered completely from my illness. My throat and mouth seems to be doing perfectly fine for now. Fingers are crossed.

I think put lots of things on track last month, so I call it a success month. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

september update

One of my reader emailed me yesterday and asked that why am I not writing about money lately and writing more on this - that. Well because, I am not handling money this month. This is an experiment month where my DH is handling our monthly budget, he really needs little discipline. This is my first step to teach him same, discipline in his life and not only in his money. :)

Also I am planning few more things that he needs to learn regarding discipline. :)

So, I am now a days concentrating on other things, not directly related to saving.

And to update on goals I set for Sep, DH handling has not met any of them and we will never meet them in this month. :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How do you behave when you are sad?

What do you do when you are sad? Well, I am one of those who can not cry easily. So whenever I am sad, I never have easy option of crying and venting it out. And then I do so many things just to feel good, but it most of the times goes in vain.

• I’ll waste my time and just couldn’t concentrate on my work
• Won’t be able to eat, days will pass and I will be skipping my meals
• Won’t be able to sleep
• Reading time will increase exponentially
• Will not be doing my daily chores
• If I have nothing to read, I’ll be killing my time watching TV
• Won’t be talking to anyone

I call this my silent therapy. I need this to sort out things in my head. But I agree it’s really harsh on people around me. I turn quite an introvert monster whenever I am sad. I really need to improve here, because people around me often complain that I am almost un-approachable whenever I am angry or sad.

This is my next personal goal, to watch myself whenever feeling down.

New Look

I liked this template so much, that I changed this blog too to same template. Change looks good atleast for now, did u like it?

New Blog

Hey, I just started this new blog, to do something in starting of my day. Do have a look. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blood Donation

Donating blood is one of the best philanthropic things to do as per me. Though I am really skinny and underweight, I always want to do this. Recently my DH has to donate blood for some one close, and he felt dizzy even after days. So, learning from the experience, here I am listing few of the things that he missed doing and are must if you are donating blood.

1) Drink loads of liquid before and after blood donation
2) Have rest for an hour after blood donation
3) Don’t skip meals for at least 2 days after blood donation
4) Feeling dizzy and weak and getting fever happens at time after blood donation. Just have some paracetamol and increase your liquid intake further.
5) Don’t take out bandage for at least one day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sale – Anti Frugal?

When you try to live frugally, you basically abide by few of the principles:

1) Don’t buy the stuff that you don’t need.
2) Buy the stuff that you need at the lowest most prizes.

To keep up with the second one, how many times you go to a sale or wait for one. But has this ever happened to you that shopping from sale turned out to be even more disastrous? There is more then one way this can happen:

1) I go to a sale and find that deal is something like, buy 5 KGs of ABC and get 1 KG free. Assume I generally consume only 1 KG of such stuff but the temptation to get one KG free will force me to buy 5KGs. Result, chances are quite good that half of the stuff will be spoiled before I can use it or I need to put in more money to store it.

2) Deal is to buy stuff ABC and get XYZ on a discounted price. I need XYZ and don’t need ABC. Still I will be tempted to avail that deal. Result, I actually not saved through discount, rather spent extra by purchasing something I don’t want.

3) You went to buy stuff ABC and found stuff XYZ has a great deal on. You know you can do without XYZ but deal is unbelievable. You end up buying XYZ and wasting money.

That’s why I always say that sales are absolutely anti frugal. They basically want you to spend more rather then giving you good deals.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

delhi blasts

We had serial blasts in delhi yesterday, and I hate it. I hate the sight of same and hence have not switched the TV since morning. No religion preaches terrorism. Some people out of their frustration do these ridiculus things.

I only want to pray for the victims and their family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Teak Wood

I love buying things for my home and furniture is just one of those things. I prefer teak wood furniture over anything else, and here I list few of the reasons for same:

1) Teak wood is highly resistant to termites.
2) Teak has huge structural strength and durability
3) Due to its high oil content, teak wood is water repellent which also makes it resistant to insect infestation.
4) Teak furniture is known for its rich warm color and satiny smooth surface.
5) The application of teak oil extends the life of teak furniture, which is easy to do.
6) If you do decide to oil your teak furniture, remember to apply the oil before the color begins to fade - and always apply the oil on clean surfaces or else the trapped dirt may cause your teak furniture to turn black.
7) If you are in the market for teak furniture, you may be surprised to find out that teak furniture is quite expensive. But, if you are tired of replacing your patio furniture every year or so, the purchase of teak furniture may actually save you money over the years.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tahaan - Movie Review

I watched Tahaan yesterday and was frightened by the first site of the theatre. There were only two people sitting in hall, and then we two entered. The first thought that came to mind at that time was, “why have I come to watch this movie which no one else is watching?” Then, two more people entered, and I smiled at them, understanding what they are going through.

Anyhow, the movie started with a dialogue “Birabala Oooooooooo” in a kid’s voice. And then next time I looked at anything but screen was when screen said “interval”. What a movie! It deals with all the difficult things to talk about, Kids, Terrorist, Kashmir, Financial Crunches and yet no where it will let you feel sad and depressed. Not really, well I was actually so much grossed in movie, that when Darr Saab refused to give back the birbal back to Tahaan even when he won the race, I really felt cheated myself. But first half is a must watch if you love water, if you love ice, if you love mountains, if you love nature. Frozen lake, sunrise, sunset, sun rays, snow fall, it never felt that I am watching them in theatre, rather I felt as if I am standing somewhere there in Kashmir and being an eye witness to this beautiful fable.

Second half dealt with Tahaan’s psychology, where he wants birbal desperately and other kid wants to use tahaan’s desperation for his tasks. How he struggles in deciding and questioning what Idrish wants him to do, how he convinces yasin that even though yasin also loves birbal as much as he himself, still it belongs to him because his father has given this to him, how he first takes away the dog saying “tujhe lag jayegi na”, and how he decides that he can do 1000 rounds of the hills to get the birbal back but cannot throw the grenade.

In all, it’s a beautiful movie and I was not bored even for a minute in the movie. So far, out of all the movies I have seen in 2008, undoubtedly this is the best movie so far.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Why I hate Credit Cards?

Yes you read it right, I hate credit cards. In fact I don’t own even one of them and that doesn’t mean that no one offers me. My friends keep telling me the advantages of credit cards:
1) You don’t have to carry cash.
2) You get points for whatever you earn, so they will be giving you something for free.
3) You can buy something even if you don’t have cash now and pay next month.
4) They are must in emergencies.

These advices really made me think that am I missing something crucial? So I decided to post this entry where I want to list why I think credit cards should not be used like they have mentioned:
1) You are not paying cash. That gives you a feeling that you are not spending your money and you get tempted enough to splurge on things that are not at all required.
2) They give you points whenever you earn, again tempting you to spend more. They will not reward you if you spend less then you did last month.
3) You can buy something that you can not afford today, it means they are encouraging you to spend more then you earn.
4) For the last point, they might be a help in emergency but a must is really debatable.

So here I am, again convinced that I am quite well off without credit cards and can survive without them pretty much as I am doing till now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Some low cost things to do while you are free

I was thinking about some of the inexpensive hobbies one can have, and here is my list:

1) Writing (Mine too)
2) Running / Jogging
3) Sleeping (Mine too)
4) Star Gazing (Mine too)
5) Do It Yourself
6) Calligraphy
7) Singing
8) Astrology
9) Dancing
10) Playing Sudoku (Mine too)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hobby – to learn something new or to have a dent!

I always wanted to learn to play Guitar. One day I finally got myself enrolled in the class and bought a Guitar for me. Now after 2 months, what’s my progress? I have not gone to my class past initial 10 days and my guitar has loads of dust over it and needs cleaning. Result, craze is gone and left a dent in my pocket.

How many times we all do it and I think I do it most often of you all! Whenever I am new to some hobby, I am never sure what’s required and what’s not so required. I end up spending money on all the things and buy the best stuff available. Soon enough then I find that it is not as interesting at it seemed to be. Too bad! So time to learn:

1) Educate yourself enough before jumping into anything.
2) To start, borrow or rent the equipments, rather then buying.
3) Don’t buy the stuff till you are half way through.
4) Explore the option of buying the used stuff.
5) Don’t buy the best thing (read most expensive with all the latest features) available. Advanced features can only be used by advanced users.

In fact why to have those hobbies that want you to put in more money? Hobbies should be something creative, right? And even if a hobby wants you to use some equipment, does that really have to be cool and the latest most? No. While learning something new what matters is time and hard work you are putting in and not the money on new equipments.

I hope I have learned my lessons, hard way. :(

Sunday, September 7, 2008

why discussing money is so tricky?

Why is money so difficult and tricky? This perplexes me completely, I mean the question. One of my friends asked me about this!

Ok his story, his wife thought that he is a spend thrift, and I really don't agree with that one at first place. Anyways, he discussed it with her and started on budgeting and saving regime. And now, his wife has a complaint that he is too thrifty, OUCH!

Well, he must have over done it at some places, but I really think that his wife should keep few things in mind, first if he is cutting down his lifestyle, then so should she do, and secondly it was she who got him do this. I mean please be reasonable.

He asked my advice and I said i don't know! :(

I mean its tricky, discussing money with your partner is one of the trickiest things, I am not at all equipped to help him! I hope he can deal with this one.

But yes, his phone call really reminded me of the article that I read today, which mentioned how saving is as addicting as spending is. :)

Bless you pal.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

August Update

August was a bad month financially. I overshoot my budget and my credit card has given me even bigger dent for this month. Again there were many reasons:
1) So many birthdays (4 of my family members)
2) Festivals
3) I needed some furniture for my home
4) My car (eats a huge pie)
5) I fell ill and also my DH

Bad in all. :(
I hope to recover from it all this month and hopefully by next month I'll be back on my target. :)

My September Goals:
1) Manage all the expenses within cash budget
2) Use Credit card only for petrol
3) Save at least half of what I usually save monthly

Friday, September 5, 2008

Decide which one to buy!

We all need stuff. So buying the products is part of our life and when we say frugal living, it certainly doesn't mean that u live cheaply, it only means u live reasonably within Ur means.

But every product has so many different brands available that I can hardly decide. And over the period of time, my accumulated golden principles for buying one particular brand is:

1) Compare the maintenance cost and buy with the least of them, even if this means buying little expensive item at first place. It pays in long term. I remember me and my friend once bought some electronic item together. It cost him Rs 5000 and me Rs 7000. But in long run, on same usage, mine consumes electricity worth Rs 100 and his Rs 180 per month. So eventually my extra Rs 2000 are compensated in 25 (2000/80) months. And if I am going to use that product for around 10 years, I have definitely the best value for my money.

2) List the features available in all the products and make a separate list of the features you want to have. Only buy the product that has features closer to your list, reason, why to pay for features that you any how not going to use much!

I hope my 2 golden principles will help you too. :)

Missing Missing

Hi Guys,

Last week was terribly bad. Last treatment I took reacted and I got bigger infections this time :(
Along with this, I recently changed team I work for in my workplace, so had things to wrap up.

Result, hectic week with no energy left, hence could not blog and could not read all of the blogs too. I am surely going to catch U all now. I love reading U all, more than I love writing. :)

And yes, my organization celebrated last week as Employee Appreciation Week. So we got loads of gifts:
1) Watch
2) T-Shirt
3) Pen ( I love this one, I love stationary)
4) Loads of chocolates and candy
5) Movie
6) Lunches

Wow na!

Friday, August 29, 2008

SIP - Systematic Investment Plans

Second in the series for tools for investments:

Let me start with listing few of the traits:

1) You can not shelve huge amount for savings at once, but can take afford small amount periodically.
2) You have no understanding of equity market.
3) All your savings always lie in bank deposits.
4) You have more or less risk aversion, and want minimal risk.
5) You can stay invested for period of 5 – 10 years.
6) You always seem to be waiting for the “right time” to invest

If you have more or less similar traits, Systemic Investment Plans (SIPs) are appropriate for you. SIPs are just like recurring deposit schemes of the banks. Through SIPs you will be investing in Mutual Funds at regular intervals and can leave the worry about following things:

1) Timing the market. If market is going low, you will be buying at cheaper rates and if market is going up, you are getting returns.
2) Selecting the right mutual fund every time you have lump sum money available with you.
3) You are investing in equity, small amount every month, so cost will be averaging over the period of time. Cost averaging will keep the risks at bay.
4) Avoid panic sales
5) Invest as little as Rs.500 / Rs.1000 per month
6) Becoming a disciplined Investor
7) Taking advantage of Power of Compounding

So, you convinced that SIPs are ideal for you. Next step, decided which mutual fund you want to start with, consider few of the following things:

1) Fund House – performance of various funds of that fund house
2) Fund Manager – look at the performance of various funds managed by him.
3) Track Record of Fund – This will give you the confidence that this product is in market from quite some time and has survived so far implying, chances are that it will survive further also.
4) Investment Portfolio of Fund – My personal preference, when it comes to investing through SIPs is to avoid sectorial funds. Reason, simple, the sector which is hot now may fall in next one year, and SIP is a long term investment. So, I prefer diversified portfolio based funds for SIPs.

There are many sites available where you can get all this information. My favorite is though I also consult before making my call and invest for at least 3 years in any fund and then leave it aside for another 3 – 5 years.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Things I always waste my money on!

I generally live by frugal means. I don’t like to waste my hard earned money, but I am not perfect:(. There are so many things that tempt me beyond my self-control and I buy them impulsively. On my last birthday, 3rd August, I took a resolution that I’ll restrain myself from buying at least two such things this whole year.

Finally I found some time, and listed few of the things I am always tempted towards.

1) Wallets - One of the biggest blunders I do quite often with my money, buying all those wallets. I have fascination for wallets, and I have approximately dozen wallets with me. I only use one at a time, and rest all just be there in my store.

2) Strange Dresses - Buying all those dresses from the places I visit, that I have almost never wore in my life. I don’t have any more space in my closet now.

3) Key chains – I love key chains. I have approximately 100 of them. I will stop buying any more of them.

4) Balloons – I love balloons. They are not very expensive either. But I guess I am grown up now and should stop buying balloons. :(

5) Handcrafted Stuff – My biggest weakness. Will not buy those hand made bags, bangles and other decorative stuff any more.

6) Sun Screens – We have long summer, and I have delicate skin. But I hardly use all those sun screens that I buy when summer begins. And sun screens generally don’t last more than 2 seasons. Bye bye extra sun screens.

7) Buying gifts for others – One thing I have hard learnt, gifts need a big occasion. There are other ways to pamper your loved ones. Will try them for my near ones rather then gift therapy from now on.

8) Stationary (dairy, pens, pencils, markers and what not) – I am not a student any more and don’t need those smart diaries and pens. May be limiting them to one diary and few pens. :(

As I am writing this, I know how tough this is going to be. Let’s see how far I can go with my resolutions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What will you buy as a souvenir while travelling?

We all love holidays, don’t we? Seeing a new place is always exciting and I love to bring gifts for everybody when I am holidaying. And Every time I get “not-so-ravishing” comments for the gifts I decide not to buy anything for anybody next time onwards, but given how generous I am when it comes to gifts, I forget my resolution and it becomes a vicious circle.

One day while analyzing my monthly budget, I realized that whenever I travel, I always overshoot my allocated budget, and major contributors are gifts for others and the souvenirs from the place. That’s quite obvious because rest of the things, (like stay, travel) is generally pre planned. And given I am not such a big foodie, food never consumes my money. :)

This time I have decided to think about this little more and lay down some rules to follow while travelling, mainly not to overshoot my budgets. Some of the things that I have come up with so far are:

1) Buying clothes native for that place are big no – no
2) Buying the handcrafted stuff from that place has to stop. They take up more money later to fit in my living room; else they go in my closet unused.
3) Do little research on the place before going, specifically looking at the weather condition prevailing there. Use it to decide what all to pack.
4) Purchasing something that is too delicate not allowed.
5) Things that can’t fit in my bags need not ne shopped for.
6) Only those gifts are allowed that can be used in my native place.
7) Decorative stuff as gift items is strict no. Everyone has their own taste for decorating their homes.

I am quite sure there can be many more things to be avoided. I can always append this list later, but this might be a nice starter for now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Love yourself – not what you wear or carry!

I have a long time friend who visited me this weekend. While we were chit chatting about different things going on in our life, we also touched upon the finances. It started with her comment, “Your standard of living has improved so much since we last met, you are still the same, very cautious with money. You have not changed even a bit in past so many years.” And we were casually discussing ideas that I put in my money, when she told me about her finances:

“I don’t know how you manage to save! I am working from last 7 years non stop and no matter how much I earn, I always seem to be short of money. Credit card bills, telephone bills, and my salary vanish almost as it comes. Inflation is at all time high, I am worried whether I’ll be able to support my expenditures like this, I don’t know how can you even save when you earn slightly lesser then me?”

And I know her, so I simply asked, “Do you want to know truth or good!” and she said “good” blinking and we moved on with other topic.

She needs no one to tell her the truth, she herself knows it. But still, she told me to list down her 10 habits that she uses to waste her money on (and believe me, she told me that whatever I am listing as anti-frugal, it’s so much required)and also said that I should publish them on my blog. (OK, I am keeping my promise :) ). Here is my list:

1) Who needs to buy 10 new pair of branded clothes every month?
2) Who needs to have kilograms of non-precious jewellery in their closet?
3) Who needs the latest and expensive most mobile phone to stay connected (and it means changing your set every 2 months)?
4) Who needs uncountable pair of shoes?
5) Do you really need extra iPod, when you have phone that has almost similar capabilities?
6) Dining and wining out at costliest most restaurants almost half of the month is by no means a must?
7) 6000+ monthly telephone bill is unexplainable, even if you get breakup of all calls?
8) You are subscribed to your office transportation, why can’t you get up 15-20 minutes earlier and catch it up all working days, rather then driving 7 – 10 times a month.
9) Makeup, I think you are pretty good even otherwise, costing thousands every month?
10) Last but not the least to say, those extravagant beauty parlor trips? I mean shampooing you hairs or oiling them can be done yourself. Don’t visit specialist for them please!

God! No one can teach you frugal living and managing wealth, but time. All the best! :(

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Taking things for-granted

This whole week was very bad. I had to take two offs from my work because of the mouth ulcers I got. And need not to say that I hate being at home because of any kind of illness. :(

While I was killing my time in front of my TV set, (I was at a place with no Internet connection :( ), I was missing my home the most. I always took my home for granted. I mean, off from work, I know I have to head home, done with outing, head back for your home, do anything in this world, and you know you are going to go back to your home. But when I was not there and couldn’t come back to that place, then I realized how much I love my home. I took it for granted and thought that it’s anyhow always there for me.

And it’s not only my home, there are so many things that I take for granted. So I decided to list few of the things that I could recall:

1) Home
2) Partner
3) Parents and Siblings
4) Health
5) Confidence
6) Sun Light

And I am sure there are so many other things. I guess the last item illustrates that I am already off the track in my listings. :)

But how this helps, I mean how I can help myself by this list. Well in lots of ways actually:

1) Start loving all these things more.
2) Start thanking the almighty power for these supports in my life
3) Start taking good care of these things
4) Or may be stopping taking some of these things for granted.

How about you? Can you list some of the things that you take for granted? How can you improve your attitude (or may how can I) towards these things? I am really curious to know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Personal Finance – How it helps!

This week, I got some time to review my monthly and annual budget and what I saw was very disheartening, I am very tight on my monthly budget. And my annual goals some how seems to be absolutely out of place, I by no means can achieve them this year. I applied all the mathematics that I could think of but all in vain.

I felt so depressed and felt why am I doing all this? I mean I spend my time on keeping an account of everything and dealing with money judiciously. I can be like rest of the people and enjoy my life smoothly without worrying too much about the future. But then, instead of worrying and thinking about others, I rather listed why I am short of my goals this year:

1) I got married recently, so used lots of my funds in process
2) I am in the process of setting up my new home, so I need at least the basic stuff for my place
3) Inflation is quite high
4) My husband has different spending habits then mine.

These points highlighted the main reason; my budget was not prepared for reason 1, 2 and 4. And this is something causing the problem. I guess, next year I’ll be able to take into consideration these things as well and set achievable goal.

This also gets me to one of the main learning: Just because I practice good Personal Finance doesn’t mean that:
1. I’ll never miss my targets.
2. I will never face hiccups in the process.
3. I will never have unpleasant experiences.

The only things that sound personal finance will help me with are:
1) I’ll be more prepared to deal with financial problems.
2) I’ll have data to look into past and see where I went wrong, so that I could learn from
3) I can better plan for my future.

So personal finance is basically not a magic pill, rather it’s an institution that equips you with necessary knowledge and tools to deal with problems and be better prepare for future.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And the Bad NEWS :(

Inflation reached another high, 12.63% for last week.
Now what is next? Interest rates have already been hiked 3 times to control this inflation!

Things to do in $5 in Delhi (New Delhi), India

$5 is Rs 200 (approximately) in India. There are so many things that can be done in Rs 200 in Delhi. I have tried many of them myself and will be trying remaining soon. So here’s my list:

1) Dilli Haat – Only thing it will cost you is Rs 15 as entry ticket. Nice clean market and with nice food available.
What all to do – Look around for nice handcrafted stuff available there. You can easily get something useful and good for Rs 150. Else, you a foodie, get the food from all the states there on special counters. Momos, pav bhaji are all worth trying once.

2) Nehru Planetarium - The Nehru Planetarium in New Delhi is situated in the green surroundings of the Teen Murti House, earlier the official residence of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru and now a museum in his memory.
What all to do – Visit the Memorial Museum, Memorial Library or watch the Sky Show. Currently you can watch “Chandrayaan” instead of Sky show, but its equal fun. At the end enjoying its greenery, have a walk

3) Visit Museums – There are many museums in Delhi, some of the best being:
a) Air Force Museum – A Collection of Aero planes & armory
b) Archaeological Museum - Paintings, Textiles, Costumes
c) Gandhi Museum - Personal Belongings Of Gandhiji
d) Indian War Memorial Museum - Arms, Weapons
e) National Gallery Of Modern Art – Nice paintings and library
f) National Science Centre Museum - Display the various Scientific Instruments
g) National Rail Museum - Collection Of Locomotives And Carriages
h) Doll Museum – Collection of Dolls
Price – The only thing one needs to spend on are entry tickets, and they will cost from Rs 10 to Rs 30.

4) Local Markets - like Sarojini Nagar, Connaught Place
What all to do – Roam around in the market, shop for clothes or other house hold stuff within Rs 200 or instead eat in local food joints for same. Rs 200 will be more then sufficient and you can save as well.

5) Watch plays, movies – So many multiplexes, India Habitat Center, Alliance Francais, Shri Ram Center of Art.
What all to do – Watch movie in Rs 150 or even in less in some of the theaters. If you prefer watching plays instead, so many places to watch. Ticket’s cost varies from Rs 0 to Rs 200.

6) Delhi Darshan in DTC Bus - DTC daily operates Sight Seeing Tours from Scindia House. The fare of Delhi Darshan Service is Rs.100/-. The Delhi Darshan ticket of Rs. 100/- will be valid in all city services on the pattern of DTC Green Card. Children between the age of 5 - 12 years will be charged half ticket i.e. Rs. 50/-.
Places you will be visiting – Red Fort, Raj Ghat, Indra Gandhi Samriti, Qutab Minar, Lotus Temple, National Rail Museum, Birla Mandir (Shri Laxmi Narian Temple).

7) Delhi Metro Tour – Buy the one day card for Rs 70 and browse the extensive, latest metro network in Delhi. One of the best public transportation medium is absolutely worth exploring.

8) India Gate – Go to India Gate and enjoy the green and clean surroundings and breathe taking view of India Gate.
What all to do – Go equipped with balls, Frisbees or just a pack of playing cards, or watch monkeys perform, blow soap bubbles all over the lawns, play with balloons and even get your insides turned inside out on a ferris wheel, loll on the cool lawns, lick a bar of ice candy and watch the floodlit arch and the fountains nearby that seem magically lit up with coloured lights.

9) Visit Forts: Old Fort, Red Fort, Humayun Tomb, Tughlaqabad Fort
What all to do – The colossal forts in Delhi, besides portraying a grand architecture also narrate the history of the erstwhile maharajas who reined this place. Standing amidst the greens of lush manicured gardens, they indeed create a magnificent sight.

10) Zoo - The New Delhi Zoo is a place for animal lovers. It is generally clean, very relaxing place to spend a full day. The entrance price is only 50 Rupees, including the map, which is an exceptionally good deal.

11) Akshardham – It’s a newly constructed awesome temple in New Delhi. It has found its place in Guinness book of world records as well. Place known for its beautiful carvings and architecture has to be visited once at least.
What all to do – Look at the beautiful carvings all over the temple. The awesome architectural work will force you to appreciate its beauty. Watch light and water show, have food in its cafeteria.

12) Have food in one of the local food places – dhabas in CP, local Chinese and South Indian Food Joints
What all to do – This is a must for all delhites and foodies. Awesome Indian food at awesome prices, we delhites survive on it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Off the target: Annual as well as monthly

Yesterday I was unwell and had to take an off from office. Being alone in house and ill, is depressing and gets you to so many doubts.

First and foremost doubt that I get at such times what if from this point onwards, I’ll never be able to go to my work ever? I’ll have no regular source of income and how will I cope with all the things. This is what uncertainty does to you and these are the best times when you should motivate yourself to save for your retirement. No one knows what’s going to happen tomorrow, so the best we can do is to save for our future and keep our calm in tough times.

Motivated by all this, I reviewed my annual budget / expenditure book for 2008 and found that I am on a very tight line, little below then what I wanted to save and it seems this year I’ll certainly short my target :(. This is bad news for sure.

And the second depressing thought that generally comes at that time is monthly budget. These additional medical expenses leave a big dent on your monthly budget and it gets awry. What helps at that time is the some cushion that you initially incorporated in your budget and some cash that you saved in the mean time in the month.

Do read Add Grace to Your Budget on same topic, my favorite blogger talked about same thing few days back. Thanks Rachel, your words helped me keep my cool at the time, when needless to say, I am tight on my monthly budget.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


We all talk about inflation but I have never seen inflation as prominently as I am seeing it right now. In the last 2 months, I have seen prices of everything going up almost every week. I buy vegetables every Tuesday for my home. 2 months back I could buy all my required stuff in Rs 100 for week. And yesterday it was, Rs 200. Double in just 2 months. Tomato prices have gone up from Rs 10/KG to Rs20/KG, and so is the case with all other vegetables. :(

Thinking about all this, gives me goose bumps. I am sure this is temporary phenomena and prices will soon get stable, but till then, how to manage this extra burden on static budget! And I really wonder that it’s only we who are facing this problem (I mean Indians) or this is the situation everywhere. And then I realized (reading some news reports, articles) that this is prevailing situation at most of the places for now. :(

I hope inflation gets stable, and in the mean time I have to spend more time on beating inflation through more frugal living. Even if nothing seems to work, I have to stick to my principles:

1) Spend less then what you earn
2) Make a budget and track my expenditure to stay on budget
3) Be frugal while spending
4) Avoid any kind of debt

Stay calm and stick to what works for you. Rest all will be fine. :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Starting with Smart Savings: Money Multiplier Account

When I passed my college and joined job, I was a financial illiterate. All my savings used to lie in bank account and that’s it. Then I came across ‘Rich Dad and Poor Dad’. But once I finished reading the book, I realized that I am also one of the abundant species of “Financial Illiterates”.

I decided to change my breed, and from then started my regime of “Smart Savings”. I decided on my long term goals and decided that not only I’ll be saving regularly; I will also use those tools to save that will help grow my savings at rate > 10% annually. Why more than 10%, because banks will give you 10% returns. So if you spending some time on investments, then returns should be > 10%, otherwise I call it a failure.

When I started Smart Savings, basic problem I faced was deciding what all tools to use. There are so many instruments in the market to perplex you. But now after 2 years, I can list some tools for a fresher in the field that one can explore to start with:

Money Multiplier Account: Its one of the product of ICICI Bank, Corporation Bank of India. (I know about these two banks only. There can be other banks, may be you can consult your bank!) Money multiplier account is nothing but a Fixed Deposit (FD) Account. The only difference is that you don’t need any special request to break it in case you need that money. A Money Multiplier Account allows you to set a minimum balance to be maintained in your Savings Account. You can put in a request for the transfer of the excess of the minimum Savings Bank Account balance to Fixed Deposits. So you enjoy a higher effective rate of interest on your deposit.
Generally most of people will keep their 3 months expenses worth money in their bank accounts. They won’t use FD schemes for them, thinking that in case they need money before FDs mature, it will cause extra hassle. And moreover, I can’t use my money on the spot. What I mean by that let me explain:

Let’s say I want to buy some furniture. First I have to go to my bank to close that FD (or at least call them for same) one day prior of my shopping. Then if I didn’t get what I wanted to buy, I again have to go to the bank to create FD. That’s a pain. With money multiplier account, when you need the money you can withdraw it by issuing a cheque or through an ATM. Thus, you don't lose out on liquidity either!
The Money Multiplier feature gives you the liquidity of a Savings Account coupled with high earnings of a Fixed Deposit. It’s just like cash in your savings account, but will fetch you an interest of FD. It’s worth exploring and the best feature of my ICICI bank account. :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Medical Insurance

Today I visited someone close in hospital. She is undergoing knee surgery. I wish her all the best for her fast and safe recovery.

Visiting hospital always gets you into deep thought. It’s a traumatic experience for all, patients, relatives, and friends. It incurs deep problems, both emotional, and financial. It is one of those financial emergencies that occurs (most of the times) without any prior notice and has huge cost. Some of the regular steps that I take to cover and reduce my medical expenses include:

1) Have an yearly body checkup
2) Have an yearly dentist and eye specialist visit
3) Eat healthy diet
4) Have some kind of daily exercise, may be a small walk to market, or take stairs to work instead of lift.
5) Have a proper medical insurance

Steps 1- 4 are precautionary, they reduce my chances of some big medical trouble. Step 5 provides me a sense of security that if some emergency happens, there will be someone to partly take care of my expenses. The things that I keep in mind before choosing my insurance plan are:

1) Insurance costs a lot but having none costs more.
2) Right age to get yourself health insurance – As Early As Possible (ASAP).
3) Benefits and costs vary widely from plan to plan. If you have choices, you'll have to examine each one closely to find the best deal.
4) The cheapest plan is the one with the best price for the benefits you're most likely to use.
5) Most policies cover doctor visits, but benefits for mental health, prescription drugs and dental care are strictly optional.
6) The more flexibility you demand, the more you'll pay.

Choose your medical insurance plan properly, and at appropriate age and save yourself some big trouble at the already troubled time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Mom’s Teachings; Always Helpful

Yesterday was my mom’s birthday. Birthday’s are some how special, at least of special people. While coming back from her place I was thinking about all the impact she has on my life. From cooking, to reading, everything that today I am capable of doing, has her impression. Infact, sometimes I feel that whole of my life has huge impression of her. The bond of, mother and daughter is special, and ours is not at all different.

How I spend money and how I save my money is again something I have learnt from her. She was a full time house maker and for me she was a perfect one. She taught us many principles of wealth management that form my basic principles of wealth management. Among many of them, few of the important lessons I learn are:

1) Regular earning is important. So keep on learning new skills so that you can keep one constant source of income.
2) Never spend all that you earn. Always save something for a rainy day, no matter how small that amount is.
3) Never let your savings sit idle. Invest them in a way so that they are adding to your income.
4) Be frugal when it comes to spending.
5) Buy the best thing at first, so that it has low maintenance cost.

Thanks mom. All the learning’s are important and I am fortunate enough to understand their importance.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Interview :)

Hi Friends,

Find my interview posted at:


Happy Birth Day India

15th August 1947, got us the independence. And today, on 15th August 2008, is India’s 61st birthday. We, as a country have grown quite a lot from where we started. Forget about span of 61 years, I have seen so many changes around me since my childhood, that I generally feel that I am quite old now :(. Span of 20 years too seems to be so big at times.

1) India emerged as a Major IT hub.
2) India also emerged as major outsourcing hub.
3) Green revolution made us food sufficient
4) White revolution made us milk sufficient.
5) Real estate is at all time high
6) Automobile industry is growing like never before
7) Telecommunication network seems to be expanding every day
8) Retail market has just started, it has a long way to go
9) Bollywood is trying to improve (will do. 2007 was good year after all)
10) Tourism is adding new wings, like medical tourism.

There is so much happening around, that I am sure we have made huge progress economically, but given amount of workforce, huge markets yet to be explored, I am quite sure we have long way to go ahead. All that is needed is, everybody is contributing their bit, and India will definitely progress ahead.

Happy Birthday India.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

what to buy?

Shopping and buying stuff is one activity that no one can survive without. Problem here is that there is so much out their to buy that deciding what to buy and what not to buy is a daunting task in itself! So one day we sat and made rules for deciding what to buy:

1) I absolutely need it.
a. I need it to save my time, for example Vacuum Cleaner, Washing Machine.
b. I need it to save my health, for example, my new sitting arrangement (so that we don’t get tempted to lay on our back and watch TV on our sofa cum bed), new mattress.
c. I need it to save my money, press, sewing machine.
2) I can afford it. If not, better save for it.
3) I have space in my home for same. I don’t want to clutter my space.
4) I have no alternative for it.

And once I started following these principles, they helped. I am savig huge amount on daily basis now. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Anxiety after impulsive buying

I wanted to do my drawing room, it just looks so plane otherwise.

On last weekend we went to Cottage Emporium and place was ‘Shopping Paradise’ for handicraft fetish people like me n my hubby. And we bought a dining table and little sitting arrangement. I kept reminding myself all the while that it’s not a good idea to buy all the things at one go, but couldn’t resist the stuff available there.

This is real example of impulsive buying. Our drawing room definitely looks very good now and given rakhi next weekend, redo is rightly timed as well. The only problem is anxiety now; impulsive buying always leaves me with doubts, like:

1) Was it really a good deal?
2) Will the stuff be durable enough?
3) Will everybody like it as much as I do?
4) Did I really need this stuff in first place?

I wonder whether it’s only me who gets anxious after Impulsive Buying or there are many more just like me! But for now, I am just keeping my fingers crossed to get good comments (even OK will do) from relatives visiting us this weekend. :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Power of Rounding Up: Saving Rs. 15000

I love to do my budget and tracking my expenses. That gives me a sense of situation in control. Every time I track my expense, I round it up to next multiple of 5. Let’s say I bought A, B and C for Rs 21, 25, and 27 respectively on the same day. In my expense book they will be entered as: A, B, C – 75 (21+25+27=72).

At the end of day, all my coins go in my piggy bank. Once my piggy bank gets full, I take out coins and exchange them for notes. This amount then goes in my miscellaneous earning accounts in my account book. I was browsing my money book last night and realized that in last 2 years, I have saved approximately Rs 15000 out of this saving habit. Wow was the feeling after my results.

I loved the power of Rounding Up. It acts just like a phoenix.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Identify Your Financial Goals

In my last blog, I shared my motivation for spending time on ‘Smart Savings’. Once you are convinced that ‘Smart Savings’ is worth exploring, take the first step: define your Various Financial Goals. Let me explain this with some example.

Assume, you earn X amount and can save some Y amount, where both X and Y is variable. You can use Y to get an optimum corpus but key here is to know when you might need this money! Ok, no one can answer this for sure, because future is uncertain. So, comes the planning. No plan can be perfect. I mean my plan can never work for you, why? Simple, I have different financial background, different needs, different liabilities, and different age. So, always plan for yourself. Don’t copy from someone else’s plan, but only learn. Factors to consider while doing the planning are:
1) Your current age
2) Age when you want to retire
3) How much money you want to save and spend (and when)?
4) Current Liabilities

Converting it all into financial goals, know how can you divide the money in following categories:
1) Long Term – Corpus that is adding directly to my long term goals (eg. having 1 crore rupees at the end of 20 years).
2) Mid Term – Corpus that you can save now but may need 2 years from now, or 5 years from now. Idea of time period will help you in selecting the right investment tool.
3) Cash in Hand – Corpus that may be needed tomorrow. Basic principle that all experts (me anytime not an expert) suggest is; have 3 months of expenses available as cash.

Now fill your goals quantitatively, that is determine what’s your long term goal, what’s mid term goal and what’s short term goal. Various instruments that I am aware for these different types of investments are:

Long Term: ULIP, Gold, Pension Plan, PPF, ELSS, Mutual Funds, Real Estate.
Mid Term: Equity, Mutual Funds, Bank FDs, Stocks, Real Estate, Postal Savings Certificate.
Short Term: Savings Bank Account, FMPs, Money Multiplier Account, Bank Fixed Deposits.

There are many more investment tools which I keep on exploring as I get time, and latest I am learning is F&O.

For now, try to quantify your goals and see how much portion should go where and take advantage of principle of computing to achieve your wealth related goals.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Savings Smart - Let your savings grow on themselves

Wealth management is my pastime since childhood. I use numerous techniques to handle my money and always try to learn more. My basic principles behind increasing my wealth include:
1. Earn more
2. Spend less
3. Spend smart
4. Manage savings judiciously

Earn more: Increase your earnings. Improve your skills so that you get good salary. Always be ready to learn new things, as they will give you edge over others and will help you earn more.

Spend less: Spend less than what you earn. If you spend all that you earn, your wealth will never increase.

Spend smart: Spend smart and will have more blogs on same here subsequently.

Manage savings judiciously: Yes I am earning and spending less then what I earn! Now why do I need that! Simply for same reason for which you want to save in the first place: “Future Security and increasing your wealth”. Let’s take a meager example; there is a man, ABC, who earns Rs 10000 per month. He follows principle# 2 and spends Rs 8000 only. So he saves, Rs 2000 monthly. He keeps his savings with him and not in bank and he is doing this from last 12 months.

So total he have (10000 – 8000) * 12 = 24000.

He wants to buys a bike whose cost is Rs 50000 and increases 2% annually. So if in current year its cost is Rs 50000, next year it will be:
50000 + 50000 * .02 = 50000 + 1000 = 51000

To buy that bike, ABC needs to save for 27 months approximately.

But the main thing to notice here is cost of bike is going up every year, but his savings are not growing on its own. This is called “Inflation into Picture”. And what it means is once you will stop earning, cost of living will increase day by day, but your savings will only be depleting. So, while you are young and can take some risks, learn the art of ‘Smart Savings’. One of the naiveté and least time consuming approach may explain it better.

Now consider the second scenario, ABC saves his money in bank and for simple calculation sake, let’s assume that bank gives 4% return after every 12 months. So how much money will this gentleman have after 1 year, i.e. if he started in Jan 2007, how much will he have in Jan 2008:

Month Principal Interest Total
Jan 2000 2000*4*12/(100*12) = 80 2080
Feb 2000 2000*4*11/(100*12) = 73 2073
Mar 2000 2000*4*10/(100*12) = 66 2066
Apr 2000 2000*4*09/(100*12) = 60 2060
May 2000 2000*4*08/(100*12) = 53 2053
Jun 2000 2000*4*07/(100*12) = 46 2046
Jul 2000 2000*4*06/(100*12) = 40 2040
Aug 2000 2000*4*05/(100*12) = 33 2033
Sep 2000 2000*4*04/(100*12) = 26 2026
Oct 2000 2000*4*03/(100*12) = 20 2020
Nov 2000 2000*4*02/(100*12) = 13 2013
Dec 2000 2000*4*01/(100*12) = 06 2006

At the end of 12 months, now he has Rs. 24516 instead of Rs 24000. And his dream is not Rs 51000, and he needs Rs (51000 – 24516) = Rs. 26484.

Now in the second year, he starts with 24516 + 2000 = 26516, and it goes like this:

Month Principal Interest Total
Jan 26516 26516*4*12/(100*12) = 1 27576
Feb 2000 2000*4*11/(100*12) = 73 2073
Mar 2000 2000*4*10/(100*12) = 66 2066
Apr 2000 2000*4*09/(100*12) = 60 2060
May 2000 2000*4*08/(100*12) = 53 2053
Jun 2000 2000*4*07/(100*12) = 46 2046
Jul 2000 2000*4*06/(100*12) = 40 2040
Aug 2000 2000*4*05/(100*12) = 33 2033
Sep 2000 2000*4*04/(100*12) = 26 2026
Oct 2000 2000*4*03/(100*12) = 20 2020
Nov 2000 2000*4*02/(100*12) = 13 2013
Dec 2000 2000*4*01/(100*12) = 06 2006

At the end of second year, he has now Rs. 50012 instead of Rs 48000. And bike is Rs 52020. So one more month saving and he achieved his target in 25 months, instead of 27.

So, got the point, mediocre 4% annual returns on his savings helped ABC to achieve his goal one month faster. That is why one needs to manage his savings judiciously.

Inflation and interest figures used here might be fictitious but not the facts. There are many tools for investments with various terms and conditions and it’s too late for today to discuss them. Will write about my techniques in some other blog, for now think about ‘Smart Savings’.

Spend 5 days in Rs 100 per person

While browsing news channel, I came across one exciting game. They asked few of their employees to spend a day out in Rs.100. And then they had a show how they all used their money.

I got enthused by the idea and shared same with my hubby. He apparently appreciated the thought. And we decided that we will try to live 5 days on Rs. 100 each. So from Monday to Friday, we have to go out every day and only thing that we could spend was Rs 200 in whole. This of course didn’t include petrol cost and grocery for home. This only included outing expenses and we went out everyday after our office.

Monday: We went to Sarojini Nagar. It’s a street market in South of Delhi. I am in street market, so resisting shopping was tough. I bought one pair of socks and one bag to collect dirty clothes, and oops we already spent 60 bucks. Given we need Rs 10 for parking, we were left with 130 bucks. We had a round in the market and just browsed all the stuff available. I found one Capri that I really needed, but couldn’t shell 100 bucks for it. So I decided, can buy it later in this week. Went to a local food joint and had dinner there in 93 bucks. So after rounding off the payment, we still had Rs 30. Wow, I can take toll back, and remaining Rs 10 went for pani puri. So Day-One was success and fun. :)

Tuesday: We went to Dilli Haat. It’s a local handicraft market, again in South Delhi. Entry ticket was Rs 30 for us. :( So we decided to have food first and then see if we can shop something, as I only have Rs 160 now. Remember Rs 10 is for parking. We had one plate momos and one plate noodles, and that costed only Rs 70. Wow! Rs 90 left so I bought some bangles for Rs 50. Took toll back and still saved Rs 20. Great day.

Wednesday: It was CP this time that is in Central Delhi. We parked our vehicle in inner circle. We ate street food and finished our dinner in Rs 50 only. Then I bought a skirt for Rs 120, and that had huge bargaining effort involved. My calculation showed that after giving parking expenses, I can still use toll for going back. But they have hourly charges for parking after more than 4 hours, and I parked my vehicle for around 5 hours. I had to drop Rs 20 and no toll to go back. Day went ok as CP is tedious. :(

Thursday: By now, we have almost mastered this trick. And I wanted to watch a movie. Long live Shakuntalam. My old college time favorite theatre. Ok, we will bear without dolby and all, but watching ‘tashan’, yuck. But movie is needed, I am missing my bollywood quotient for the week and hence really feeling depressed. So we watched ‘tashan’ at Rs 70 per head and ate road side chinese food in Rs 50. Day again a success and visiting shakuntalam was definitely nostalgic and real fun.

Friday: Last day of the regime. We were happy that from tomorrow we don’t have to appear so stingy. And I was really tired as usual so we decided for Mac D’s and that was kind of lavish. We had burgers, French fries, soft drinks and burgers again all within Rs 180 and again saved Rs 10. Wow.

Last five days were full of some real fun, excitement and lots of adventure. We will like to spend this routine every once in a while and now I really want that Capri :)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Learning from July

Month of July was quite a success when it came to managing expenses. I analyzed it and thought one of the best things I achieved is avoiding the marts for my grocery shopping.

Well in one of the previous months, once I made a list of things I need in my grocery and went to a mart. When I came home I realized that I have spent double then what I expected to spend on these items and still have not bought all the necessary items. No the mart people were not duping me. It was actually be who proved to be spoony. I bought all those things that were not there on my list and I hardly need.

So I decided that for this month, rather then visiting marts for my grocery shopping, I will visit my neighborhood store for same. And it did really help. My budget was a success in the first month itself, where both of us were really suspicious about our budget initially.

If you are in India, you can also give it a try. It worked for me, may be it can work for you too!

switching to cash from cards

'Cards are in. Plastic is the money. You are as rich as the credit limit in your cards.' Nice to hear, but all these phrases made my initial money management a hell.

When I was bachelor I was known among my peers and family as good finance managers, so I was really shocked when I saw that we are spending more than what we are earning. And worst part was I still have a big important purchases list ready for next month. This is where I decided to take control of my house finances.

For the initial month, I did nothing and just make a note of every rupee (penny U can say) spended. Then at the end of the month took some time out and analyzed where am I blowing my money! List of cuplprits was long and included,

1) Big Bazaar and alikes (Our Walmart :-( ) - I always over spend there and that too mostly on things I hardly need.
2) Eating out - Newly married and not staying with my in laws. Trying to manage home and work and fun. Losing some good nutritious food and huge sum of money.
3) Petrol (Gas) - I have to visit my in laws and my family every week. And what more, we really like to go out as well. :)
4) Gifts - Yes. I love to give a gift and am one of those who find the occasions to gift someone.

And the worst part was, we were using my Husband's credit card, and in the next month's beginning, most of out salary used to go for last month's bill.

So i decided to take some preventive measures, right from now. I know I am newly married and this is the time to best enjoy the life, but I still prefer enjoying judiciously. :)

1) Credit Card will only be used for Petrol.
2) We will take out 15K and try to manage all our monthly expenses from it. If we need more, we will again get cash but will keep the tempetation of using cards to least.
3) Will try to manage my home well, so that can avoid eating out.

Well, it worked just OK for me last month. I could manage in that money, except the electricity bill. I am following the same trend this month too. Let's see if I could succeed this month as well or not.

One week has already gone and I am quite on target. I spended less then Rs. 2000. All the best baby.

Anonymous Indian.

The First Step


This is my first step, here I am starting my new blog, Indian Thoughts.

What provoked me to start this one, was reading quite aggresively on personal finance management related blogs recently. While doing same realized that couldn't find any of Indian blogs for same.

But why the discrimination, (remember, I hate all kinds of categorization and discrimination!)? Let me answer! Reason is obvious, when I read PF blog of some one in US or UK, I can certainly relate to the concepts they are talking about, but implementation part, umm not really!

So, here I am. I am a house maker as well as a professional. I am quite frugal myself and working on my family budget everymonth to optimize same. Let me share my approaches with you all and how I apply what I learn from this blogging world.

Anonymous Indian