Money Management Apps

Money Management apps

Who doesn’t want a peaceful night’s sleep? But we do not always get what we want. We know for a fact that money matters, but money matters hound us in our sleep.

We have to essay the role of a smart money manager. Balanced budget is a must. But it is not as easy as it sounds. With our minds and finances in multiple places, it becomes formidable task to keep a track of money.

Going through uncountable paperwork and doing mathematics on the receipts is a cumbersome task. This leads to a haywire budget management, and we dread the day of budgeting.

The ultimate resolve to this is going digital. Technology has embedded deeply in our professional and personal life. And it is Technology that helps us solve most of the obstacles in our lives.

The tech masters have devised several apps that aid in budgetary planning, and taking smart financial decisions

We will list down some of the coolest money management apps that fix the financial fixes.
  • MTRAKR – This app helps in managing wealth and keeping a track on what we earn and what we spend. And as the name suggests, the tracking system here helps us to get rid of extensive paperwork. You don’t have to fret over having more than one bank account. This helps in managing multiple bank accounts. It is built beautifully, and has segregated categories of food, utilities etc. People with no finance background or zero bank knowledge can also tap this app with ease. It is fully automated and does not ask for any sort of bank passwords.
  • My Tax India – Calculating and saving tax, taking into account investments and other deductions is a complex task. Here is where My tax India becomes your saviour. It systematically calculates the amount of tax that you need to pay, and you can try out various settings to figure out the optimum level of investment that we need to make. It is user-friendly, and you do not need to be a maestro in finance to use it. So, at the time of tax filing you know what to expect, and you act accordingly. Otherwise you are left baffled with very less time to think through.
  • Wally – Wally is another expense tracker in the digital arena, it keeps a check on your expenses and keeps the spends stacked in categories. One very interesting feature is that it uses your location and categorises the venue, leaving you with very little work. All you need to do is fill in the expenses. Another feature is it’s ability to scan the receipts, relieving you of the stress to type in financial details . You get notified every time you reach a savings goal. Money Management is a much easier task now. We can direct our expenses accordingly.
  • Mint – So Mint basically integrates all your card and bank accounts while keeping an eye on your earnings, spends and savings. This gives in an in-depth analysis of your finances. This is one of the coolest Money Managers in the digital space.
  • Officetime – This is an intriguing application. It is for office goers for whom time is money. It helps you in analysing how productive your time is, and how you can use it more efficiently. This also helps you keep a track on your spends, and generates invoices for expense reimbursements.
  • Homebudget– As the name suggests this application apart from having a beautiful look and feel, creates a beautiful balance in the finances for your family members. It helps you to split bills with your spouse or family members by coordinating efficiently . It also helps working professionals to keep a tab on their multiple income sources.
  • Splitswise – You like going out, partying, or having dinner with your friends? Then this is the app apt for you. This is extremely useful in splitting the expenses. Splitswise, divides the cost systematically if there is a group with joint expenses and it gets tough to split expenses. This is a user-friendly app, and is very popular amongst youth.
  • Digilocker – This app is extremely handy to align and stack your financial documents Starting from your PAN card, Income Tax returns to other Bank documents, Digilocker manages all the confidential documents in an ordered fashion In short DigiLocker acts as the superhero in disguise.
So what are you waiting for? Tap the app that suits your needs.
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How to Handle Finances Right After Marriage?

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Youngsters before marriage find themselves perplexed when finances are being spoken of.

There is an absence of savings or a very much required emergency fund. Since their money management habits are haywire,it becomes essential that they get improved and systematic after marriage.

If the financial loopholes are not taken care of , then these become one of the biggest obstacles for both the individuals.

We would want to talk about some simple yet essential measures that can help you out during this phase of your life, Hence,we have jotted down some significant points of financial management after marriage. Have a look. Some ways to handle finances after marriage:-

  • 1. Plan for the uncertainties: – Even if you are stable in your careers and have a good salary, you both need to have a structured financial element in mind. Emergency won’t knock the door and come. Couples today are not really equipped to combat these emergencies, and are under constant stress. Unexpected illnesses, accidents, layoffs can cause a great deal of pain, and hence it is advisable to save a share of your salary over a period of time. This certainty helps to deal with the uncertainty in a much better way.
  • 2. Smart Spending and Smarter Investing : When you are married, you both need to be accountable for what you spend and invest. Spending is inevitable, as it is the simplest answer to both necessities and wants. You cannot blame the other person for the spending. The bottomline is both of you spend, but on different things, and hence there is a need to set a budget.It is required that both of you get on the same page, and focus clearly on the lines of investment. Be it Investing for next year or for retirement , investment planning is the need of the hour. There are many ways of investment for long and short run both. Seeking professional advise also helps.
  • 3. Set achievable financial goals: Having a foresight helps. Deviate from your monotonous life for once, and give considerable thoughts to life after 5 , 10 or 20 years. Anybody can earn money. But judicious usage of money is an art to learn. You just don’t want to walk on a path, there has to be set destinations. You should chart out your career dreams, lifelong goals, financial expectations together and set time to achieve and fulfil them. Summarising the important and less important ones and then prioritising them is the right course of action.
  • 4. Combining or Not combining accounts: So while planning finances, the question of having a joint account or a separate one arises.

    Both the options are working models. Let’s talk about them in detail.

    a)Separate accounts: – When you keep money totally separate, everything(rent, mortgages, necessities etc) has to be split . Also you need to evaluate what you spend, be careful of not spending too extravagantly, as the entire monetary responsibility shifts its weight towards your partner. Also, you need to plan to spend from each account to gain the tax benefits on Home loans, EMI, Investment Proof etc.

    b)Joint Account – In this case, you would put money in a single basket, and use it to pay off and spend. However this requires financial coordination and a mutual agreement on expenditures. You need to get to the common grounds of spending, because if there is a lot of deviation in spending patterns, then there is a lot of room for monetary imbalance and arguments.
  • 5. Checking Financial history – It is important for you to discuss financial history with your spouse and vice versa. Being aware of the financial history, such as the use and number of credit cards, credit scores, way of spending paints a clearer financial picture. So in case one of you has a poor credit score, then having a joint account becomes is not a smooth decision to make. So decision making is highly influenced by financial arrangement of both individuals.

    Managing Debts and Saving: It is good to combine accounts when the debts are cleared off in single or both accounts.

    Saving after the wedding is definitely a good idea, but saving before is essential too. We suggest you to open up a savings account before marriage for setting money goals beforehand and having a vision of future expenses. Both the individuals should invest a portion of their combined income after marriage, and let the account grow. I hope we have helped you in making better decisions. Happy Wedding !
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Wise Investment

wise investment

Investing your hard earned savings seems a difficult task , but in reality it is not. You you don’t have to be rich to start investing. The key principle is to Start small and start early.

If we focus on the right path to investment, then we would be amused to see the amount that we save in a very short time. It is mind-boggling to see everyone around me spending a considerable time before buying a mobile phone, car or even grocery. But when It comes to investment , the most significant decision of our lives(financially), we just go about it without giving much thought to it.

Hence we want to talk about how investment can be prioritised in the right fashion, and we have the following to explain just that.

7 pillars to build a wise long term investment portfolio:-

  • 1. Put up a road map together: and answer two significant questions: a) How long do want to remain invested for? b) What’s your risk appetite?
  • 2. Diversify your investments: The investors falling in the category of high risk takers, also plan investment by diversifying their portfolio. This is important not to invest everything into a single basket or instrument class.
  • 3. It is imperative to Plan for long term and avoid the temptation of short term gains.
  • 4. Never invest in something that you do not fully/partially understand. Research well to understand and then invest accordingly.
  • 5. Invest to save tax : You can save tax by investing under section 80 C. The maximum amount that can be invested is 1.50 lakh, and this means your income gets reduced by this investment amount. So you are exempted to pay tax on this amount. Also the invested amount increases in a period of time. So it is a win-win situation for you.
  • 6. Investment should be your first priority, and it should begin with the initial sum of money, and not with the leftover amount. Practicing this as a habit will help you clearly evaluate the difference, and you will be surprised to see the funds that are actually available for you to spend.
  • 7. Every Rupee costs: don’t let go off a single rupee. Do not fall fall pray to exotic schemes and keep your portfolio very simple. Try to look for the extra yield that many banks offer such as the superior returns on saving as compared to others that don’t. Saving is as simple as spending. If you intend to do it then just follow it like you follow your daily rituals.

We are listing down some wise saving options for the young working population:

ELSS: (Equity Linked Savings Scheme) is a diversified equity mutual fund which is qualified for tax exemption under section 80C of the Income Tax Act. ELSS is a good option to invest in, because the investor has the opportunity to invest in equity markets as well apart from getting benefits of tax deduction. Also, ELSS has the shortest lock- in period of three years as compared to other tax saving options.

Mutual Funds: Mutual funds are diverse in nature.. They are broadly divided into Equities, Debts and Balance funds. Here the money is pooled in by investors in many bonds, stocks and other types of investment. It also gives you the access to investment professionals who expertise to manage your funds in the best way possible So owning shares in a mutual fund instead of owning individual stocks or bonds the risks get spread out. Diversification ensures that a loss in a particular investment gets nullified by gain in another

ULIP’s: ULIP or Unit Linked insurance plan is a life insurance product that provides the risk cover to the policy holder accompanied by the option to invest for long term. Recurring Deposit : The concept is fairly simple. You can allocate a fixed amount of money every month as deposit with a bank for a period that you specify. This will push you to save and invest on regular basis thus securing your future.

PPF :- The Public Provident Fund has been established by the central government. Any individual can open a PPF account with any nationalised bank or its branches that handle PPF accounts. The minimum amount to be deposited in this account is Rs 500 per year. The maximum amount you can deposit every year is Rs 100,000. The entire balance can be withdrawn upon maturity i.e after 15 years of the close of financial year . The rate of interest is decided upon the government every year. Currently the rate of interest and principle is exempted from tax at the time of deposit and withdrawal.

We hope that this article helps you out in thinking better and planning wisely. Happy Investing!

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How do I allocate my Salary?

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Being at the point of time in our lives, where we finally feel financially able is enthralling. However, it is imperative to not go overboard on spending, and channelize our monetary resources.

We make numerous mistakes during this phase of our lives like we spend more than we earn.
This pushes us in a deep pit of financial fixes.
Hence, a steady income needs a steady management.

Striking the right balance between what we earn and what we save impacts our future positively and reduces the possibility of cash crunches.

But the most common question is “ How do we go about it it? How to distribute our salary for expenses and save?”
So having a financial plan in picture is a always a good sign. Below is one such plan that can help us in resolving the issue.

The Boon of Budgetary Planning: –

Having a well-schemed budget is as necessary as breathing and it is just the half battle won. Our pockets empty faster than they fill. They forever bear the “Low on cash” Tag

This efficacy of the plan lies in how we divide our expenditure into duties, obligations and splurges. At the end of the day, we earn to spend but we need to spend right.

So we should draw a plan that broadly classifies our division of expenditure into the following: –

Savings:-
Having a foresight for the future helps us guard our money better. The maestros of investment suggest that “Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving”

We should dedicate 20 percent of our salary towards investments for future. Also savings should not be just confined to the walls of emergencies, savings can also be for planning our future better. This holds true, especially when the tax rates surge higher with passing time.We do not want to be like the sitting ducks to the taxing alligators. Regular and planned investment, eases the financial burden over a period of time, Gradually with this scheme of action, you won’t even realize the substantial chunk of funds that are left in your kitty.

Routine lifestyle expenses: –

Allot a good 50 percent towards your household finances. These finances are unavoidable and necessary. From rent to electricity bill, timely payment is essential. Plan your lifestyle in a way such that the expenses towards it do not surpass the allotted percentage.

For example: – Going overboard with the usage of electrical appliances or unnecessary wastage of power can render mammoth sized bills. So it is advisable to monitor and regulate the use.

Food and Clothing

Both of these fall in the “can’t live without category”, so we cannot really compromise. However what is in our hands is wise spending.

If we invest cautiously , we can have a good share of funds to choose from our favourite brand of garments.

Debt/Loans

Repayment should be one of your top priorities. Dilly-dallying the repayment, will only increase the burden on your shoulders and make them droop to the monetary pressure. Also, it spoils the credit score which in turn reduces your chance of accessing loan in the future.

The debts and dues need to be dutifully cleared. So a 25 percent should be allotted for this.

Recreational Purposes:-

Now you will still be left with some money, you can pamper yourself with some shopping sprees , binge eating and partying.

Because who wants a life filled with blues and greys . We believe “Jab jeb ho full toh Life Colourful”
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Default on Loan Can Severely Affect Your Credit Score

credit-score2

Authored article by Akshay Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO, EarlySalary.com

Default on a loan can severely affect your credit history and may dramatically reduce your chance of getting any credit.

Sometimes when we are young we choose not paying credit card for various reasons. Sometimes we just don’t have the money, sometime, the utility of the benefit accrued from the loan is long gone and other priorities calls for money ahead of repayment or Sometimes, we are just outright lazy and keep doing late payments while knowing the consequences.

The fact is if once a delinquent, always a delinquent customer, Banks and other financial Institutions treat you with caution. It is necessary to understand how Financial Institutions look at your repayment track record and what are these credit bureaus. In 2005, CICRA (Credit Information Companies (Regulations) Act) came which paved way for specialized institutions for monitoring and recording all loans taken from Banks and other Financial Institutions. These companies (known as CICs) collect, process and present information about each borrower and assign a credit score. Today, there are four CICs in India, CIBIL, Equifax, Experian and CRIF High Mark. Hence, A credit history of every customer submitted to all four bureaus, which allows Financial Institutions to dive into and judge whether a customer applying is worthy to give loan or not.

Credit information by definition could means any information relating to :—

  • The amounts and the nature of loans, amounts outstanding by a credit institution to any borrower;
  • The nature of security provided by borrower;
  • The guarantee furnished;

Does giving guarantee for someone else’s Loan also impact Scores? – The answer in short is yes. The financial institutions send the guarantor details to CICs, in addition to a person taking loans. Hence it is important to understand that the role of a guarantor is crucial. If the borrower defaults, then you as the guarantor will suffer too as you too will be in the “defaulter” basket. Thus, Think hard before becoming a guarantor.

Not performing on loans and credit products severely impacts your credit score; a credit score basically is a system that enables a credit institution to assess the creditworthiness and capacity of a borrower to repay his/her loan and advance. While it is subjective and depends on Institutions’ internal policies, but according to my understanding a late payment on a credit card will severely impact one’s chance of getting a personal or Home loan.

Hence, taking a loan from one bank and thinking no other bank will know the credit history, is a fool’s paradise. If you are not repaying your credit, the information will be accessed by the financial institution who can lend to you and it will affect their decision.

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How to Come out of Debt Trap?

Debt Erased Acknowledging that you are over leveraged is one of most important steps to get debt free. If you understand your finances, you will learn to manage them better. We have all gone through phases in life when we release that we are spending more than what we are earning and its important we understand this and take steps to manage things better. Understand your debt: I have learned to split my debt into 4 parts
    1. Revolver: high cost debt usually linked to credit card spends or cash loans where interest loans are too high and not paying on time results in multiplier effect on outstanding.
    2. Live life debt: EMI loans linked to buying products or holidays. This type of debt is usually not visible as it gets camouflaged under subvention or supplier funding.
    3. Asset class debt: long term loans of cars and homes.
    4. Liquid class debt: using asset class products to take a loan like Gold loan, loan against property.
Some board thumb rules:
  • your loan amount should never be more than 8X your annual salary.
  • Revolver loans should never be more than 50% your monthly salary.
  • Total EMI should not be more than 50% of salary

Quick solutions to reduce debt burden:
  • 1. Balance transfer: Banks offer to people with large outstanding the option of balance transfer from one credit card to another. You can opt for a fixed duration balance transfer(3-12months repayment), in such transfers interest rates are usually 9 – 15% depending on your bank. Some banks also offer a ‘Lifetime duration’ option to make the repayment, though interest rates can be much higher (12-24%). Please note banks also levy process fee, which usually is 2% of the outstanding amount. After the bank verified your details, they will send you the cheque on the demand draft in favour of your existing credit card that you can use to repay.
  • 2. Converting outstanding balance to a EMI: usually if the net outstanding across credit cards is too high I will suggest you can take a small personal loan and repay your credit cards. Please note credit card debt comes at above 2% interest per month (36% – 46% per annum) and also attaches service charge while a simple personal loan will cost between 12-16% per annum.
  • 3. Negotiating lower interest rates with existing bank/institution or look at loan transfer: most institution allow some amount of negotiation usually linked to a bullet payment.
  • 4. Salary cover to paying credit card outstanding : usually credit card outstanding can be managed by paying over two salary cycles and managing funds better. Pay day or bridge salary loans like EarlySalary can be very usual in such stages.
  • 5. Loan against FD’s or Gold Loan: loan against asset comes at much lower interest usually loan against FDs come at 2-4% while Gold loans come b/w 4-8% per annum and thus are very good way to reduce debt burden.

Simple life rule to manage finances be save 30% of salary and don’t leave more than 25% in EMIs.
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Save Your Neck, Save Your Tax

savetax Often it happens that salaried people end up paying more tax than actually needed. This happens mostly because of lack of knowledge about tax saving. If you feel that you have a similar story and are figuring a way out to reduce the tax burden, then this article is for YOU… Indeed, there are many ways; you can save tax while you are earning your salary. Here are 5 simple and legal tips to save tax. (more…)

How to Save Your Salary Till Month End?

How-to-save-money-each-month It’s really hard to live a life when you are too dependent on your paychecks. Having your life decisions depend so much on the date of your next paycheck can be frustrating. Things like going out for a dinner with your friends or catching up the rock concert in town needs to be cancelled! The country’s economy might be doing well, but that does not mean you don’t have to save right? Isn’t this a very serious problem to look upon to? Well, if you’re spending more than you are earning, then naturally you’re bound to run out of cash. The good thing for you is it is still not late. Since you have realized it now you can turn the tables down. We have noted some simple steps which one can take up and easily control his spending with little efforts. (more…)

Factors Impacting Your CIBIL Score

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         Nothing is worse than having a bad credit score, as it can tarnish your social image. How do I improve my credit score, what are the factors which hit your CIBIL score hard and what should we do to avoid them, are some of the common difficulties, most of the people go through but they lack awareness or ignore it. This ignorance is the cause of the diminishing CIBIL score.    Many people are stuck with a bad credit score due to their poor credit behavior of the borrowers or the lender’s mistakes. Having a good CIBIL score can help you get loans easily. Below highlighted are some common mistakes which should not be ignored. (more…)

6 Ways to Save Money at the Cinemas

shutterstock_225075286-970x546 (1) We all love going to the movies. It’s not the idea of seeing the only latest blockbuster but – it’s the two hours of mindless entertainment summed up with a tub of popcorn and a coke. It’s pretty much heaven for us. Isn’t it? What actually pricks us the most is the cost. Every year, box office prices go up, and going to a movie theatre today seems to be a hefty affair. So paying Rs.100 for a mere popcorn bucket sounds ridiculous. (more…)