Thursday, October 8, 2009

10 ways to save money...

Here's a list I found on to create some saving habits -

1. Plan for your goals and invest your money in the correct assets. Take professional help, if needed. Put the investments on auto pilot like a SIP, RD etc. That is what works best for most people. This will ensure that you can spend only the rest.
2. Understand how much you are spending by tracking the expenses. You will be surprised how much you’re spending on the “misc” head
3. Don’t borrow to spend. Credit card spends ensures that you do precisely that. Use a debit card instead.
4. Buy most provisions for a month at one go. You’ll end up spending less time, effort and money.
5. Do focused shopping. Write out what you want buy, buy that and head for the exit. Don’t take children with you on these occasions. They fill the shopping cart with unwanted fluff.
6. Don’t buy unwanted items or in huge quantity, just because there is some offer.
7. Don’t buy a toy due to your guilt that you are unable to spend enough time with your child. Try and find the time instead. You child wants you, not another toy.
8. Stop spending on that item, once you reach the limit in that month. For instance, if your entertainment allowance for the month is Rs 3,000 and that is spent by the middle of the month, then it needs to be dal-chawal and TV for the rest of the month.
9. Same goes for fuel. Long drives and excursions on weekends are out, once the fuel limit for the month is breached.
10. Don’t switch on the AC by force of habit. Use AC as required. Switch off fans/ lights and other appliances, when no one is around. In many households, TV is on, irrespective of whether someone is watching or otherwise.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

On growth in India...

Yesterday evening, I went out to the local "dhaba" in the neighbourhood for dinner. Incidentally, while I was still eating, a father and two children arrived on the same table as mine. The father was wearing a shirt on which PepsiCo was embroiderd and was clearly visible.

They ordered two items - half plate each - and one "Naan". Seeing three people (father and two kids) ordering only one Naan, the waiter even asked, "only one ?", but the father was sure.. "Yeah, one for the moment".

I already had started thinking. From the appearances (and I agree that they can be very very deceptive), they looked like people not doing great financially. From the look, gestures, and other behavioural traits that I could monitor, I felt that the kids had been asking for going out to eat for a while and today was the chosen day that father agreed to take them out. Most probably the mother was home and did not come along to save some.

Of course this theory can be wrong, very wrong in-deed. But, if its true, to me it represents precisely the way I see the growth of Indian economy. Its growing, but not universally, as in everybody is growing. Only a select few are growing, and rest are almost where they were. Thus, widening the gap that was there a few years ago between sections of Indian society.

Or perhaps everyone is growing, at different paces. Some are outpacing the inflation and therefore are visibly financially well off, others who are growing, but perhaps not as much as the world around them are growing, therefore lagging behind the society around them, even though they are doing better than they were doing earlier.

This little family that I saw, fits into the mould nearly perfectly. The father was working with PepsiCo.. a MNC from all parameters, represents a bit of growth in itself. I would presume, better working conditions, perhaps a better salary as well. The kids were wearing relatively flashy clothing, which by my personal viewpoint, was not the quality concious choice, but a trend based choice. So, yes they are doing better than a few years, but not as good as the system/society around them demands to be.

Then, I was reading an article in mint ( financial daily of The Hindustan Times) by Niranjan Rajadhyaksha entitled "Poor arent lifeless bricks". In there, writer referred to a research done by some social scientists around the financial planning done by the poor people to get through life in such costly world.

One of the inferences of the study was that most of the people fell into poverty due to medical costs or social reasons like family breakup etc. These reasons are really very real, as in real life situations that happen all the time around us. Something similar was found in an study taken up in US a well. I have come across really few articles/studies coming back with reasons as real as this one.

I guess, its time for Dr Manmohan Singh's new government to do something about the "inclusive growth" they talked about...

good luck India...