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Can Millennial Stress be Resolved by Financial Wellness?

Stress is an issue bigger than ever for millennials, who are rushing ahead with their worklife, finding little time to enjoy the intricacies of life. They are not only toiling themselves with projects, preparing reports and meeting targets, but also when off the work they busy themselves worrying about their debt, savings and expenditure.  India has been, off late, a very volatile economy with companies shutting down production and filtering out chunks of employees. As such millennials are forcing themselves to work in return for poorly paid salaries and unsatisfactory job environments. In most of the cases, they are not able to manage their day-to-day expenses and have to revert to debt; while in other cases are confused about their financial course.

A whopping 76% of Millennials say they are experiencing financial stress, up 23 percentage points from 2018, according to the PwC 2019 Employee Financial Wellness Survey.

Financial stress is the top contributor in affecting employee health and morale followed by their jobs and relationships. Matching your salary with your expenses is only the tip of the iceberg, when cash flow and debt issues add to the worries. Employees are worried that they are not able to save enough and will face or are facing a financial crunch. Let’s look at the major issues hounding today’s millennials in terms of finance:

Past concerns  

With higher education becoming more expensive each year, an increasing number of new employees enter the corporate sector already laden with the burden of huge debt in the form of education loans or personal loans. As per Workplace benefits report 2017, 40% of millennials say that they left high school and college unprepared for the real world. As such they look upon their employers for the necessary guidance and help related to a majority of topics around financial wellness. 18% of millennials want more help with their student loans.

In some cases, these debts may be gifted down from one generation to another. A son may have to pay off a home loan or some other debt incurred by his father. These circumstances dilute the finances and millennials find it difficult to lay away the stress.

Present concerns

According to the 2017 Workplace Benefits Report, a significant number of Millennials say they feel unprepared to manage their finances and need help with topics across the financial wellness spectrum, including saving for retirement (43 percent), general savings help (40 percent), paying down or managing debt (34 percent), saving for major expenses (36 percent) and budgeting (31 percent). 

Peer pressure, maintaining the status quo and lavish lifestyles often lead millennials to the brink of a financial crisis if they do not plan their finances well in advance. Many are highly ignorant about how to proceed with investments; banks or mutual funds, long term or short term, commodity or shares, and a lot more. About 43% feel that they require more help with investing, 40% wanting more information on how to save taxes and 21% feel that they want to save more. It’s an additional issue when they require funds in a lump sum for unforeseen expenditure or a major purchase. They either trap themselves in instalments or else fall in a debt trap. 63% of Millennials consistently carry balances on their credit cards and two out of five have trouble making minimum monthly credit card payments.

Future Concerns

Besides provident fund schemes, gratuity and a few other benefits, employees aren’t assured adequately about their future. They remain concerned about their retirement and pension, their children’s education, medical expenses and a lot more. Pension schemes are offered by insurance firms, but which one is best suited remains a matter of concern. Career opportunities and growth also impact future and present decision making. Not surprising then that employees, especially millennials, find themselves to be dependent on their employers.

Why should employers take up financial wellness programmes?

Financial stress not only impacts an employee on a personal level, but his working capabilities and mental faculties get impacted too. Stress can be behind severe health concerns that may lead to employee absenteeism, employee turnover, and dissatisfaction. The issue of financial health becomes of utmost importance to keep the solubility of the firm intact on one hand and to achieve common organisational goals on the other. As per a survey, an employee spends 12 hours on an average each month stressing about their finances. 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch report says that the lack of confidence in financial matters affects Millennials’ workplace behavior. On average, employees spend 3 work hours each week (12 hours per month) dealing with financial stressors.

A well thought of and structured wellness programme may act as a tonic for the employees’ financial health:

#1 Making an in depth study of employee concerns before finalising on the mode the financial programme is critical. Not everyone shares the same crisis, and not everyone will desire third party approvals or advice before taking decisions. A financial assessment is essential before you initiate the program and want it to succeed. This can be an eyeopener for those employees who may have been unaware of the causes of their financial stress and will make them ready to adopt the new financial course.

#2 Educating employees about financial health and other resources should be taken care of as well. This can be one through seminars, online courses, or even lectures and classes conducted by an expert or professional.

#3 The employees must be educated on healthcare costs as well. It doesn’t hurt to take this opportunity to promote healthier lifestyles as well. This can save them a lot in the long run. Group insurance schemes and health insurance schemes should be encouraged as a norm in the organisation.

#4 Financial debt management, especially the management of student loans, is another area of focus. Employers, if possible, could even consider taking it upon themselves to sort out the education loan or debt of the employees as a gesture of goodwill. This can be offered as an employee benefit as well. Executed right, the company can go a long way in earning the reputation of being the best in class when it comes to their employees’ welfare.

#5 Then comes the basic question of managing the current expenses such as installments, deductibles, premiums and other expenses. There are several paradigms involved in financial planning and it can be overwhelming for a millennial who has just been placed on his job.

Encouraging employees to take part in these programmes and letting them get involved through participation, and one on one discussion will assist them in reducing their financial stress. The overall focus of the employee can shift to organisational task boosting his productivity and overall efficiency. At the individual level, it will boost their confidence to manage their current expenses and plan for their future expenses in advance. Financial wellness programmes can, therefore, help in improving employee health and quality of life. A healthy and financially sound human resource can be an unending source of profitability and efficiency for any enterprise.

#MattersOfHeartAndWallet: 7 Signs You’re In A Relationship With A Freeloader

Ritvik had planned a movie and dinner date with Smita on Valentine’s Eve. He’d switch to a new job very recently, but despite being a little short on funds, his lovey-dovey spirits weren’t hampered. The couple watched the movie and enjoyed their dinner date but when it came to sharing the bill, his girlfriend was simply horrified at the idea and broke up with him at the very instant. 

This fictional story is the reality of so many couples around where any one of the partners, irrespective of the gender, presumes that the other will bear their finances. This unequivocal balance in terms of money matters often harms relationships and partners. Love may be blind, but lovers don’t have to be, not to the presence of a FREELOADER PARTNER, at least……What is a FREELOADER, you ask? A freeloader is a person who does not pay or contribute fairly. It is difficult to understand the true nature of a person in the first few meetings but of course, there are some distinct signs of a freeloader in a relationship. In our third (and final) for #MattersOfHeartAndWallet series for this Valentine week, we take a closer look at the financial red flags in partners:

Money talks in between cuddles

There are chances that your date or partner will often try to discuss their financial issues while sipping a pina colada with you on a romantic night out. Being empathetic and helping your guy/gal in dreary times shows your affection towards them until that person has no intentions to hide behind you each time a problem surfaces. Companionship is all about caring and sharing and not piling one’s burden on your counterpart. Be wary!

No insistence on sharing bills     

It was ages ago when paying the restaurant bills, and bearing the finances of dining out, watching movies among others was considered gentlemanly and all girls did was to dress up for their man. The world has moved forward and with gender roles being rewritten, it is appreciable if both the partners share the bill or expenses. Pretentious ways with no real concern can often lead you to empty your wallet while the other just stands by, smiles and take it for granted. Stop taking things at face value. 

Relationship with a Freeloader
Promises are never meant to be fulfilled when it comes to freeloaders

Fancy habits and addictions 

Despite a meager salary, if a person splurges excessively on clothes, dine outs and indulges in other unnecessary recreations, there are all the chances of them borrowing loans from you. And assuring you with hugs and kisses that they will return the money as soon as they get their salary next month. But promises are never meant to be fulfilled when it comes to freeloaders. They enjoy other people’s hard-earned money without much remorse or guilt. Before you land yourself in some trouble and lend them a much bigger amount, start seeing the thorns in that rose they gifted you on Rose Day!   

Financial dependence on parents

Someone who jumps from one job to another and cites unusual reasons always leading them to be the victim and the world the culprit is cause for a red alert. Partners who like to depend on their parents for money might continue to do so in the near future as well. Take note when the other person starts asking favors from you like using your car or credit card, almost always forgetting their wallets, always hoping to be showered with expensive gifts- are clear-cut requisites of a freeloader. Oftentimes the relationship can turn abusive and may take a toll on your health.

Intentions to share accommodation but not rent

If your partner insists on moving in with you, an arrangement where they don’t split the rent may be acceptable depending on your relationship dynamics. Perhaps they contribute in other ways, such as on the groceries or utility bills? If it’s entirely your wallet though, that is cause for concern. Such tendencies indicate a shunning of financial responsibilities, and letting the partner bear your expenses explicitly shows that the person is a freeloader who likes to while away and sustain on other’s money. 

Before putting your heart and soul into a relationship, it is advisable to use your mind and check whether your partner isn’t a financial defaulter with a bank or lending institution. If they are a freeloader, there are complete chances of yours paying their interest and loan amount. Of course, out of love! 

Lacks a sense of pride and finds fault with others

As an individual, we’ve got to take responsibility for our actions. Your Mr./Ms. dependable is not worth your love if they know nothing about self-worth. A laid-back attitude can look quite chilled out and appealing, but that does not help in relationships in the long run. Also, if a person claims they lost their job because of the boss, they got late because their friends held them up, or that they have no savings because they spend all on their family – then watch out! You may have encountered a potential freeloader and the next target maybe you. Efforts have to be taken from both sides.

Bundle of excuses to extract dough

A sad tale of relative admitted in hospital or insufficient funds to pay off the rent or college fees – there can be innumerable excuses from your partner intermittently spread over a period of time. And so cleverly claimed that you cannot help but feel sorry for them and sigh while your partner spends your money elsewhere with their friends, or by going to expensive clubs and places. A person committed to you just to take advantage considers it your duty to pay and pamper them. Love, for them, is measured in rupees and gifts. It is better to keep a keen eye and keep looking for signs. Informed love is not a sin!

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and lovers all around the globe will be celebrating their love in their own special and intricate ways. Before getting struck by the winged-cupid, it is better to take a step back and observe your current or prospective partner’s financial habits and ways. Once committed and deep into the relationship, it becomes increasingly difficult to attach greater significance to anything but love. EarlySalary, one of the leading online lending portals, can assist your partner whenever they find themselves in a financial emergency. They can easily get a loan of up to two lakhs directly transferred to your bank account, and successfully prevent money from being a thorn in your relationship.

“This Valentine’s day, go red with love, but avoid it in your budget!”

Valentine’s Day Fact Sheet: Matters of the Heart And Wallet

Love is the most uncensored emotion that creeps unknowingly in each of our lives. Or, to put it better, it has been ubiquitously present as a part of our existence. Underlying in almost every benevolent act of ours, we celebrate it every day. But just as a sapien needs his birthday to claim another year to their existence,  we have Valentine’s Day celebrated each year as the day of love. St. Valentine would feel alien to the concept of an entire week of roses, hugs, kisses, teddy bears and chocolates but Valentine’s Day has actually become a fairly commercial, multi-million industry on the rise each year. 

In this second post of our 3-part Valentine’s series – #MattersOfHeartAndWallet, we explore how India shops, and splurges, on Valentine’s week. 

Love is not a commodity to be bought or sold, of course, but today love has equal sync with money and romance. India has seen a steep surge in Valentine’s Day rush in terms of gifts, dates, and trips whether for partner or others, whether as a couple or all alone. Let us mark in terms of numbers the trends in India of how love transpires and conspires to empty our kitties.

Indians Love Valentine Gifting 

We like to pamper each other when in love and what better day than Valentine’s’ Day to do that. The spending stats of Indians show some interesting and some queer facts about the expenditure on love:

A survey by CashKaro.com indicated that about three-quarters of couples bought gifts for their partners to celebrate the Day, while 80% thought this was essential practice for Valentine’s Day.
Younger couples lead the way here – those indulging their partners through gifts most commonly belonged to the age group of 16-24 years. India, with 70% of its population below the age of 35 years, is sure to witness a rapid increase in this gifting trend in the coming years. Interestingly, 77% of the men felt that they ought to pay on dates.

The Heart & Wallet Go Hand In Hand

Valentine’s Day records the third-highest number of orders (after Diwali and Raksha Bandhan) placed for gifts in India. Money and love have surely got a connection with each other when it comes to 14th February. Thousands of crores are spent on gifts and dates all across the lovestruck regions of India. Take a look at the facts:

  • Even as early as 2014, we’d seen a whopping INR 16,000 crores being spent, which swelled to 22,000 crores next year. 
  • A majority of the people spent anywhere between
    INR 1500 – 3000 on flowers, candies, and chocolates among other gifts. 
  • Corporate employees and those aged 30+ years prefer more expensive gifts, with their spendings ranging anywhere between INR 1000 – 50,000. For the younger generation, the range comes down to INR 500 – 10,000. 
  • Another interesting finding is – changing gender roles. Women between 25-35 years spend 35% more than their male counterparts.

V-Day Preferences

When it comes to making our loved ones happy, we don’t count the bills. The week starts with Rose Day, when gifting flowers especially roses and orchids are the trends, followed by other days such as Chocolate Day, Teddy Day and others before Valentine’s Day finally arrives. Besides gifts, people like to go for dates, on holidays and on short adventure trips as well. Check out the trends:

  • Candlelight dinners seem to be losing their popularity. The top preferred gifts now are Jewellery, Bouquets, Chocolate hampers, and Teddy Bears.
  • People don’t just gift their partners. About 43% of the gift orders placed were for loved ones other than the buyer’s partner. 
  • We’re also opting for more thrilling options too – such as adventure sports like bungee jumping, surfing, among others, and holidays to offbeat destinations.
  • Singles are trying to find love in pampering themselves. The number of trips by solo-travelers to foreign locations increases considerably around Valentine’s Day.

This V-Day why to worry about managing your finances

Indians are die-hard romantics and know how and when to please their loved ones. But sometimes these splurging can fall heavy on the pockets of the salaried class. Enjoy each moment of this Valentine’s Day and shower your partner with gifts and dates without the worry of managing your finances. With EarlySalary, you can get an instant loan from anywhere between INR 2,000 to INR 2,00,000 at rates of interest as low as Rs 9/day. The loan amount can be availed of even if the employee has no credit ratings. The loan amount can be paid in installments over a period of time adjustable as per your needs and convenience.

So don’t stop yourself from proposing your crush or rekindling your romance this Valentine’s.

How to deal with MONDAY BLUES for your employees

It’s common to feel an overwhelming sense of anxiety, stress or sadness on the first day of the workweek. This can sometimes demotivate you, and your colleagues, despite the bright Monday morning. Worse, it can cause tension and fatigue. Monday Morning blues are fairly common and have been known to decrease work output and efficiency across the corporate sector.

What exactly are Monday morning blues?
Researchers like to think of them as sets of negative pessimistic emotions that many suffer from at the beginning of a workweek, causing discomfort and unhappiness at the office. According to Alexander Kjerulf, a well-known writer and speaker, Monday blues contain “elements of depression, tiredness, hopelessness and a sense that work is unpleasant but unavoidable.”

Monday blues are region agnostic and have almost become a cultural phenomenon now. But these signs of tiredness and anxiety are not something to be trifled with. They can be much more than just passing tiredness. Sometimes, these can be serious indications that something isn’t quite right at your workplace and hint prolonged mental impact due to your daily job. Happiness is the key to this type of situation. Only when you enjoy your work to its full potential, you will feel good and energized about it, at any point of time in the week. 

As an employer, there are a number of steps that can be taken to address the issue, and  help your workforce beat their Monday blues:

#1 Identify Core Issues

Are there workplace culture issues your org is facing? Have they been working long hours for too long? Perhaps it’s due to some policies? The bottom line is, your workforce isn’t looking forward to a day at work, and this can be indicative of some deeper issues that must be addressed before any other remedy is tried. 

#2 Unplug for the weekend

Sure, successful organizations like Tesla and SpaceX are known for their long, grueling work hours, and a consistent work-life imbalance across their workforce. But these are more the exception than the norm. Unless you’re a brand that wants to specifically attract a workforce with a preference for that working style, you’d do well by encouraging teams to disconnect over the weekend and recharge their batteries!

#3 Foster Positive Culture

Ensuring positive attitudes, and an environment that makes room for them is critical for an organization’s long term success. Not only does it address many minor issues, but it also certainly contributes to tackling Monday blues.

#4 Review Benefits Programs

Another long term, yet impactful solution – ensuring that your benefits programs, such as financial wellness initiatives, are running smoothly and achieving long term goals and objectives, is key to ensuring employee happiness. A workforce less stressed about health, finances, and more is a workforce that turns up on Monday raring to go!

#5 Personalise Attention

How to deal Monday Blues

On an individual level, HR professionals may want to consider prioritizing individual interactions at the workplace. In addition to the potential for self-satisfaction here, such initiatives can result in valuable insights into employee morale, their issues, and the challenges that the HR function faces, from the most authentic of sources – the workforce, and not text or numbers in a survey. 

Happy Mondays are certainly possible, in a far higher proportion than we’d think. As long as Monday blues are addressed as a challenge that can be tackled successfully with the right strategy, the HR function doesn’t have much to worry about. 

#MattersOfHeartAndWallet – Romance & Financial Compatibility: Questions to Think About

Renowned American jazz pianist, Willie “The Lion” Smith, once said, “ROMANCE without FINANCE is no good”. 

Compatibility between romance and finance is akin to the compatibility between the heart and the brain. While the heart may run wild and wants the best, the brain needs to step in to make wise decisions. If the decisions of the heart may be made based on reel-life fantasy, it’s the brain that does the real-life processing to reach beneficial conclusions.

In the first of our 3-part Valentine’s Day series – #MattersOfHeartAndWallet, we tackle financial compatibility. 

When it comes to our significant others, romantic gestures often overpower financial constraints. We often consider it alright to extend the budget a little when expressing our love. Alas! If only being romantic did not cost a fortune. It does not take long for matters of the heart to become the prime reason for the worries of the wallet. 

Romantic and financial compatibility is equally essential, raising important questions that need to be asked to maintain a balance between the two. Let’s take a deeper dive into the interplay between these two concepts:

Is There an Equal Financial Contribution?

Of course, we’re well past the culturally male-dominated days where only one partner – the husband – generated income in the household, with the couple’s immense love for each other being sufficient to spend the rest of the life

With evolving cultures, economic progress, and inflation on the rise, priorities have significantly changed. Financial security has become essential to continue living happily. In today’s time, rather than the “head over heels” sentiment, perhaps financial soundness sustains love between people more. 

A major factor behind arguments between couples is their finances. A lack of money and ever-increasing debts can lead to sustained stress between partners. At times, issues escalate to a greater extent, where relationship strife turns into reasons for divorce. A financially stable person far outweighs a broke selfless person when it comes to choosing a life partner. 

Are Your Spending Styles Compatible?

Is one of you a spendthrift while the other a miser? It doesn’t have to be that extreme, but the point is – is there a considerable gap between how you and your partner spend money? Some believe in extravagance, after all, what’s the point of earning money in the first place?

Others prefer to only spend on ‘value’, and save for a rainy day. 

There’s nothing inherently wrong or right with either approach. What is critical is ensuring there’s a minimal gap between both your styles. The further apart you are on this spectrum, the higher the chances of issues cropping up, since this would be an aspect you’d perceive on a daily basis.

Do You Discuss Monetary Contributions With Each Other?

Believe it or not, romance does flourish when each partner pulls their own weight. If you do not discuss contributions and finances with your partner, it may sprout seeds of resentment and disdain in your relationship. It is essential to be open in your discussions about money whether it is regarding saving it, spending it, earning it or investing it. 

Even if one of the partners is not earning, it doesn’t mean that you should not have money discussions. The one who stays at home makes a greater contribution than the one who goes out to earn. Budgeting is the crux of many issues. Hence, participation and awareness of all parties are essential. 
Couples who tend to hold open conversations about money have few to no incidents of hidden purchases. They become equally adept at planning and managing their finances. 

Are You Wise In Using Credit? 

Another crucial aspect to keep in mind is the use of credit. Credit and credit scores play an important part in day-to-day expenses. Credit can be hard to source if your partner has a poor credit score despite yours being considerably high. Simply gaining an understanding of the credit score of both yourself and your partner can help you tackle future credit urgencies. In other words, financially aligned couples tend to have easy access to affordable credit. 
Discuss and align bill payments, credit card repayments and other such things which can impact your ability to apply for credit with banks and other financial institutions. 
This potential issue, fortunately, is being addressed well with the rise of instant loan apps like EarlySalary, which offer quick personal loans right from your smartphone, and don’t rely solely on credit scores for assessing borrower credibility.

Conclusion 

You can certainly enjoy romance while staying in financial sync with your partner. On a lighter note, perhaps a bottle of fine wine can be enjoyed while you finalize your budget? Are the best kind of dates the ones where you tackle taxes with your better half?

In the next post in this series, we’ll take a closer look at what it means for your partner to be a freeloader and its implications on your relationship.

An Intimate ThankYou: EarlySalary’s #ThanksAMillion (Handshake) Campaign, By The Numbers

Compiled By: Sudesh Shetty
About Sudesh: He is the Founding Member and Head of Marketing at EarlySalary. Backed by over 10 years of experience in digital advertising and marketing, Sudesh has driven EarlySalary with innovative and excellent marketing strategies that boost brand awareness, profitability and growth.

We at EarlySalary, recently achieved a milestone befitting our title of India’s most popular lending app for salaried individuals – we successfully disbursed 1 million loans! Sure, this was cause for celebration. But our customers deserved more than the typical corporate thankyou message. This is why we decided to lead the industry again, this time in celebrating milestones, by engaging in 2-way communication with all our customers.

Call for entries were rolled out to existing customers, who were asked to post their one in a million stories. To participate, they had to share their experience with EarlySalary on social media platforms using the hashtag #ThanksAMillion.

The technology pioneers that we’ve been in the credit space, we decided to put our minds to use on creating a virtual handshake feature in the EarlySalary app, hoping to connect deeper with our audience and deliver a more intimate thankyou.

The feature was triggered when customers shook their smartphone and allowed them to unlock exciting prizes as a reward on the momentous occasion of us achieving the 1 million salary advances mark. 

In order to ensure the best gifting experience, EarlySalary is associated with reputed brands like OYO, Zoomcar, EaseMyTrip & Enrich. Of course, support from social media giants like RVCJ Media made this possible – with the brand engaging in the innovative meme marketing format that it is known for. Influencers on Instagram were happy to support us as well, boosting our own efforts where we put out two video advertisements featuring original stories from customers whose lives we touched.

Much like our success in revolutionizing the country’s credit sector, we saw similar results here. With over 24 million in combined impressions across all social media platforms, this exercise in gratitude was a resounding success, and certainly a humbling experience. 

Here’s us breaking it down for you by the numbers

4 Million Impressions on #ThankAMillion

Our hashtag of gratitude – #ThanksAMillion – was an instant success on Twitter. It generated over 4 million tweets from users, who shared their experiences and sent the hashtag trending on the platform. Another hashtag – #ShakeHandsWithAnApp

10 Million Impressions #ShakeHandsWithAnApp

Discussions on our innovative new app handshake went incredibly viral on social media, getting more than thousands of entries and clocked nearly 10 Million impressions on Twitter. 

1.5 L handshakes reaching over 25 million online

Over 1.5L people shook hands with the EarlySalary app, while videos shared online were viewed over 7.3 million times. In total, the campaign touched over 24 million people across platforms.

EarlySalary’s video campaign wasn’t to be left behind, reaching nearly 18 million people with over 4 million views.

In case you’ve been living under a rock – EarlySalary provides young working professionals an easy line of credit, instant cash loans, interest-free EMIs and other long term loans in sectors such as education, travel, shopping, etc.

In conclusion, we’re beyond thrilled to exhibit the rather impressive results of proper planning and execution powering campaigns. We achieved high social media reach, connected deeply with our audience, gauged feedback, and were fortunate to introduce our product to a fresh set of customers. Most importantly though, we’re glad our audience was entertained and responded positively. There can be no better validation 🙂 

What Does BUDGET 2020 Hold For The Common Man?

Each year, the union budget brings with it hopes and expectations of better aligning our source of income to our actual expenditure and taxes. People eagerly await fiscal recommendations by the government that will permit efficient planning of their taxes. Our honorable FM, Nirmala Sitharaman presented the Union Budget 2020 in the longest speech ever of 137 minutes, delivering a mixed bag of goodies for the individuals. The budget aims to push the demand side of the economy by attempting to put more money into the pockets of the individuals. 
The budget centers around three themes:

  • Aspiring India, 
  • Economic Development and 
  • Caring society

It also focuses on the ‘Ease of living’  concept. 
The 2020 Union Budget gave many new proposals intended to supply for the rising cost of living and reduce tax burdens on the individuals besides the budgetary allocations on several infrastructural and developmental projects that will boost employment in the economy and hence, the purchasing power of the individuals.  

A Simplified Tax Regime 

There are several tax-related benefits bringing reason to cheer for taxpayers in the budget this time. A new, simpler (but optional) tax regime is proposed where income slabs are at intervals of 2.5 lakhs each, as described below:

Source: Times Of India

  • Now, the 30% rate kicks in only for individuals earning 15 lakhs and above.
  • Earlier, those earning between 2.5-5 lakhs had to pay a 5% tax. But here’s the catch – the new tax regime won’t offer 70 tax exemptions out of the 100 exemptions that were earlier available in the old tax system.
  • Those who want to utilize the benefits of the tax exemptions and deductions like PF deductions, tuition fees, insurance, and others available under the previous system, can opt for the old tax system as well. 
  • The budget takes ample care to devote flexibility to the tax system while simplifying it. Now anyone can electronically file their tax returns without any special professional help.
  • A taxpayer charter is underway that will clearly define the rights of a taxpayer. 
  • PAN cards will be issued directly based on the Aadhar cards of the individuals. 

The lowered rates aim to increase the personal disposable income of lower and middle-income class groups whereas the foregoing of tax deductions and exceptions will indirectly help in creating demand in the market but might dissuade people from saving more thereby, creating a ripple effect of lowered investment in the coming times. 

More News For Salaried Professionals 

A further push to the start-ups is intended by the government introducing tax relief benefits on Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). At present, there exists dual taxation on ESOP shares. The FM announced a proposal of deferring tax payments by five years or until employers leave the company, or when they sell their shares. 

Enhanced Insurance On Bank Deposits

To further lend credibility and trust to the Indian banking sector, the FM proposed the deposit insurance of banks be raised from 1 lakh to 5 lakhs. Thus, any bank account holder has now been assured a maximum sum of 5 lakhs in case a bank goes bankrupt. The LIC is to go public through an IPO as the government intends to disinvest a part of its stake in the insurance behemoth.  

Investing & Housing

  • DDT or Dividend Distribution Tax that was charged at 20.56% (from companies to mutual funds) and 11.56% (from equity funds to investors) earlier has been removed, and the classical system of taxation has been adopted by the government. Benefits here would be only for small investors falling in the lower tax brackets lower.
  • The tax holiday for affordable housing projects has been extended by another year to further boost the dream of owning one’s house indirectly. The affordable housing scheme project – Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna is one of the major initiatives of the government. The tax holiday will ensure lower and affordable rates of housing. 

The 2020 Budget has evoked mixed responses from economists and common people. But executed right, the proposed ideas have the potential to usher in a new wave of lowered and simplified tax structures where more individuals become taxpayers. Automated systems and taxpayer charter should further enhance the trust of the individuals in paying taxes. As individuals, we could perhaps relax and plan our spending and savings in sync with the new tax routine and new bank deposit insurance. 

This World Cancer Day, How Close Are We To A Cure?

February 4th is observed as the World Cancer Day each year, with an aim to generate awareness among the masses about cancer, to educate them in its early detection and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. We hear hundreds of survival stories revolving around cancer each year that almost overshadow millions of others losing the battle against this, fatal disease despite the correct diagnosis and treatment. Oncologists around the world have been researching vociferously and meticulously trying to come out with a cure of this disease that can affect our body in almost 100 ways. Medical journals boast of several new breakthroughs, treatments and therapies that are slowly paving a way to finding a cure to the disease.  But how close are we to finding one? 

9.6 million people die from cancer every year and 70% of cancer deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries.

Cancer can impact various body parts, act peculiar and show different symptoms with different risk levels attached to each type and stage of cancer. The umbrella term ‘cancer’ attaches with itself a phobia of a deadly disease very poorly understood by the common masses, yet 1 out of 6 deaths in the world is due to cancer as per WHO’s estimates. The disease affects millions of people worldwide, with India ranking third after China and the US. Every year, a million new cases are added to the doomed list in India. Half a million deaths occur due to diagnosis at a later stage or ignorance of the disease.  

Current Treatments For Cancer

Researchers, all across the globe, are still trying to understand the role of thousands of genes and the interactions of various other factors involved in the abnormal mutations of the body cells from healthy to cancerous. The disease, like a mutating monster, has to be understood before it can be prevented or mitigated. For now, there is no single comprehensive solution for every kind of cancer. 

So far, the available treatments include chemotherapy, radiotherapy, tumour surgery, and in the case of prostate cancer and breast cancer- hormonal therapy.

Some new kinds of cancer treatments are being used as well, in combination with the traditional ones or on their own having fewer side effects. Scientists are currently dealing with the challenges accompanied by these new treatments and trying to eliminate all the possible side effects. No single approach works for every kind of cancer. Still, scientists are hopeful with all the technological advances available in the wake of the cancer research going on at full speed. The question of finding a complete cure is a matter of debate but the progress is positive. 

The Cost Of Cancer Treatments 

The average cost of cancer treatment can range anywhere between 6 lakhs to 20 lakhs. Even if a person is insured against it, studies show that the expenditure in a home with a cancer patient can go up to 36-44% more than in other households. The finances are sure to be disrupted in case a family member is diagnosed with cancer due to stress, loss of a source of income or higher costs of treatments. The costs have risen due to more expensive infrastructure, patented drugs and the limited number of specialists available. 

India continues to have the highest levels of under-penetration in the world, with only 0.16% of the total population insured for health, as per Irda. Little wonder then that 70% of healthcare expenses are met from one’s pocket. Economic times

A majority of patients are unable to afford the costly treatments while at times, their bodies do not respond to the treatments suitably. A generic medical insurance plan does not cover cancer and specific insurance plans covering cancer would appear futile until one actually suffers from it. The borrowings and debts mount due to higher interest rates and no insurance claim available. The need is to act smart and go in for loans with lower rates of interest and those that are easily available. 

On World Cancer Day, EarlySalary wants to take the opportunity to reiterate our commitment to providing assistance to customers in case of any medical emergencies. We do this in the following ways:

  • Customers can borrow up to five times the amount of their regular salary
  • Customers are eligible even if they have no credit rating or are underserved – EarlySalary ensures availability of credit to pay their hospital bills in time. 
  • To cover the cost of cancer treatments and other related medical expenses, a salary advance of up to 2 lakhs can be directly transferred to bank accounts with minimum formalities involved. 

Hassle-free loans can be crucial in providing timely treatment and saving lives while reducing the financial stress in the lives of the family members.
This World Cancer Day, let’s pledge to promote the financial and physical well being of our loved ones and ourselves!

IMPACT OF UNION BUDGET 2020 ON START-UP & FINTECH SECTOR

Compiled by: Akshay Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO EarlySalary

With the target to achieve USD 5 trillion economies by 2025, Honourable Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has presented Union Budget 2020 for the 5th largest economy of the world. The core objective of Budget 2020 is to provide “Ease of Living” to all citizens with three broad themes viz. Aspirational India, Economic Development for all and Caring India for both humane and compassionate, together with Corruption free, policy-driven good governance on one side and clean and sound financial sector on the other side.

Budget 2020 is focused at Ease of Living, with good governance and clear and sound financial sector, it not only emphasized on traditional areas like welfare of farmers, Infrastructure, Education, Skills Development, Women and Child Welfare, etc. but also will emphasis on new areas such as Solar and Technology oriented businesses, Data Centre Creation, Quantum Technologies, creation of Knowledge Transfer Cluster, Agri Tech sector, etc.

Budget 2020 has given relief to an individual by way of reduction in income tax rates, Extension of time limits pertaining to the tax benefits for affordable housing, increase in deposit insurance coverage, etc. along with a reduction of 70 exemptions and deductions. Corporate will be benefited from the abolition of the Dividend Distribution Tax, the inclusion of the Power Sector under the concessional corporate rate along the new domestic companies in manufacturing. Budget 2020 given relief to MSME’s by increasing the Turnover threshold for audit. Businesses will be benefited by Simplified GST return which shall be implemented from 1st April 2020 and fully automated Refund processes. Also, Budget 2020 reduced tax on cooperatives and on sovereign wealth funds of foreign governments and other foreign investments.

The following are the key takeaway for Start-up and Financial Sector from Budget 2020.

  1. To address the liquidity constraints of the NBFCs, the Budget 2020 has reduced the limit for NBFCs to be eligible for debt recovery under the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act 2002 from INR 500 crore to asset size of INR 100 crore or loan size from existing INR 1 crore to INR 50 lakh.
  2. Increased limit and duration for eligible Start-ups with 100% tax benefits with turnover up to INR 100 crores (increased from 25 crores in current budget) of its the profits for three consecutive assessment years out of 10 years (increased from 7 years in current budget)
  3. To attract and retain better talent at Start-ups, Budget 2020 has proposed deferment of tax on ESOPs in the hands of employees by 5 years which will ease the burden of taxation on the employees.
  4. MSME focus and Bill discounting model will greatly boost lending models further.
  5. The new tax regime will reduce the tax burden on individuals and ensures more deposable income which will booster for the entire economy including Start-ups.

We expect Budget 2020 will act as a catalyst to the economic development of the country and to increase overall GDP growth to achieve a target of USD 5 trillion economies by 2025.

Desire a steep price tag item? How to smartly tackle your shopping wish list.

With seasonal sales always on the horizon and e-commerce giants often announcing festive season best-ever sales on their websites, ‘Not Shopping’ is hardly an option for the consumer (or even the utilitarian). The internet is constantly flooded with coverage of online sales on Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, and many more. Anything and everything you need to make the year worth may be put on sale. 

As we surf through websites and apps to grab the best deal, we not only buy products that we need but also products on which we don’t want to miss offers and deep discounts. Whether you are browsing with a list or without a list, it’s hard to ignore shopping and sales. Gadgets and electronic appliances come with a steep price tag and hence, even when you have sufficient funds, splurging it all to get just one product may make your monthly finances suffer. A shopping loan can come to the rescue in such situations. With quick online loan approval and disbursal and flexible repayment options, personal loans can fulfill your shopping list without burdening your monthly expenses. 

Whatever be the reason behind shopping, it requires funds, of course. If you haven’t parked a good amount for it then you may find yourself in a situation of money crunch. Impulsive shopping can hurt your monthly budget. However, situations like these can be avoided by taking a personal loan. 

Personal loan apps such as EarlySalary feature an entirely online loan application process, including document submission. You only need to arrange for your KYC documents like PAN, Aadhar and address proof. Naturally, the time for approval and disbursement is significantly reduced on these instant personal loans. If you are eligible as per the defined criteria, your loan will be approved within hours.

No documentation is needed to indicate a specific purpose for availing the loan or where you are going to use it. It can be used for anything as per your requirements. 

An instant cash loan is one of the best ways to grab an ongoing sale, as they are quick in disbursal. These loans do not help you finance your shopping urges, but also help you plan finances in a better way through flexible repayment options. Another advantage of personal loans is that they are collateral-free, you do not have to put any of your valuables in a lien. 

Should You Take A Personal Loan For Shopping?

Well, the answer depends on the context. A shopping loan’s justifications depend on the products that you buy. Availing loans for shopping during sales for utility items such as furniture for the home, kitchen appliances or a computer can save enough money in terms of opportunity cost. Loans for impulsive shopping disorders are, of course, not recommended. The deals may tempt you, but resisting those temptations is important to avoid getting into a debt trap, similar to how we must treat credit cards

Whether it’s a festival or a sale, a purchase decision should ideally be taken if it is a need or if the opportunity cost of delaying the decision is higher.  Make the right choices and spread big-ticket shopping expenses across several months with personal loans in the form of small and affordable EMIs.

Applying For A Credit Card? Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes

Applying for a credit card is a fairly easy process, but many applicants tend to make some common mistakes while they’re at it. These mistakes have consequences – ranging from a flat-out denial of your application to potentially costly penalties in the future. Goes without saying, such mistakes are detrimental in getting the application itself approved, as well as the applicant’s finances.

While you should certainly be warned on getting too friendly with credit cards, the process of applying for a credit card has its own share of common mistakes applicants might make. Let’s take a look at what they are and why you should avoid them.

1. Too many applications over a short period
Applicants often lean towards playing the numbers game when they apply for credit cards. Statistically, you’d think submitting multiple applications would increase the probability of getting approved. But credit cards are a different ball game. Simply applying for as many cards as you can doesn’t mean you have a higher chance of getting approval. In fact, it could prove to be quite the opposite. 

When you apply for a credit card, it may affect your credit score. This is because the issuer will conduct a thorough inquiry over your credit history. Applying for multiple cards makes you look like a reckless borrower. It is recommended to wait six months between credit card applications to avoid hurting your credit score.

2. Not doing due research
There are a plethora of credit card providers in the market, which puts applicants in a useful position as they can opt for one that suits them well. However, many fail to shop around and end up landing on a credit card that may not be best suited to their financial needs. It is vital that you apply for cards that actually meet your spending habits and needs. 

You have to know how you will be using the credit card – what will you be paying for? Do you foresee any big purchases using your credit card, or considerable expenditure each month? If so, you will require a card with a high credit limit. You have to know your financial needs to pick the right credit card. But the good news is that there are a lot of options and it is fairly easy to find the right one for your requirements. 

3. Not understanding the terms and conditions
This might seem a silly thing to overlook, but is, in fact, one that is quite common. Do not choose a credit card based on the company’s reputation or initial offerings alone. Dive deeper into the provisions, terms and conditions, repayment plans and other costs associated with the credit card you are considering. This will give you valuable information like interest rates, annual fees, and reward structures. 

If you travel a lot, you will be better off with credit cards that offer travel insurance and no fees for international transactions. If you eat out often you can check out cards that offer high returns and rewards for dining expenditures. Choose a credit card once you know exactly what features and advantages it offers.

4. Applying before paying the bills

Do not apply for a credit card before you pay off existing bills. While considering your application, the banks will go through your credit report to look at your debt to credit ratio. This ratio has a heavy impact on your credit score; meaning the more debt you have, the lower your score. For a favorable evaluation of your credit card application, it is recommended that you pay off your existing debt before you apply for a credit card. Even if you are unable to pay off all your debt, pay as much as you can before you apply for another card. Always remember: Your credit score is the major deciding factor on whether your application is approved or not.

5. Applying for a credit card for access to inexpensive credit
If your primary objective behind obtaining a credit card is to simply get access to short term funds or loans, you’re shopping at the wrong place. Credit card interest rates can be prohibitively expensive – often as high as 42% per annum. They are therefore more suited for quick access to credit for the very short term, during which you arrange for funds to pay the monthly bill. If you intend to get a loan for any longer amounts of time, it makes more sense to apply at instant loan apps like EarlySalary. With credit availability of up to Rs 2 lakhs at rates as low as Rs 9/day, services like these are by far the more convenient and inexpensive option for borrowers. You also get flexibility in repayments – being able to choose between 3 or 6 EMIs at nominal rates. EarlySalary’s partnerships with leading brands such as Amazon, MakeMyTrip or Big Bazaar allow borrowers to access credit directly while shopping or traveling. Online loan apps are a new-age financial innovation that are taking the country by storm!

Remember – applying for, or acquiring the wrong credit card, can prove detrimental to your finances over the long term. Take your time and do your research before you apply for a card, and you stand to benefit in multiple ways – such as better credit scores, increased spending ability, and reward points and other benefits.