Millennials Earn Less, Spend More on Themselves During the Holiday Season

Muskan, a 25-year-old photographer, has just ventured into this professional field. Her education field was psychology. But by the end of her masters, she decided to do away with it, and make a career in photography. At 25, where most millennials start earning and supporting their family, Muskan is still living off of her parents’ money. She tried being economically independent, but her expenses were simply too much and she was unable to cut down the standard of lifestyle she had maintained for so long.

With the ongoing festival season, booze, card parties, and upcoming vacations, Muskan found it difficult to keep her head above water. She realised that economic returns from this profession aren’t enough to support her lifestyle, and she had to ultimately approach her father for monetary support, something she doesn’t approve of herself.

Living the good life

Around 50% Indians spend around Rs. 500-1500 on clothing every month! Indian millennials are waking up to more brands everyday, with fashion trends swiftly changing, coupled with an increased brand consciousness. It is not difficult to fathom why their lifestyles are way over their monthly budgets. The pressures of being presentable on the  job are more than ever, and millennials are never ones to shy away from a challenge.

Holiday season leads to more spending, expenses on gifts, parties, drinks, and outfits. Holidays, festivals are mostly the time when financial planning goes for a toss, and every other individual struggles with spending decisions.

Before you know, it is end of the month, and you are frantically waiting for your salary to pay basic expenses like rent, groceries, transport etc.

Dynamic Career Paths

Folks from this generation are more willing to take the plunge more often and pursue their passion. We see a number of engineers becoming writers, civil servants giving up their jobs to pursue teaching, lawyers choosing to do public interest litigation work rather than working for a law firm.

While all of this sounds pleasantly surprising, the economic aspect of things isn’t very well taken care of with such switches. Starting a new career path without prior experience or knowledge amounts to almost no or meagre pay increments. We witness an increased dependence on credit cards, which ultimately leads to a huge statements that are difficult to pay off.

Holidays and its Hangover

The need and importance for a holistic education has risen. With every commodity hitting skyrocketing prices everywhere, education, tuitions and everything in between has started eating too much out of monthly budgets.

Considering the Indian holiday season starts from Diwali in november, and goes on till new year’s, a good chunk of spending can go unsupervised. With such a prolonged festival time, followed by holidays, budgeting can get overlooked.

Following the merry time is semesterly/quarterly submission of school and college fees.  With such an arrangement millennials looking forward to pay tuition fees of courses, colleges might find themselves in a puddle. However, a few financial constraints should never come in the way of  getting access to education millennials deserve.

Loans for short-term payment of fees should also be made available, to take the stress off of their backs. Although, there might be education loans for higher studies, such an option is hardly available on a short term basis for school/college scenarios. A few options such as – EarlySalary provides loans upto 3 lakhs in order to enable seekers to pay their college fees even with the holiday hangover just waning off. The loan repayment method is also easy, with the option of 3-6 EMIs available.

Where do millenials get the money?

Millennials generally tend to incline more towards experiences, gadgets and vacations, rather than savings. Therefore, parties, extravagant vacations and expensive gadgets take precedence with the “YOLO” generation as opposed to a retirement account or building up savings. This doesn’t leave much in their hands at the end, or sometimes even in middle of the month.

There exists enough literature on how detrimental credit cards are for spending habits, and long-term financial planning. In such cases, quick cash from EarlySalary works as the ideal solution. With the platform allowing you to shop from brands like Amazon and Big Bazaar directly by giving you a pre-loaded wallet, it’s never been easier for millenials to spend on themselves without trouble. With instant approvals and zero cost EMIs, there really isn’t much more to ask for.

How are you spending on yourself this year? Let us know in the comments!

Are you Guilty of These 15 Money-Wasting Moves? Here’s How to Stop

We all want to become master of our money instead of being a slave to our habits, but let’s admit – we all give in to a lot of temptations. These temptations may seem fine at that moment because they’re relatively small, however, if you add them all together, chances are, you’re going to find yourself guilty of wasting a significant amount of your hard earned money.

In this post, we’ll explore 15 common money-wasting moves and share the secret of avoiding these mistakes. Some tips need expenditure cuts, and other tips involve grabbing the money on the table that you didn’t realize was there!

#1 Using only one bank account for all expenditures

Money management can get tricky if you carry out all expenditures from one checking account, as often we cannot trace what’s gone where. To avoid muddling up finances, open a second account. You can allocate a fraction of your income in one account to cover all the basic expenses like rent and bills and another fraction for spending over leisure.

#2 Reserve Management

If there is one thing that stresses us all, it is our fear of drowning in debt repayments if we’re run out of our salary. Getting out of debt involves sustained disciplined spending. You can even get credit counselling to get personalized lending options. This may involve refinancing or debt consolidation which can save the interest cost that you may lose.

If you’re looking for a salary advance, check out EarlySalary – India’s first advance salary service featuring instant approvals, direct transfer to your bank account (or even e-commerce wallets), and low fees. It’s a fairly neat way to avoid high-interest debt.

#3 High insurance premiums

Many of us shell out huge chunks of our monthly pays on insurance premiums. Because, just like other essentials, we need insurance, right? Sure we do, but the insurance market is a crowded one, so it is important to find the policy that best suits you. Tax deductions and credits that you do not claim is money wasted. Take a professional’s help, compare policies & maximize your tax savings.

#4 Overspending on monthly bills and overdue

Our lives are busier than ever and among the many things that we often miss out on is the monthly payments on them. Neglecting some payments like irregular credit card bill payments may cost significant late fee charges and even downgrade your credit scores. Consider automatic payments to avoid such situations or you may even set reminders.

#5 Credit Card Fees

Many card users extend their spending limit and pay for it even if their expenditures never reach those limits. Do not use credit cards which have monthly or annual membership fees unless there is a worthy rewards program that can make up the difference, whether in terms of cash back, airline miles, or other rewards.

#6 Poor Investment

All that shines is not gold and the same is true for investment. Investment in the wrong policies can eat into your overall gains, and when you compound that over 30–40 years, your savings can even go south. You miss on the power of compounding returns if you keep it idle. However, it is critical to do some thorough research before putting money in any policy. If you cannot do that yourself, take professional help and identify the right time to invest.

#7 Impulsive Shopping

Marketing tactics are there to lure you into buying stuff that you do not need. To avoid getting tricked, plan your spendings, carry cash instead of cards and most importantly – think twice before making any purchase. If you do need some money for important purchases though – remember when we said EarlySalary even transfers to your e-commerce wallets? Check it out here.

#8 Electronic Luxuries

We all love to swank our electronic luxuries like latest phones, paid apps, digital subscriptions, etc. but sometimes this love for gadgets goes overboard and we end up regretting when we don’t use them. To avoid this, learn to resist urges and beware of free trial offers because if you forget to cancel in time, you could be wasting money for nothing.

#9 Brand Obsessions

If you’ve got a bunch of clothes collecting dust in your attic, you are guilty of wasting money on brands and fashion fads. Remember that quality clothes in classic designs reduce your clothes’ average price.

#10 Extended Warranties

Everytime you buy an electronic device, retailers go all out & hard sell you extended warranties at inflated costs. It is better to do review whether it is even needed because mostly buying a used or new replacement for your item, or repairing it is cheaper.

#11 Grocery shopping

How many times do you end up throwing extra food?  Delayed shopping & shopping with time constraints can help you cut costs of those extra items by getting you into a habit of buying more appropriately to fit your needs.

#12 Spending for the sake of coupons

If consumers think they are smart, marketers and retailers are smarter. They often trap buyers into overspending to avail of cashbacks/ coupons or gifts. It is important to compare and evaluate purchases to avoid being tricked.

#13 Wasting money on Dine-outs

If on an average you are spending 50 bucks per week on takeaways or dine-outs, it adds up 26,000 bucks in 10 years. Homemade food is not only cheaper but also a lot healthier.

#14 Smoking/ Drinking

An average smoker spends $2,292 (or about Rs 1.5L) per year and you may be shocked to find the price tag of the diseases that will follow. You are not losing days from this valuable life but also your hard-earned earnings. So stop before it’s too late.

#15 Indiscriminate use of gas

Many drivers fall for pricey premium fuel when their vehicle needs regular fuel. Opt for carpool, switch to fuel-efficient vehicle, consider walking or biking & maintain your vehicle to reduce fuel costs.

To conclude, use your wisdom, compare costs and most importantly learn to differentiate between needs and wants if you want to stop wasting money.

2019 Personal Financial Goals- Starting Fresh This New Year!

2019 is around the corner and most of us have already made new year’s resolutions. While losing weight or reducing the number of beers per week is admittedly important, setting a financial goal for the new year to come is just as important. Making a clear financial goal for the year is the equivalent of a having a meal plan on paper – it tells you exactly what to do when.

Financial Plans – The Biggest Misconceptions

One of the biggest misconceptions about making a financial plan is that you will be strapped for “fun” cash. The belief is that you will have to cut out on all your fun activities such as eating out, going out on vacations, etc. Contrary to this belief, you might be able to go out more often and enjoy a lot more as you know you’re being financially responsible.

How to Make a Financial Plan for 2019?

There are two ways you could make a financial plan for the upcoming year 2019.

  • If you’ve already got a financial plan you followed in 2018, all you need to do is update certain clauses according to the progress you’ve made.
  • If you haven’t made or followed a financial plan for the previous year, don’t worry, we at Earlysalary will do just that for you.

The thing about financial plans is that they are supposed to be tailored for you based on a lot of factors such as income, expenses, age, time to retirement, and finally, life goals. Here, we’re going to give you a rough idea of what sub-goals you should have in your financial goals for 2019.

Financial Plan – Your Personal Basket of Items

There are various aspects to be taken care of while preparing a financial plan for the entire year. Here, we’ve highlighted a few of them.

  1. Work on Saving Maximum Taxes

As a salaried individual, you have to pay taxes. The Income Tax Act of 1961 has a lot of provisions for deductions and exemptions. Use these provisions to maximize your tax savings. However, remember that tax-saving investments aren’t usually the best choice to park your funds for wealth creation, so invest only with the intention of saving tax.

  1. Maximize Savings & Create an Emergency Fund

If you’re on a fixed income from one job, the most important thing would be to save as much as you can. One must remember that “savings” is different than “investments”. For the sake of clarity, your investments aren’t liquid and won’t help you when you need money – your savings will. Hence, create a budget that focuses on maximizing saving.

  1. Track Your Expenses

The trick to maximizing your savings lies in tracking down your expenditure to the last rupee. We’re not asking you to live frugally – meet all the expenses you need to sustain your lifestyle, but we’re insisting that you track all your expenses. There are a lot of apps that help you track your expenditure through your smartphone. If you’re uncomfortable using your phone for this purpose, you could also get a pen & paper and start jotting down your expenses.

The idea behind writing down your expenses is that you will probably notice wasteful expenditure and will hopefully cut down – that money goes to your savings!

  1. Increase Your Financial Literacy

While one important part of financial planning is “doing”, learning new things is often the part we ignore. In the world of finance, nothing ever remains constant. Tax rules, investment avenues, expenses, etc. are all changing rapidly. Every year, the Indian Government comes out with a Budget which also outlines changes in taxation rules. Tax rules are your best friend, always stay updated.

  1. Invest As Much As You Can

Investments are great, in the sense that they can become a major source of passive income. For example, a mutual fund deposit worth 500,000 INR earning an average interest of 10% p.a., can yield you 50,000 INR per year. While this income is taxable, investing in specified avenues can help you save tax. As a general rule of thumb, you should be investing at least 20% of what you make every month. So if you make around 100,000 INR per month, at least 20,000 INR should be going towards your investments.

The Bottom Line

Planning your finances is paramount to leading a financially stress-free life. However, planning is just the first and easy part of the process.

Sticking to your budget and overall financial plan for the year is not as easy as it looks – it’ll take a couple of months to get everything on track, especially if you’ve been a spendthrift in the past. Do not despair if you think it’s too difficult – start with baby steps. Doing something according to your plan is much better than abandoning the thought completely.

Employee Wellness Tips for a Prosperous and Productive Year

In the context of corporate history, the concept of keeping employees healthy and happy to increase productivity at work, is relatively new. The concept of holistic “wellness” rather than just focusing on physical health is even newer. In fact, as an HR professional myself, with an experience of more than 40 years, I’ve observed that productivity of an organisation’s employees improved tenfold after we implemented a few simple ideas and policies which focused on our employees’ wellness rather than squeezing more work out of them. Here are some tips which I found useful, to keep your employees happy, healthy and productive.

1.  Physical health

Taking care of your employees’ physical health may not be all there is to their wellness, but it’s certainly an important aspect of it. After all, someone who’s sick all the time can hardly be productive. There are multiple things you can do to ensure that your employees are taking care of their health, the first of which is to give them a good medical plan. Another thing you can do is keep regular workout or fitness sessions at the workplace to keep them in good shape.

2.  A culture of communication

People always work better in environments where they feel that their opinions and thoughts are valued. Keep an open culture in your workplace, where your employees are free to give feedback; and make sure their feedback is acted upon for the betterment of your organisation. Give your employees credit for their ideas and acknowledge the work they’ve put in. If they feel appreciated, they’ll work better.

3.  Work-life balance

As the saying goes, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It also makes him unproductive and unwilling to put in more efforts. Give your employees time off to enjoy themselves, and let them have a life outside of work. Take them out for team lunch once in a while, and make sure you bond with your employees outside the meeting room. All this not only keeps them happy but also motivates them to work harder, because it shows you care.

4.  Retirement plans and financial management

Everyone thinks about the future, whether they are millennials or people on the verge of retirement. Offer good retirement plans to your employees, and couple it with financial advice and counselling to make them feel more secure about their future. Debt management services coupled with financial coaching also help your employees make their way towards financial success, and are especially useful for freshers looking to pay off their student loans.

5.  Legal insurance

You could provide your employees with a network of attorneys and legal professionals to help them out in case of any legal crisis like child custody during a divorce, a dispute with your homeowner or even all the legalities associated with buying a new house.

6.  Leaves of absence

One of the tenets of employee wellness involves making it easy for your employees to ask for a leave of absence as long as they have a good reason. They’ll breathe easier if they know they can take a leave when the need arises, without needing to jump through a hundred processes. You may want to give new parents good leeway when it comes to taking time off, and make it clear to them that they’re welcomed back to the job once they are through with their personal responsibility.

Having employees feel valued and taken care of certainly increases their output at work – and this isn’t one of those debatable concepts. Multiple studies continue to uphold what should honestly feel rational and logical. As they say – health is wealth, in case of employee wellness, their health is your wealth!

Top 5 Preschools in Pune

Preschool can seem like a daunting change, for both you and your child. You’re not sure how your child may deal with separation, or how you yourself may feel once they begin their long but essential education journey. With your child taking the first steps to discovering and moulding themselves in a way that will define their life, preschool can certainly feel like, and probably is, a crucial decision you’d want to take in the best way possible. Which is why, despite the one-way trajectory we’ve seen in school fees lately, most parents continue to hunt for the absolute best preschools for their child. If you’re in Pune, these choices can be influenced by a variety of other factors as well – such as the area of the school, its distance from your home, and much more.

Which is why we’re here to help, with our curated list of the top 5 Preschools in Pune.

#1 – Vivero International Preschool (Kalyani Nagar)

Spread over a large 10,000 square feet, the Vivero International Preschool is already established in over 5 locations in Pune – such as Kalyani Nagar, Magarpatta, Aundh, Kharadi and Wakad. It’s also appropriately named – with Vivero translating to nursery in Spanish. Unlike most education setups across the country, Vivero’s framework, in its own words, is not intended to provide strict rules about what must be taught. Rather, the framework provides guidelines for a holistic preschool education while giving educators the discretion to customise their curriculum according to the interests, needs and abilities of the children.”

Life Skills find a pleasant focus in the learning process – with activities like cooking, leadership programmes, and even civic management. Open for children between 1.5 to 6 years of age, Vivero seems to be checking a lot of boxes for parents, and the children!

USP: Vivero works on the Reggio Emilia Approach, which involves perceiving the environment as a third teacher. Thus both its indoor and outdoor spaces are designed to encourage children to learn in an optimal fashion.

#2 – Podar Jumbo Kids (Aundh)

Operated by the Podar Education Network, which boasts of a 90 year history in the education sector with over 102 schools, Podar Jumbo Kids is already a trusted name. Its extensive experience ensures that its Kondhwa branch gets the essentials right without having to experiment too much:

  • The teachers are well trained in contemporary techniques
  • Hygiene is a priority as well.
  • With imported toys and modern teaching aids, the whole process remains safe, ensuring development on all fronts for children – physical, mental, and more.

USP: Podar Jumbo Kids focuses on a wide variety of themes for children – from carefully selected diets, physical activities, multiple styles of education, and even parachute plays and aroma fresheners in its rooms.

#3 – Leapbridge International (Kalyani Nagar and Aundh)

Education brand Navneet forayed into schooling with its initiative Leapbridge in 2009, and it’s been quite the success. Already in 4 locations across Pune – Aundh, Kalyani Nagar, Prabhat road and Pimpal Nilakh – Leapbridge branches are all company-owned and do not operate on a franchise model, which should lead to tighter quality control and consistent culture.

With a curriculum designed especially for children and high hygiene and safety standards, Leapbridge seems to have a strong focus on many important parameters for the young age group. The brand claims to have evolved its own “ Holistic Learning philosophy”  that is also displayed on its website.

USP: With an adult to child ratio of 1:7, individual attention and focus for children should be a breeze.       

#4 – Kidzee (Viman Nagar)

Established nearly a decade ago, Kidzee has over 1700+ established schools in more than 750 cities. No surprises then, that its Viman Nagar branch takes preschooling fairly seriously, using the brand’s own pedagogy called iLLUME, for its educational processes. With music, GK, and dance classes – it makes for an ideal start to what should be an all-round educational journey for children. The school also conducts regular workshops, ensuring parents are in sync with their children’s progress and development plans. The brand also boasts of multiple levels of security – an important aspect in today’s times.

USP: Developed by its own, dedicated team of ‘Child Development Experts’, Kidzee’s pedagogy – iLLUME, is the only University-verified preschool curriculum in India.

#5 – HelloKids (Hardaspur)

While HelloKids operates about 18 branches in the city of Pune, it is its Hadapsur branch that seems to regularly garner praise for its quality of education and approach.  Accepting admissions in the age group of 1.5 to 5.1 years, it features a library, sports games, regular communication with parents and hygienic campus.

USP: HelloKids combines elements from Montessori, Play way, and Gurukul concepts to deliver a unique hybrid educational approach to its children.

There’s of course, a pattern you’re likely to observe in high-quality preschools. Nearly all of them tend to have a curriculum personalised for younger children, with an increased focus on all-round development instead of just getting kids ready for the education that will follow in later stages. With preschool kids in such an early phase of their life, frequent teacher-parent interactions are ideal in gaining some useful insights.

Sure, all of this may not come cheap, with such schools often requiring large amounts in fees. EarlySalary School Fees, however, puts such schools within everyone’s reach, allowing parents to pay their children’s educational fees in EMIs instead of a lump sum payment. With education easier on your wallet, there’s no compulsion to compromise on the education of your child.

EarlySalary – School FeES

The way schools operate today can make finances a tad bit more challenging for the parents. This is because many of the top schools imparting the best education require them to deposit fees quarterly or semi-annually. Add to this the cost of books, uniform, transportation, etc. and the financial burden reaches new heights. So, what are you to do if you have to pay a hefty fee to ensure that your child gets the education he/she deserves?

Well, EarlySalary has a solution just for you!

EarlySalary School FeES

EarlySalary is a unique financial product that allows you to pay your child’s school fees and other related charges payable to the school for up to an entire year with an instant loan. You can then repay the amount in small and affordable EMIs. It’s simple, convenient, and not to mention, easy on your pocket too!

Why School FeES?

School FeES is designed to streamline the fee deposit process in schools and make it easier for the parents to pay the fees without delays. It works wonders because of its following features:

A Solution Like no Other

Not only is EarlySalary’s FeES facility one of a kind, but is also easy to avail. All you have to do is download the app and register with your mobile number. You can then raise the requirement for however amount of money you need and EarlySalary will submit the fees for you on your behalf. There is no paperwork and no tedious physical forms to fill.

It’s as simple as that!

Real-time Onboarding and Disbursal

EarlySalary allows for instant registration and disbursal of loans. Once you have created an account and uploaded the required documents, you can expect to get the loan in less than 10 minutes.

Extensive Coverage

You can obtain a loan as big as 3 lakhs INR to pay for your child’s school fees depending on your eligibility. This ensures that nothing can ever come in the way of your child’s education.

Flexible Repayment, No Prepayment Charges

Repay the fees in 3 / 6 / 9 EMIs as per your convenience. You can even prepay the full amount and there won’t be any prepayment charges.

Try it Today!

As a parent, there are all kinds of things that you have to plan and manage for your children. EarlySalary just wants to make sure that you have one less thing to worry about. So, you only need to care about your child’s wellbeing and happiness, and let EarlySalary deal with the finances!

To know more, click here

How to Get More Money Back from your Tax Returns

Did this year’s tax leave you baffled?  Did you feel like you paid way too much tax? Don’t blame the government or its policies, at least not yet! You may have overlooked a few essential things when filing your tax returns, which has resulted in low returns. Read on to what they are and steer away from them!

Taxes are a complicated thing all over the world and India is no different! The Income Tax department of India allows certain tax exemptions which can help you save money on your tax returns. These tax rebates are for tax payers from all walks of life like professionals, business persons, salaried people and independent earners as well.

With a little planning you can easily get more money back from your tax returns. Here is how you can do it!

# Make Tax-Saving Investments

The Government of India has made provision for tax exemptions on certain type of savings and investment that also encourages tax payers to save more money. An individual can invest in schemes under the Income Tax Act of section 80C, 80CCC, and 80CCD, which allows a deduction of up to 1.5 lakh INR from the tax.

Throughout the year, tax payers, like you, can invest or save money in schemes like the PPF account, 5-years fixed deposit, pension plan, mutual funds, employee provident fund, life insurance policy and national saving certificate. You can either opt for one or combination of these schemes to save more money on your income tax returns. But, remember that the maximum tax exemption allowed is only 1.5 lakhs INR.

# Medical Insurance

Income tax exemption is allowed on the investment towards the health insurance policies. Under the sections 80D, 80DD and 80DDB, you can buy a health insurance policy for yourself or family members and enjoy the tax benefits that come with it.

Under the section 80D, you can save up to 75,000 INR on the health insurance or medical treatment of your dependents like spouse, children, and siblings who have disability.

Under the section 80DD, an exemption of 30, 000 INR is allowed on the medical health insurance of senior citizens above 60 years of age.

Under the Section 80DDB, anyone who is dealing with specified critical illness, can claim tax exemption up to 40,000 INR. Senior citizens above the age of 60 can claim a tax rebate of 60, 000 INR and super-seniors above the age of 80 can claim a rebate of 80,000 INR.

Phew! Too many facts you think? These are need-to-be-known though!

# Tax Savings from Business Profits

If you are involved in any business, then you need to pay a tax which is a difference between the revenue earned and expenses. But, if you want to save on your taxes, then you can invest money in stocks!

Under the Income Tax Act, Section 35AD, enterprises can avail tax benefits if they invest in new ventures. Stocks are a great way to invest money based on your long-term goals.

# Save Money Through Home Loans

If you have a home loan in your name you can save money on your tax returns.

Did you read that right? Yes!

Under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act, an individual can claim tax exemption for settling the principle amount of home loans. Additionally, under Section 24, you can also claim tax-exemption on the interest paid on home loans.

# Tax Exemption through Education Loans

Education loans are also one of the best ways to save money on your tax returns. If you have availed an education loan for yourself or any family member, you are allowed tax-exemption on the interest of the loan.

Remember that the tax exemption is only allowed on the interest and not on the principle amount, and it is for the individual tax payers only and not for the Hindu Undivided Family.

# Long-Term Equity Shares

Again, the Government of India has made provisions for tax-exemptions of long-term equity shares to encourage people to invest in mutual funds and equity shares. If you invest in long term equity shares you can claim tax exemption on the money you earn over the years.

The Bottom-Line

With the government itself coming up with several tax-saving schemes and lending you a helping hand, what’s stopping you? Make wise financial choices, save more, invest more while enjoying various tax-saving benefits!

10 Investment Mistakes Couples Make

Investments are a very important part of retirement planning. This is also a very tense area that needs to be covered by couples. There are several studies conducted that show that bad investment planning is the reason for stress between many couples. For many, investment is just a monthly expense and they don’t feel the need to give it adequate attention. Hence, they are not treated as a priority by many couples in their early years. By the time they start, too many investment plans and options exist, and the stress of their management takes a toll.

To avoid such tense situations, we at Earlysalary have compiled a list of ten mistakes that are commonly made by couples.

Ten Avoidable Investment Mistakes by Couples

1) Playing the One-Man Game

Teamwork takes the top spot on this cheat sheet, it is the key to making a successful investment decision among couples. Usually, couples forget to share their investment plans and strategies with each other, especially when there is only one person who handles finances.

But always remember under unusual scenarios (like untimely death and accidents), leaving the other in the dark can lead to serious consequences. So, make sure both partners are aware and knowledgeable about it.

2) Missing Regular Review and Planning Sessions

Investments can turn complex if not reviewed frequently. Make sure you check your investment plan and update your accounts once every month.

This not only helps you to keep a check on your finances and find unnecessary blockages, but also creates a sense of trust with your partner. Make sure that both of you agree with the strategy to avoid future problems.

3) Skipping the Long-Term Goals Conversation

Discuss what you expect from your investment in the future and how you plan to grow them. Make sure both of you give in to your inputs and the other agrees with it.

Does your spouse plan anything for that money? Do you agree? Do you think there are better plans? Make sure you clear the air between you.

4) Accepting Each Other’s Spending Habits

Spending habits is a very common reason for fights between partners. Ensure that you give enough space to your partner, but there is no harm in advising each other if one tends to over spend.

However, constant nagging may lead to distress in the relations and also impact the financial health.

5) Giving Control to One Person

In most homes, finances are handled by the breadwinner of the family. But this could be a very irresponsible mistake. To understand it simply, can a relationship work if 100% power is in one hand? Nope! Similar rules follow for financial decisions, too.

6) Handling Urgent Money Needs

Urgent money needs are common. Unexpected scenarios can come anytime so be prepared for them in advance. Discuss them with your partner and make sure you both agree with the terms.

It’s always advisable to have a corpus of your 6 months salary as “Emergency Fund” locked up safely.

7) Not Having A Solid Plan

Planning saves lives and in this case money! Have plans for your investments and if you plan to expand your family in the future, you must discuss your investment strategy accordingly.

8) Not Diving Deep

Communication is the key here. Be good at communicating and do not skip the little details. Be transparent with your investments and make sure you both agree with them.

9) Having Insurance Cover for Only one Person

Do not miss your partner if you’re handling your finances alone. It is important that both of you are covered under proper plans.

10) Jointly Handling Personal Finances

Agreed, this is contrary to what we’ve preached until now. But it is important to understand what decisions must be done separately and jointly. If you know some financial decisions are going to cause problems, then avoid them.

Plan Your Investment Strategy

Investment planning is a very essential part of any relationship. It gives you a sense of security and help the partners trust each other. But it can turn messy if not given proper attention. Avoid these ten mistakes to have a truthful and successful investment plan with your partner.

Robo Advisors on the Rise in Asia

The world is seeing technology-led disruptions across the globe at a pace that is unprecedented. From payment banks to digital wallets and peer-to-peer lending, the traditional and often conservative world of finance is being turned on its head. These changes are manifesting not just in the developed economies (United States and Europe) but also in fast-growing markets like India and China.

One of the latest innovations in Fintech is the emergence of robo advisors!

What is a Robo Advisor?

A robo advisor is a self-service investment platform that users can access through their smartphones. Not only financial advisors but smart algorithms can now advise you about which investments you should make. This automates portfolio management and reduces costs drastically.

Robo advisors started in a rudimentary way close to a decade ago in the United States with investment companies like Betterment and Wealthfront leading the way. In the past few years, robo advisors arrived in the United Kingdom and the Western Europe too amid an onslaught of Fintech disruptions.

However, it is only recently that Asia has also woken up to this massive potential of robo advisors be it in Singapore, China, India or Korea.

Why are Robo Advisors on the Rise in Asia?

Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world with high amount of disposable income in the hands of people. There is great upward mobility and many people are now becoming a part of the middle class, the mass affluent or the HNIs (High Net worth Individuals).

Assets under management in Asia have grown at a fantastic annual rate of 18% in the last 5 years to reach an estimated $15 trillion in 2018. And this growth rate will continue to hold steady over the next few years.

This makes Asia one of the most exciting markets for financial advisory firms.

Added to this general buoyancy is the general consensus that many people in Gen X mistrust financial advisory professionals, having been through two major recessions. Combined with this is the “digital-first” approach of the millennials. A survey by Bain & Company shows that a whopping 75% of millennials are willing to buy a financial product from a tech company.

All these factors together mean that there is a huge market for robo advisors in Asia, and Fintech startups and traditional investment companies are both geared up to take advantage.

Despite the promise they show, robo advisors are still at a very nascent stage in Asia. Although incomes are rising and people are upwardly mobile, most of Asia remains highly value conscious. Large scale adoption of robo advisors will depend on how much cost reduction they can really bring about and if they can manage to lower the minimum investment amounts required. Security and safety of the transactions will be another major factor in the sustained growth of robo advisors in Asia.

Although growth may be a little slower than expected, due to the various complexities in the Asian market, there is no doubt that robo advisors have massive potential in Asia which will only increase with time.

Financial Wellness & Technology- HRIA Conference, Mumbai

In a world that revolves around money, many worry about meeting their financial requirements. In fact, money-related stress is the most widely reported form of stress at workplace. Financial stress can be detrimental to the quality of life leading to reduced employee productivity, and ultimately impacting business profitability.

In a session at the recently concluded HRIA, Mumbai Chapter; Vikas Sekhri, Head of Strategy EarlySalary & Founder of CashCare, spoke with two seasoned HR professionals – Satish Mohapatra, VP HR Siemens and Naresh Taneja, GPHR IRB Infrastructure on the importance of Financial Wellness. The knowledge filled session on ‘Financial Wellness & Technology’ featured several eminent HR experts discussing the role of technology and how it has provided organizations with an opportunity to enhance employee productivity through new age employee benefit products.

Understanding Financial Wellness

In Satish’s words, “Financial Wellness means that an individual understands their financial situation and is prepared for financial ups and downs. It’s more than reading an article about taxes or retirement planning, or even having an emergency fund. Being financially well means a person understands his or her financial situation in the context of their life and goals.” Having a financial plan that an employee can follow through allows them to feel confident, handle unexpected expenses, make progress toward personal goals, and be positioned to live the life they want to live.

There are hidden costs directly associated with lack of financial wellness among employees. Some experts estimate that these combined costs can total as much as 15% to 20% of a company’s total compensation paid to its employees. Reducing these events and their associated costs even by 5% can result in considerable cost savings, improved productivity, and increased profitability.

Naresh provided a refreshing perspective by emphasizing how financial education alone is not enough to change behavior when it comes to personal finance. “Choosing and implementing an authentic, effective financial wellness solution that is the best fit for both employers and employees is a win-win: when employees have a greater sense of choice and control over their personal finances, they are happier, healthier, more productive, and more likely to stay.” Explained Naresh.

Need for a Financial Wellness Program

Mismanaged finances, unchecked credit card bills & bank debts can lead to higher level of financial stress amongst employees. With a wellness program in place, these financial roadblocks can be avoided.

The increasing focus on financial wellness in the workplace is a natural evolution of programs employers have developed over past decades to support the physical and mental health of their employees. Effective financial wellness programs can help companies significantly reduce costs, attract and retain top talent, and boost employee productivity.

By planning and implementing a financial wellness program supported by technology and human guidance, this gap the industry is experiencing can be bridged, and this bridge helps everyone. Comprehensive financial wellness programs create new revenue streams and deeper relationships from advisors to plan sponsors.

The Role of Technology in Financial Wellness

As many solution providers seek to jump on the financial wellness bandwagon, choices among financial wellness and financial wellness technology solutions are proliferating. An authentic and effective solution provides more than just education to improve employees’ financial literacy, or calculators to track spending and saving—it should also promote behavioral change for employees.

Here are few up and coming Financial Wellness offerings discussed amongst panelists:

  1. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors are basically computer programs designed to give you a curated financial plan with minimum human interference. Robo-advisors are powered by complex algorithms that auto-allocate your investments. They are a great start for people with no experience in financial planning.
  2. Dedicated Vouchers: In today’s corporate world, most of the companies are giving their employees dedicated vouchers so they spend less money. These include food vouchers by Zaggle, Sodexo, etc. These vouchers are quite widely accepted but are used mostly for purchasing meals within office premises. This greatly impacts productivity, while also encouraging employees to invest the money they save through such coupons.
  3. Salary Advances: Salary advances can be described as paying a part of the salary in advance. Usually, if salary advances are the norm, 40% of the salary is paid by the 15th of the month, while the rest is paid on schedule. Salary advances can help employees create and stick to a budget, because they receive their income twice a month, instead of a single day of payment.

EarlySalary: Your Financial Wellness Partner!

Choose Us for Your Financial Wellness Needs!

As a company dedicated to helping improve the level of satisfaction people feel about their finances, EarlySalary is a technology platform that easily assists business owners and HRs in guiding their participants to achieve financial wellness.

Visit our website and find out more.