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Home > India > Business > Business Headline > Personal Finance

4 tips to make the most of your money | April 15, 2008 10:45 IST

It's interesting how laying hands on investment-related advice, i.e. the 'dos and don'ts' of investing, is rather easy nowadays. However, there is little information available on how to make the most of one's money.

Following some rather elementary tips can go a long way in not only saving money, but also deriving maximum benefit from it. Perhaps it's the demanding nature of our everyday chores that make us overlook these tips. In this article, we discuss 4 tips that will help you make the most of your money.

1. Say no to lazy money

Leaving money languishing in a savings bank account is akin to committing a cardinal sin in financial terms. At best, a conventional savings bank account can fetch an annual return of around 3.50%.

The smarter thing to do is to put that money to use by gainfully investing it. Of course, a provision needs to be made for contingencies. However, all monies over and above that should be invested.

For example, you could consider investing a portion of your surplus monies in a fixed deposit. Typically, a 1-Yr fixed deposit with a bank could earn a return of 8.00%-8.50%. If liquidity holds precedence over returns, you could consider investing a portion of your monies in a liquid plus debt fund.

This will ensure that the liquidity aspect is not compromised with; having said that, you still have the opportunity to clock a superior post-tax return vis-�-vis a savings bank account. And should you decide to get invested in alternative mutual fund schemes from the same fund house, the simple transfer/switch facility only adds to the allure of the option.

2. Don't misuse your credit card

The credit card is here to stay. The stereotypical image of an Indian who is averse to buying on credit is increasingly becoming passe. While few would dispute the convenience that a credit card can offer, there are potential perils that you need to beware of.

For example, the option to remit only the 'minimum amount due', instead of the entire dues. This is the minimum amount that must be paid for the purchases made, to avoid a penalty on account of non-payment of card dues.

The trouble is paying just the 'minimum amount due' can be a very expensive proposition in the final analysis, thanks to the prohibitively high rate of interest on the unpaid balance, along with the taxes.

We recommend that you always pay the entire sum due on the credit card. Buying on a credit card is fine so long as you can pay up the entire bill and do so religiously.

3. Say no to penalties

The cliche goes -- a penny saved is a penny earned. And penalties are the one area where every penny must be saved. A delay in payment of utility bills (like electricity, telephone, credit card and insurance premium, among others) results in a penalty being levied by the service provider.

Given the fact that most of us have become pressed for time, late payment of utility bills is commonplace.

Ensure that you pay up all your bills on time and steer clear of penalties. Consider opting for ECS (electronic clearing service) for paying the utility bills. Apart from the convenience that the ECS mode offers, you also stand to benefit from the discounts offered by certain service providers.

4. Track your expenses

Surprised? You might wonder how tracking expenses is related to augmenting your monies. Well, the two are closely linked. Tracking your spending habits closely can go a long way in helping you acquire a better control over your finances.

This exercise can help you weed out wasteful expenditure and come up with ways and means to save money. Depending on the particulars of each case, the solution might vary from going in for discount buys to cutting down on certain expenses.

However, the 'tracking' bit needs to be done methodically and over a long period of time. Using a tracking tool like MyPlanner can go a long way in helping you understand your expense and cash flow patterns.

  • Your family's future depends on this. Read now

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