I’ve been following Shipra Baranwal on Twitter and Instagram for a while now and I am completely in awe of her diligence when it comes to accumulating points and really getting the best of her credit card. I’ve spoken to her a few times about what it takes to live a large lifestyle without the large expense. However, when she started posting on social media about her amazing Euro trip that cost her 10% of what it would have cost anybody else, I was hooked. I asked her to write a post for PennMoney about what it takes to travel and holiday using your credit card and taking advantage of the features of your card, and she kindly obliged. So without any further ado, here’s Shipra!
How Do I Afford Luxury Items?
Psst, this is Part 2. Do check out Part 1, here.
There’s a million dollar question. I love fashion but I’m also cognisant of the fact that I am lusting after first world luxury earning third world wages. It’s also important that I disclose that I have no financial obligations – no home loans, no car loans, heck I don’t even have rent. My expenses are usually things I buy for myself, the odd grocery trip, buying clothes/toys for my baby boy and socialising.
I’d been getting a lot of emails asking about the best apps for managing money and the best personal finance apps. I’ve tried out a whole bunch of apps and here are my favourites. My only criteria for liking/recommending an app is this: Does the app make me want to come back? Using an app to track your money requires you to cultivate the habit of recording your expenses and incomes as and when they happen. So, it is important for the app and its interface to be addictive, in a way. These are the best apps among those I tested to help you track your expenditure and create budgets. They’re all American made but they all support the Rupee symbol as well.
I completed 6 months of No-Buying about three weeks ago. During these six months I didn’t buy a single item of western clothing, shoes, bags or makeup. And honestly, it wasn’t even that hard. Here’s why –
No-Buying is A Habit
You know how they say that you need to get your head into the game if you want to be successful at taking on a diet? Because making responsible eating choices is a habit – and similarly, making responsible purchases are also a habit. I took on the no-buy because I was sick of the crap that I had accumulated over the years – I had way too many clothes, way too much makeup, way too much stuff and yet, I wasn’t happy. Every time I was tempted to make a purchase, I reminded myself of how shitty I felt when I went through my stuff and I forced myself to introspect every time I saw something that I liked –
Hello! Just popping in to say that I have written not one, but two articles on how to save money for a holiday and other holiday and travel related money hacks, for Verve and The News Minute and I’ve compiled both of them for the blog (including a bonus tip for the blog!). I feel like with the advent/invasion of social media, taking a holiday has become some kind of public outing and there’s no denying a certain kind of pressure to travel to really exotic/fancy places, which doesn’t come cheap. We travel to spend quality time with the people we want to (and ourselves) but lately, I see that people are putting on like, a show, when they go on vacation, with constant Instagram stories and facebook updates. I’m guilty of this myself and I am consciously going to avoid it henceforth – while I do enjoy sharing on social media, I definitely want to let go of the ‘upload right here right now’ attitude and enjoy the moment (by the way, if you’re holidaying in Europe, staying in the moment will also help you protect your belongings from pickpockets).
And just like that, another year comes to an end. 2017 has been a pretty eventful year for me, to say the least – I had a baby, I took on a lot of new work and finally got down to creating this blog! It’s so hard to believe that 2018 begins like, day after tomorrow.
The months from October to December mark our country’s “festive” season – where a number of religious holidays, weddings, good weather and a generally upbeat mood converge. This season sees a lot of gifting and plenty of sales both in stores and online. We are constantly told that their lives will be better if they buy X or use Y and that the happiest women are the ones who carry twenty shopping bags in each hand. While the festive season is a good time to pick up deals, remember these five rules before you check out.
Why SIP Mutual Funds?
About two years ago, I began investing a portion of my salary into an SIP Mutual Fund. I chose to invest in an SIP Mutual Fund for two reasons – the first reason was that I was investing for the long term, and so, I could take on a greater amount of risk. The second reason was that SIPs allowed me to make small investments every month, as opposed to a large one time investment (which I didn’t have the money for). I’ve been paying out instalments for 22 months now, and I thought I’d share how it’s working out for me so far.