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.
Last month, I had a small article published in The Hindu Weekend, about the Valentino shoes that I had purchased during my holiday in Spain. This was more personal, but I had a draft that also went deep into the money aspects of it. So I thought I’d expand on it and publish it here! I’ve split it into three parts – the where (the cheapest place to buy luxury goods), the what (deciding what kind of luxury goods to buy) and the how (saving for luxury goods).
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.
Sale season just doesn’t seem to end, does it? If it’s not an end-of-season-sale at a high street retailer like Zara, it’s an exhibition featuring cool indie brands or boutique selections from other parts of the country. There’s always something that you want to buy or need to have. We seem to be constantly bombarded by desire and it is so exhausting just to keep up. The advertising during sales also feed into existing temptation – it’s always like, look how much money you’d save! And you believe it and literally buy that sentiment of ‘saving’ money during sales – except you’re not saving money.
I have been paying a lot more attention to our living space the last year or so. I think it’s a combination of having a mess-loving baby and growing old, but seeing our apartment being turned upside down on a daily basis has pushed me into finding ways into having a home that’s accident-free, clean and safe (and pretty!).
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 –
One of my resolutions for 2018 was to make my period as eco-friendly as possible. It took about 9 months for my period to return post-baby and I had initially purchased the Eco-Femme Cloth Pads (which were a great alternative to regular pads) but it wasn’t long before I was informed about the sustainable period miracle that is the menstrual cup. I got a lot of recommendations for the Boondh Cup, which I ended up purchasing. It took me a few months to figure it out so I thought I’d share my thoughts here.
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).
I bought myself a pair of Crocs a few months into my pregnancy. The flats I’d been wearing until then were comfortable before pregnancy, but a few months in, I found myself having pain around my soles because I needed more cushioning. I wasn’t a fan of the design by any means, but they were incredibly comfortable and I wore them through my pregnancy and beyond, ugly design be damned.