Friday, April 26, 2013

Safeguard Your Money

Busy office hours. My phone vibrates.

"Hello"

"Hello, I am from XYZ insurance company. We have a saving plan for you"

"Savings plan from an insurance company?"

"Yes, sir. It gives you fantastic returns."

"But I have never heard of a saving plan from insurance company"

"Sir, actually this is an endowment plan. But it gives awesome returns. So, it is a savings plan as well. Are you interested?"

"Yes, I am interested in savings plan. But I don't want to purchase from you"

"Not from me? Why, sir?"

"You tried to fool me first. It is an endowement plan, still you tried to cheat me by saying it is a saving plan. How can I trust you?"

Phone disconnected.

A fool and his money are soon parted - so goes the proverb. In modern times, you need to be extra intelligent to safeguard your money. Too many crooks are around.One carelessness can cost a lot.

I was little bit upset when I got an SMS saying I won the big lottery. From the newspapers I have already read about such scams. They will tell you won a few Crores as lottery. They will ask you to call to a number. When you call, they will tell you you need to pay transferring charges, which is only a few lakhs. If you hesitate, they will tell you need to pay only thousands. Then you think "If I loose, only a few thousands. If I get a few crores". So, you pay. Rest is assured. Money is gone

If I am already aware of this, why should I get upset when I receive such a message? What upsets me is that such notorious people got my phone number. I need to be extra cautious. This proved true in a few days.

Some one called me while I was driving. I stopped on the side, and answered the phone. "Sir, you have won a fiesta car for the best credit card payer for 2012". Nice to hear that. But not being a big credit card purchaser, I smelt a rat.

"In order to claim your price, you need to prove your identity"

"OK, go ahead"

"Just tell me your credit card is a Visa or Master card?"

"It is Visa card"

"Absolutely right sir. Second question. What's your termination date on your card?"

I give it.

"Again, right sir. Third question. Which is your 15 digit credit card number printed on your card"

"You want my credit card number?"

"Yes"

"I will give you now. You !@#$%#$^$&^%^*"

I disconnected.

I can imagine what would have been happened, if I give my credit card number.

If you are thinking that I have narrated two incidents to prove how smart I am, I will tell you another story. This time I was cheated.

I carry lunch to office. I know it is not that fashionable these days. But for your health and money, it is a good practice. I had a beautiful lunch box, which costs nearly Rs 1,000. One day, after lunch I put it in a bag and kept in luggage room. I forgot to zip the bag. While most of the area in our office is under camera surveillance, this room is not. After work, as usual I came to luggage room and took my bag. The moment I took it, I knew it is lighter than I expected. I checked inside, and found the lunch box is gone. Gone for good.

So, be always careful with your money.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

80C Tax Saving Planner

This is the start of the financial year, and this is the best time to start tax saving planning. The section 80C of income tax act, allows us to spend or invest our money in specified categories and to get tax exemption.

Somewhere in my blog, I complained that all the newspapers, magazine, blogs publish articles on tax savings on the last quarter of the finance year, when it is too late to do any planning. So, I decided to write about tax planning at the start of the finance year.

This is the best time to start planning. To help you a little with planning I have created one excel sheet. You can download the excel sheet here.

While using this excel sheet, please note below points.
  1. The target of your investment should not be only tax saving. It should be aligned to your financial goals. However, take into account different tax saving schemes so that you can get maximum return.
  2. Please spend some time to customize this excel sheet for your needs. Do not copy blindly.
  3. The excel sheet is created based on my knowledge and experience. It is not a replacement for professional tax advice.
  4. I cannot be held responsible for any losses due to recommendation. On the other hand, I don't mind sharing your returns with me.
  5. I have not included all schemed available under 80 C. I have included only ones, which are commonly used and which are recommended by me.
Hope this helps some one. Happy investing.