9 Financial New Year's Resolutions

Here are 9 simple and easy time-tested and proven things you can do this New Year to have a sound financial foundation. This year is going to be a splendid financial year for everyone around the world. But to make that happen for yourself you will need to have some money, a target, a plan, some discipline and lots of learning and exploring the financial world.

1. At the beginning of the month set aside money for your EMIs, utility bills, Credit cards bills etc and then start spending

Most of us feel that we are always careful while spending and it is just the rising cost of our necessities that we end up saving nothing. But it’s a wrong logic. It's proven (I can vouch for this) that once we keep funds aside for our monthly bills and fees and then make up our mind to manage our expenses within a well chalked-out budget, we surely spend less than we used to without planning. After a month or two into this routine it sort of becomes a self-challenge to manage within budgets and save more and more ( read : 16 Ways to Save Money on Groceries).

2. Make a weekly budget if your monthly budget is not working and stick to your budget come what may!

There are weeks in a month when we find ourselves sticking to the target well and indulge in pampering ourselves while still restricting to the budget. And that’s exactly when the budget plan goes down the drain! If you come across yourself getting into this indulgence, try and adopt a weekly budget at least until you are a pro in managing your finances and have saved up a little more than you targeted to.

3. At the end of the month make a note of extra and unnecessary expenses

Not all plans go as expected. And managing financials is never a child’s play. You might have an emergency or a party to attend or a wedding to go to or a visit to your home or simply have visitors/ guests. All these take a toll on your budget. Never mind with the expenses because one can never rule out exigencies. In such a case, it is advisable to calculate how much these out-of-the-normal events cost you so that in the future you can always have a back-up kitty for such unavoidable and unforeseen events.

4. Don’t let your saved money hang around in cash... put them in your account even if not investing them.

This is a very important aspect of handling your cash. Never let the saved and unspent money lay around in your wallet or drawers; you are bound to spend it off in a jiffy. Rather, at the end of the month put it in your bank account. You may opt for a separate account/ e-wallet to keep accumulating your savings from monthly budgets and keep them as you back-up kitty as I said in the previous point.

5. Start a mutual fund SIP by diverting your savings/ part of your income there

While the previous point is the beginning of digitalizing your saved money, we are now heading to investing the saved money in a mutual fund scheme as a SYSTEMATIC INVESTMENT PLAN. This not only helps you stay motivated with saving but also earns you interest of around 9% (although it is not a fixed rate and is subject to market risk). So, with this you are not just saving but also investing. Mutual Funds SIPs are the easiest, simplest and most transparent and rewarding form of financial investment. [For more understanding read articles on mutual funds on our blog].

6. Save by choosing the right insurance

As many of us are unequipped with making financial decisions for ourselves we tend to go by the advise and suggestions of the insurance companies. Although we can trust them to a certain level, it is we who must know how much we can afford on insuring ourselves and our belongings. Read and make yourself aware of the insurance kinds and options in the market and the claim procedure before deep diving. For auto insurance you can read : How to Shop for the cheapest yet best car insurance?

7. Lessen the number of prepaid cards and credit cards so that you save on the minimum maintenance charges that come with expense tracker.

In today’s world of digital banking and transactions we are lured into having a dozen accounts; some out of need and some out of fancy and curiosity. Although we must try out new mediums and applications, we must also ensure that our fancy and curiosity is not costing us. Opt for accounts that can be used for multiple utilities, opt for those with lower maintenance and transaction charges, opt for those that help you tracking your income and expenses and keep looking for rewarding and safer avenues to hold and access your money. Read more : Understanding Credit Card Billing Cycle and Grace Period

8. Sign up for classes to enhance your skills to have a growth in income

Once we step into work life we barely have the energy, time and resources to engage in enhancing our skills. Skills can be either the ones that might help you grow professionally or the ones that you have honed as a passion or hobby. Neither is worth less. You may learn/ improve your skills and out them to use by conducting workshops or classes or tutorials. Won’t these fetch you some pocket money?

9. Reassess your existing investments and Start planning for your short term and long term investments. It's better late than never!!

If you are a beginner don’t delay in planning your investments for the future because understanding and deciding how to invest your money is not going to happen in a night. It'll need a lot of learning and exploring. Or, if you have made some investments earlier on, revisit them, assess if they are performing as expected and look for better avenues to grow your money and make an investment plan for your new year!

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6 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget

In order to eat healthy first thing you need to do is make up your mind to stop consuming cheap junk foods that includes cheap meal combos at McDonalds and other fast foods.

Now proceeding further, you must be careful of your purchases at your supermarket. Cut out any item that contains added sweeteners, Trans fat and preservatives.

The next step is for you to write down expenses of your food and grocery purchase every week or month and also quantity of the item purchased. Since you are on a budget, you need to make a week’s diet chart. Plan your meals for every day of the week and implement it for a particular week. If you wish for a change in diet you can alter the menu chart while planning for the next week.

For eating on a budget and healthy we start measuring food according to nutrients per unit of money. Begin with choosing foods that offer more nutrients per consumption. To make your choice easier we suggest you some cheap and healthy foods-

Vegetables are the best source of nutrients and very filling. Amongst all, these vegetables must be a priority looking at nutrients per unit of money-
Cabbage-Cabbage is affordable and contains a lot of nutrition like vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants.
Spinach-This vegetable stands out form other leafy vegies because it is a rich source of iron and can be added in almost every dish.
Carrots-Carrots are good for the eyes. They contain vitamin A and other healthy and natural benefits.

Read More: 16 Ways to Save Money on Groceries

Like vegetables fruits too are essential because they deliver various vitamins and minerals required by the body. Our cheaper and very healthy choices of fruits are-
Watermelon-Though they seem like mostly water, watermelons are actually filled with nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. They also contain lycopene- an antioxidant that is also present in tomatoes. These antioxidants are good for the blood and skin.
Banana-Bananas are one of the cheapest nutritious fruits and can be had at any time of the day. Bananas contain a lot of potassium.
Grapes- Grapes can be your favourite because they are delicious and a great source of vitamin C.

Protein foods
Meat-Meat includes chicken, mutton and turkey foods which are a good source of animal protein.
Eggs-Eggs contain a dense amount of protein and it is recommended to be eaten regularly (everyday). Eating eggs give you strength to sustain yourself every day. Eggs don’t necessarily have to be scrambled or made into an omelette; they can be simply boiled and consumed. From health point of view boiled eggs prove to be a healthier and cheaper choice.
Legumes-Legumes are a great source of protein from plant sources, especially if you are a vegetarian. Legumes come in a large variety of beans, chickpeas and lentils. They can be added as a side dish to your every meal or you can include them in your food like adding them in soup, in your vegetables and salads. Simply they can even be boiled and consumed. Adding legumes in your food makes a variety.

Oats make a whole and fibre rich meal. Buying 100 percent oat proves to be a cheaper meal than rice and it is easy to make. Oats had with milk makes a good combination of fibre and calcium. Make a bowl of oatmeal for your everyday breakfast.

Fish is the healthiest of all animal products considering that it has got vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids like no other. Fish contains essential fats and are good for improving vision as well as the memory. Including nutrient dense fish like salmon, tuna and sardines, in your diet every week can reduce the risk of developing heart diseases as well.

Dairy products
Dairy products include milk, butter and cheese. Milk is essential for diet because it provides calcium to keep our bones healthy and strong. Milk must be preferred with meals or even as a meal. One should drink at least a glass of milk or maybe two, if preferred by them, per day. Other dairy products like cheese and butter can also be consumed but it should be natural and not processed like the ones we generally find in the market.

Also, it is important to weigh our alternatives when it comes to maintaining a budget, cut out the expensive food stuff but ensure you have a well balances diet.

Read More:
Why should you have Chocolates for Breakfast?
Simple Daily home work-out for a healthy lifestyle
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How to Change Your Bad Habits Successfully?

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Why should you have Chocolates for Breakfast?

Believe it or not, in the early 16th century hot chocolate was considered a health drink. In the earlier days before the uses of cocoa were discovered by the Spanish men, people of the older era in parts of Mexico used to boil cocoa seeds in water and drank it as a regular beverage (kind of like the hot chocolate of those days). In those days the concoction was considered an energy drink! Crushed cocoa beans were often also used for medicinal purposes. Well that was before sugar or salt begun to be added to the drink for taste and much later the chocolate that we know of today came into existence.

If you think making chocolates a part of your breakfast diet will result in gaining extra pounds, then you’re in for a big surprise. Turns out that eating a certain amount of chocolate for breakfast might just help you lose weight. This is because metabolic rate in the human body is the highest in mornings. So it might just not be harmful to divulge in a slice of chocolate cake along with your coffee for breakfast (because coffee tastes best with chocolate. Doesn’t it?).

Enhances mood
There is a reason that chocolates make you happy and it’s not just the idea of eating a chocolate.
Endorphins present in chocolates are said to improve our mood by making you happy, reducing the feeling of pain and also reducing stress levels. Endorphins are chemicals that are linked to the receptors in the brain which produce the feelings of happiness and euphoria. Chocolates also contain amino acids tryptophan which gets converted into serotonin. Serotonin is a neuro-transmitter that is said to be a natural anti-depressant.

Chocolates are a rich source of magnesium. Very few foods that are a part of our daily diet contain magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce stress by controlling the release of stress hormone-cortisol.

What’s better than to start your day with a happy mood? All it takes is a small amount of chocolate for breakfast.

Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants due to the heavy presence of cocoa content in it. Cocoa contains various antioxidants like flavonoids which include flavonols, procyanidins, epicatechins and catechins. These antioxidants play a very beneficial role by preventing our body from diseases.

Reduces heart diseases
According to various studies, consuming chocolate can reduce the risk of heart related diseases or more specifically cardio metabolic diseases by one-third. In order to know this we must understand the reason. This is how:

There are two types of cholesterol present in our body- HDL (High-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein). LDL is the bad cholesterol which clogs our arteries over a period of time. A large blockage of arteries can result in a heart attack or a stroke. To prevent this from happening HDL the “good” cholesterol helps remove the LDL from the arteries and carries it to the liver where these can be broken down and passed from the body. Low levels of HDL are linked to the increased risk of heart diseases.

So consuming chocolates can lower the level of LDL cholesterol by ten percent, lower blood pressure and also increase the HDL levels.

Improves memory and brain function
Drinking hot chocolate two times a day is said to reduce memory loss in older people and boost brain function. It was found out that hot chocolate improves blood flow in required parts of the brain. This is due to flavonoids naturally present in cocoa which protects the cells. In a recent study, the researchers found out that an extract of cocoa called lavado has the ability to reduce or prevent damage to the nerve pathways of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Hence cocoa can help prevent and slow down symptoms of cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurological diseases by taking preventive care of the brain and the nerves.

Protects your skin against the Sun
Now we have got a backup sun screen here! Antioxidants protect us here too. Flavonoids in dark chocolate absorb UV light and increase the blood flow to the skin. Also this function keeps our skin hydrated and maintains its complexion.

All in all, I would say chocolate is definitely recommended, especially if you are a chocolate lover! Safe to say, ‘a chocolate (piece) a day, keeps bad mood away

Read More:
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How to Shop for the cheapest yet best car insurance?

Recently a research study claimed that 70% of population in US,UK and Australia ends up paying more for auto insurance they should ‘ideally’ be paying. This number increases by 10% in developing and emerging markets like India, China and Brazil. This just goes on to show that we tend to get complacent while going to shop for the best car insurance and are just driven by what auto broker’s false claims. Most of the respondents of the research admitted to not being able to understand various clauses and conditions stated in their policy.

This lack of knowledge related to insurance coupled with our desire to get the cheapest auto insurance, leads to us paying for covers which are not really meant for us. This doesn’t mean we should avoid buying a car insurance but it just means we need to be extra vigilant while buying one, read more about What is covered under Car Insurance. Today I will discuss of some of the points one must consider in his quest to pay less insurance premium.

1. Learn. Research. Then buy.
Before going out to buy a policy one must sit down and list down various types of covers and services one is expecting from his insurer. Getting an insurance cover alone is not enough; one needs to go for an insurer who provides 24x7 customer service, easy claim settlements and renewal services. Apart from this one must understand which sort of covers he might not require, listing them down and getting them scrapped from the policy can save some serious bucks. (Different Types of Car Insurance)

2. Check the background of the insurer
There are some 20-25 insurers in US alone who are ready to sell their plans to you for various prices; this doesn’t mean they are all good. You may wonder why a particular insurer asks for more premium for same cover as compared to other; well it’s because there is more to an insurer than just collecting premium. A good insurer has a healthy claim settlement ratio and has a robust customer care service. In addition to it one must take a look at financial statement of the insuring company as it demonstrates who well managed it has been in its operations.

3. Getting a cheap insurance should be a motive getting a right one should be the aim.
You may get basic insurance covers at throw away prices, but they are worth nothing when you really need to make a claim. Additionally if you get a life insurance along with the auto cover, one must go for it as it really provides that extra protection against adverse events.10 Factors That Affect Your Car Insurance Premium

4. Choose the deductible well.
Deductible is the amount one has to pay before the insurance plan starts to pay, in simple words if you claim a loss of $100 and you deductible is $20, and then insurance company will just pay $80.
Increasing the deductible can reduce the policy cost to a large extent but at the time of claim settlement it may prove counterproductive. Thus one should be reasonable in selecting the deductible in the policy.

5. Take care while choosing add-ons.
Add-ons may look unnecessary to layman but they form a very important part of any insurance package. Choose the add-ons smartly and read more about them before choosing to select or ignore anyone of them. Add-ons like engine protector, zero depreciation benefit, etc can be very usual and can save us a great deal of money in long run.

I hope these tips will help you shop smartly for the cheapest yet the best auto cover.

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Telematics Insurance or Black Box Policy | Car Insurance Policy
Telematics Insurance: Advantages and Disadvantages
Common Myths about Telematics

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What is emotional analysis (EA) ?

Emotions make us humans. Denying them makes us beasts.
-Victoria Klein
Love, hate, anger, fear, joy, grief. All these emotions are a common experience that most human beings can identify with. As the saying goes, emotions are what makes us human. The emotions of love, hate, joy, anger, fear, jealousy, grief and pride are the most common feelings amongst all emotions.

Emotions are strong or intense feelings directed towards someone or something. If emotions were tangible there would be ten bags full of them. But that is not the case. Emotions can only be felt and therefore cannot be measured. Emotions are a large part of this world where we live in. It is how we humans build an understanding of the people and the world around us. If humans were not compassionate they would never feel the need to help others. In such a case every person would live an independent life and the world as we know it would cease to exist.

Here are a few things we need to consider- what would happen if one person never helped another, what if there was no feeling of joy at the birth of a child? And if man couldn’t be happy for his achievements? Then the world would be a completely different place. One that is emotionless at least.

Not a happy thought, is it? This is the reason why one needs to have emotions and it is also important understand its role in our lives. Most psychologists have tried to identify basic emotions in humans. The founder of modern philosophy, Rene Descartes identified six fundamental emotions what he called “simple and primitive passions”- wonder, love hatred, desire, joy and sadness and said that most emotions were a component of the above six. Other psychologists have also tried to identify different emotions.

Emotions can be classified with whether they are positive or negative. Positive emotions include feelings of love, joy, gratitude. These express positive or favourable evaluation or feeling. Contrary to positive emotions are negative emotions that express anger, fear, hatred and guilt. Grouped emotions constitute mood. Emotions like joy have a high positive effect and emotions such as nervousness have a high negative effect. Other emotions like contentment have a high positive affect and low negative effect. This model does not explain all moods but the basic rule is positive emotions result in positive moods while it is the opposite for negative emotions. A study of the above can help us understand employee behaviour at the workplace.

Another important aspect to consider while studying emotions and moods are the underlying factors- people, external environment etc. There are various factors that contribute to emotions and moods can vary from a person to person, their age and gender, even the weather!

Some people remain calm during times of crisis while some lose their temper at the smallest provocation. This happens because people have different tendencies to experience the same emotions more often than others. This a part of a person’s personality.There is a misconception that young people experience more positive emotions than the older ones. A study has proved that emotions tend to become more positive as people grow older. Another general misconception that exists is that women are more emotional than men. It is just that women tend to hold onto emotions longer than men do and they express it differently.

While talking about emotions expressed by employees we talk about a major part of their behaviour expressed that contradict their real emotions due to organisational expectations from them. We call this emotional labour. Employees express different emotions when they are on their job. One that is expected of them. A radio jockey is expected to be enthusiastic when he or she is on air even though he or she is not feeling high on enthusiasm on a particular day. Similarly an Air hostess has to serve the passengers with a smile even though she might not feel like it but that is what is expected of her. Sometimes people have to work with people they dislike so they fake their emotions. This is where they put in emotional labour into their jobs.

The important part about emotions is how one manages them which brings in the concept of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is about being self-aware. One can recognise their own emotions as well as understand what the other person is feeling. Also people with high emotional intelligence are good at reading emotional cues. It is a common belief that good managers are people who are high on this quality because of their ability to understand people better and are very intuitive. Sensitivity to others emotions makes them better communicators which adds to their appeal.

Good managers influence people’s emotions and moods, such as appreciating an employee’s work would lift their spirits or use humour in the right situations to create a positive environment and create an atmosphere of harmony and co-operation in an organisation.

Read More:
Things You Should Say To Your Partner Every Single Day
Do's and Don'ts while Helping a Lonely Friend
9 Tips for a Healthy Relationship
6 Long Distance Relationships Secrets
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