Hi Jupiter fam,
We all know budgeting works best when we have a clear understanding of the nature and frequency of our inflows & outflows.
Let be warned this post is a lengthy one, but I feel when it comes to personal budgeting hacks, along with the conventional cash flows, we should also say about the unsecured credits and how to use them smartly for extra income.
Here I am sharing my fixed flows break ups, tools/apps I use to manage my money and the variable flows from credit cards
So to start with, here are my flows:
||Variable Trading & Misc Income
||Equity trading & MF investment -SIP on 1st, 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th & 25th of every month
||Rent & Misc expenses
||Personal Loan & Credit Card repayment
||Garbs & Household stuffs
||Cash in Savings account
In order to effectively manage and budget these flows I rely upon different mobile apps and tools.
Walnut – For keeping track of my expenses
Have been using this app for the last 5 years. It auto picks the payment details from SMS and classify according to the nature of expenses. Additionally we can also use hashtags(eg: #creditcard, #zomato) for easy filtering and ready references.
Walnut for iOS doesn’t support expense tracking
Freebird – Virtual loan book
I have given some decent amount of money to my friends. Saying so, there can be late repayments, may be even small sized partial repayments or to the extend of not paying it back! Freebird helps in tracking these irregular loan flows.
CRED – For budgeting & managing my credit card expenses
Only started to use recently, CRED gives us reminders on credit card payments and provides break up of all card-wise unbilled transactions. Also thanks to the extra cashback while making card payments through CRED.
Yaper – Enjoy float money (and extra) using Credit Cards
We all appreciate the benefits of float money. Yaper helps in getting the credit card money to our bank account by ordering stuffs on behalf for their buyers with our credit card from Amazon/Flipkart. The money, Yaper transfers to our account consists of the amount we paid plus an extra Rs 200 or more as a commission. Enjoy this float till the next billing date of your credit card.
Slice Card - For emergency fund
Slice works both as a credit card and contingency fund provider. They offer straight to Bank/Paytm cash transfer with variable interest and repayment options. The transfer is via UPI and we get instant cash to the bank account when in need.
WHAT DID I DO DURING COVID TIMES
My Credit card story…
I am quite a newbie in credit cards management. Till last year I did not have even one credit card.
Today, I have 9 cards.
2 ICICI - Coral & Amazon Pay – Both LTF
SBI Simply Click
HDFC Millennia - LTF
Standard Chartered Digismart – LTF*
Indus Inda Aura Edge – LTF & Free Priority Pass Membership
IDFC One Card - LTF Metal Card
Slice Card - LTF
I was on a credit card application spree when the economy went down due to COVID.
Many bank’s credit books took a hit and I thought it is a good time for applying credit.
I also took a 1 lakh personal loan (again an unsecured credit) @ 10.99 from Kotak during the same time.
Though these frequent credit enquiries did affect my score back then, but it has become better now.(CIBIL 770).
To summarise, managing several credit cards can be quite a challenge for an individual, but if used smartly, having more than one card can also be a boon. Credit cards help in rolling the money and is an advantage in personal budgeting. Also, multiple credit cards give more card-related perks and benefits, in the form of cashbacks and rewards. And needless to say, thanks to Yaper I can now make use of my extra float money to cater my various other requirements.
*PS: Though Standard Chartered DigiSmart is not a straight LTF card, but we can waive off the Rs 49 monthly fees (Digismart doesn’t charge yearly fees) by spending Rs 5,000 in a calendar month. I achieve that by transferring 5,000 to Paytm and takes that back to the Bank and invest the same in Mutual fund. Recently noticed, Paytm is not levying charges for bank transfer.
Aside to say, for NPS monthly payment, I have added NPS as a biller in ICICI iMobile app and use the ICICI Amazon pay card for payment. Though there is a charge of Rs 25, but Amazon gives cashback that very well covers this charge.
AND NOT JUST CREDIT CARDS
I also opened an IDFC Niyo account during the lockdown time.
Got a zero balance, LTF debit card with the benefits of both Niyo (Niyo is a Bangalore based Fintech co) & IDFC Bank.
IDFC gives us the best interest rate of 6.75% on savings account for balance <1 lakh and 7% for >1 lakh.
Also this Niyo card comes with zero forex mark up fees for international transactions. Works perfect as a debit card in India and as a Forex card in foreign countries. With the help of GPS on the phone Niyo app identifies the location and enable us to do offline transactions in foreign countries in their currency with the real time VISA conversion rate. Also, used this card online on Duolingo and Ali express with no extra charges, sweet…!
So this is my budgeting and money management story.
Not any mind blowing ideas, just sharing what I do