Gruhini’s Gifting Guide

A Perfect Dress, A Perfect Gift, and A Perfect Movie for a Great Christmas Holiday

Christmas and New Year’s is the time it’s difficult to control your urge to spend. You would probably hop from one mall to another to buy a perfect party outfit or you might be sitting on a couch to grab deals on Google’s online shopping festival (GOSF). Those with kids would have a long Santa Claus gift list to be done. If you are going crazy organizing all of this, follow The Great Gruhini’s three tips for a hassle-free preparation for the festivities.

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Photo Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net
Dress up to Kill with International Labels
Looking for a bright red cocktail dress for 31st night or a sweater dress for an office bash? Check out Macy.com, America’s largest retailer. During festival sales, there is a virtual stampede to get into its stores. Very few are aware that Macys.com is shipping to India also, although shipping charges are applicable. The site layout is simple and lets you decide quickly—women’s clothing is categorized according to size, occasion. For the brand savvy people, it has its online designer store too, Bloomingdales.com 

Get Santa Claus Home or Gift a Spa, a Salsa Class  

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Photo Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net
Its the great time to show you love and affection for your family.

Get a friend or boys in teens in your neighborhood to dress up like Santa Claus and give away goodies to your children. Or if you are in Delhi and nearby areas, hire a Santa Claus from Excitinglives.com for Rs 3450 and co-ordinate for gifts you want him to give away.

There is nothing like gifting a golf lesson, salsa class to your extended family members or for that matter indulging in a spa treatment for the two of you by gifting a spa package through Delightgifts.in. Call in parents or family to babysit kids and then you acknowledge their gesture by gifting them a fine dining experience at Taj.

While these gifts will reduce your bank balance, but it will be worth the happiness you get to see, so go ahead and don’t think twice!!!

Must Watch Christmas DVDs
Not getting any hotel reservations for 25th or 31st? Get a Plan B in place now. Order these classic Christmas Movies before they are out of stock and enjoy your Christmas vacation on the couch!!!

For Kids

Scrooged (1988): Based on Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” in a modernized version starring Bill Murray.  (Amazon.in Price: Rs 125)

 A Christmas Story (1983): A heartwarming tale of a 10 year old wanting a gun for Christmas and how he runs a campaign to convince his parents.  (Ebay.in Price: Rs 1393)

 Elf (2003):  Will Ferrell is hilarious as an overgrown Santa’s elf who moves out into the real world. (Ebay.in Price: Rs 1300)

For a Romantic Evening:

Love Actually (2003): Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Rodrigo Santigo – all make for great eye candy for the ladies, and it has got a killer soundtrack! (Ebay.in Price: Rs 1026)

For Action Junkies:

Die Hard (1988): 40 stories of sheer excitement where a New York Detective John Mclane (Bruce Willis) battles 22 terrorists armed with nothing but a handgun, and his sense of humour on a Christmas eve. (Ebay.in Price rs 359)


(DVD Prices mentioned depending on the availability on the online store)

Have a Merry and a Moneywise Christmas !!!

The Great Gruhini’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams

Hello Gruhinis

Are you planning to do something on your own, or planning to quit your job and start something afresh?

Here are 7 crucial success tips from 2 women entrepreneurs who left their jobs, started out on their own and are doing well in their business.

Read the story of Sandhya Sadananda and Sanjana Vinod and their success tips here

http://idiva.com/opinion-work-life/how-to-turn-your-hobby-into-your-dream-job/26035

Introduce your Children to Secret Millionaires Club

Hello Gruhinis

Hope you are following your Gyani Gruhini’s tips on  giving money lessons to your children. I just came across another fun way in which you can teach your children about things like how to earn money, how to use credit cards. 

The next time your kiddo wants to take away your tablet or iPad, get him or her hooked on to Secret Millionaires Channel on Youtube. This channel has an animated video series, Secret Millionaires Club, in which World’s richest and the Successful investor Warren Buffet advises four youngsters about how they can run a business and gives valuable money lessons in the process.

Warren Buffet along with other foundations in US have devised kits, books and the above mentioned DVD series for parents and children. Learn more about it here.

How I wish India’s wealthy investors or the financial institutions could think of making something like this for our younger generation.

Your Gyani Gruhini will be back shortly with a profile of another Money Savvy Mom !!! 

Gyani Gruhini’s Guide to Smart Investing

When I started writing this blog, I asked my gruhini friends “So what would you like to read in a personal finance blog?” “I want to know the best investment option today?” said one. Another friend asked “where should I invest when economy is doing bad?” Yet another one who works from home asked about investments which give maximum tax benefits. You can bet on this, if they had 10 seconds to talk to Warren Buffet, the World’s richest and the legendary investor, they would have bombarded him with same query.

I thought hard. But I couldn’t sum up a list of investments that will work for a friend who is an entrepreneur, for a friend who is a senior marketing manager in the radio industry and a friend who does research work from home. The friend who works from home has a 11 month old daughter; the entrepreneur and the other friend are moms to boys aged six. Our tax status is different and I know for sure that our aspirations are diverse. So how can our choice of investments be same?

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Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

No, it can’t be same. Where your friend puts her money can’t decide what you are going to do with yours. It can’t be guided by what Gyani Gruhini says, nor can it be guided by the year-end or anniversary issues of magazines that run specials like “best investments for 2013” A tax friendliness of an investment opportunity cant be the only reason too.

Our investments ought to depend on our end use of the money or our financial goals. What would you like your money to do for you? Is it to fund your child’s dreams of becoming an aerospace engineer or your daughter’s destination wedding or to live a retirement life on an island in Maldives?

How many years down the line will you need that money?

Ever thought on these lines? Probably not as we spend more time in the mall for the much hyped festival sales than trying to know more about what a particular investment opportunity offers. Or some of us just see how much tax will be saved in it.

Fellow Gruhinis, it’s time we take charge of our family goals and align them with our existing or future investments. If you are not the one in charge of family finances, sit down and list it in your diary or save it in your reminder app on the phone. The next time the husband takes stock of family finances, do this little exercise of aligning your goals and investments. He will be impressed with your skills!!!

Here is how Gyani Gruhini does this exercise for her family finances.

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A. Set your goals today

First thing I would do is to list down my goals along with the time frame.

Goal 1: Vajra’s education, 16 years from now

Goal 2: A holiday in South Africa’s Jungles or Kerala’s backwaters, 8 months from now

Goal 3: Own a beach bungalow in Goa, 20 years from now

B. Choose your investment and link them to the goal 

I know my destination and I know the time in which I want to be there. So I will chose investments which match this time frame

Goal 1: Vajra’s education, 16 years from now

Long term goal needs long term investments: Invest Rs 2,000 monthly in Public provident fund and Rs 2000 in an equity fund through a systematic investment plan (SIP)for at-least 13 years.

Open the PPF account or a mutual fund SIP (or whatever other investment option you may chose) in the child’s name. Believe me, it will be a great deterrent for you to not to withdraw that amount. A friend of mine started doing SIP in funds in both son and daughter’s name when they were just few months old. It worked for him as he felt embarrassed to withdraw that money whenever his monthly budget fell short.

Short term goals needs short term investments- For my goal of vacationing abroad or in Kerala’s backwaters, I have promised myself to spend less time shopping in malls or even clicking on online retailers emails about festival dhamaka offers. Spending less now to spend more in future is one way of meeting short-term goals. The other way is to pick investments, which mature or can be withdrawn closer to your short-term goal.

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Courtesy: freedigitalphotos.net

Every two-three years from now I will review if my SIP investments for my son are giving good returns otherwise I will switch to another fund. Atleast two years before he is ready for college, I would withdraw this SIP investment and keep it in a 2-year fixed deposit. When it’s time to run around for college admissions etc, I will have a tidy pool in FDs and PPF.

If the investments are done in an avenue such as real estate, be ready to sell it much in advance before you need the money.

Hope you liked Gyani Gruhini’s quick guide to smart investing. Always remember the golden rules:

Set a goal, choose an investment and link it to a goal, and review it before you forget about it.

Feel free to write to me at thegreatgruhini@gmail.com 

You are a Financially Intelligent Parent

Hello Gruhinis, Pat your back. You deserve kudos for the survey (Click here if you missed it)

According to Jon Gallo and Eileen Gallo, the creator of the survey, if you responded in negative to 8 of the 10 questions, you are what they call a “Financially Intelligent Parent”.  The survey results show that most Gruhinis had a negative response to 7 of 10 questions.

100% of the Gruhinis said they don’t use money to bribe kids or buy them stuff if they feel they are neglecting them. Only 33% said they had difficulty saying no when their kids asked for money.

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But don’t let these results elude you. Let’s analyze results closely- 55% Gruhinis admitted to having unresolved money issues, but 89% are confident of having goals and plans in place to educate kids about money and passing values through their money behaviours.  That’s a decent target to have, but let’s first resolve our money habits too, isn’t it?

Chart_Q1_131009 (1) Chart_Q2_131009 (1)

Jon Gallo and Eileen Gallo also believe that we as parents need to understand our money beliefs first. “The financially intelligent parenting isn’t an inherent skill. Our own parents’ money issues combined with societal attitudes have shaped our money beliefs and behaviors, and they have not always shaped them in ways that benefit our children” says the couple who has been advising American families, financial advisors and parents on the issues of financial literacy. 

 So, Lets understand our money beliefs first before we set out to share it with our children !!!