Tuesday, January 10, 2017

5 Mistakes You Must Avoid While Using Your Credit Card

5 Mistakes You Must Avoid While Using Your Credit Card

I hope you have a credit card for sure. Many banks are providing free credit cards.

You know one thing, the usage of credit cards has increased up to 50% in the last five years. There are 2.64 crores credit cards are in usage currently. After this demonetization in India, the usage of credit cards has also increased slightly.

Though many of you have debit cards, we tend to use credit cards along with them without knowing the mistakes we commit when using them.

One and Only Credit Card

Credit card is only for very emergency purposes. Generally, for various shopping activities, your Debit Card is enough. You can have one or two credit cards along with your debit card, but not more than that.You must remember that you have to pay your dues on credit card within a specific time.

If you want your family members to use your credit card, it is better to get Add-on card for your credit card rather than getting another credit card. Think well!

Also Read: A Case Study: Will Provident Fund enough for your Retirement Needs?

The Credit Limit

You should have certain rules while using your credit card. You should not get addicted to the 50 days credit limit, reward points, cashback offers and other benefits of using your credit card.

The very important thing in credit card is the credit which they give you to spend. It is around 2 lakhs to 3 lakhs for professionals. It is advised to have only the balance money you have after spending for a month as credit limit. For example, if your salary is Rs.25,000 per month and you have Rs.5,000 saved after all expenses, then the optimal credit limit for your card is Rs.20,000. If you have very high credit limits, then you need to spend carefully.

Linking Your Credit Card

Don't link your credit card with any of the online services or wallets. Because, when you spend via debit cards, you know how much money you have in balance. But when you spend through credit cards, you don't know.

If you have more credit limit, due to your interest in shopping, you will spend more money unknowingly. Later you will fall in the trap of liabilities.

If you want to link, then link your debit cards. So that you will be cautious on how much money will be deducted and how much you have to spend after that.

Using Credit Card at ATM's

Do you know one thing? The debt interest and the service charges for credit cards is higher if you use it to withdraw money from ATM than using it to purchase things.

Don't use your credit card to withdraw money from ATM. Even if you do so, repay it within the 50 days time gap. If you fail to do so, you would end up paying extra fine and high interests for that withdrawn money.

Say NO to EMI

Most credit cards offers to convert the debts into easy EMI's if you spend more than Rs.2,000. But it is a very wrong move. Because, when you buy 3 things, say, for Rs.5,000, Rs,6000 and Rs.7,000, you can still convert these three spendings into easy EMI's of 3,6,9,12,24 months. What happens here is, you tend to choose the highest month EMI (like 24 months) as you will be paying very low EMI every month. But, you will end up paying only EMI's every month and you can't come out of your debt. It's advised to choose the lowest monthly EMI or the best option is to avoid EMI.

Conclusion

Having a credit card or not using a credit card is a decision which you must take. Use wisely knowing the risks of using credit card, so that you don't fall in the trap of debt.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Will Provident Fund Help Your Needs Post Retirement?

Will Provident Fund Help Your Needs Post Retirement?

We start earning at the beginning of our 20's and spend a part of it for our current needs. Some amount of money will be invested or move it into savings account. For savings or investing the money, we have many options in today's world. The one who is in a permanent job mainly chose to have faith on Provident Fund only.

In the financial year 2015-2016, PF gave interest at the rate of 8.8%. In the current financial year, it is expected that the interest rate for PF will decrease. For the upcoming years also, it is expected that the interest rate for PF will gradually decrease.

In current scenario, even if a person earns Rs.25,000 or Rs.30,000 per month, his/her basic salary will be very less. From the basic salary, 12% will be contributed by the employee and 12% will be contributed by the company towards provident fund. Generally, provident fund is contributed for up to a basic pay of Rs.15,000 only. For basic pay which are greater than Rs.15,000, provident fund is not taken. So, even if you earn Rs.1 lakh, Rs.1,800 + Rs.1,800  (Rs.3,600) only will be contributed towards provident fund. And also, employees can voluntarily contribute towards provident fund (Voluntary Provident Fund).

Even though, if you do not take money from your provident fund (like for marriages, school fees and other emergency needs), the amount which you get at your retirement is very low only.

Practical Case Study

Let us assume that your age is 28. Your retirement age is 58. Therefore you have 30 years for your retirement. And you save Rs.3,600 in your provident fund. It gives an interest rate of 8.8% per year. Thus, your maturity money from your provident fund at the time of retirement will be Rs.56.73 lakhs. Look at the table below for your understanding.
Investment Type Expected per Annum Income Monthly Savings in Rs Maturity Amount after 30 yrs
PF/VPF/PPF 8.80% Rs.3,600 Rs.56,73,154
Equity Mutual Funds 12.00% Rs.3,600 Rs.1,04,25542
If you make the same investment amount in Equity mutual funds, then you could see that the annual income is 12.00% (even higher returns are also possible). You will get approximately 84% more returns from your equity mutual funds.
After seeing the above table, you could ask "So no need to invest in provident funds?". The answer to this question is "Don't invest more money on your provident funds". There is no doubt that provident fund is a more secured investment type. This type of investment should be made by everyone. Invest the money in provident fund which your company fixes as maximum match amount. But, investing your surplus money (not urgently needed) in equity mutual funds is the correct. Look at the another scenario (case study) how you could do it.

Taking a case study of a model family in which the familyman's age is 30. First child's age is 2. The needs of family, how to invest money is described through table 2. This must give you an idea on how to make investment plans for a normal family.
Need for Investment Money Needed at Present Years in Hand Money needed after yrs (column 3) incl. 6% inflation Monthly Investment PF/VPF/PPF (8.8% returns) Monthly Investment in Mutual Funds (12% returns)
College Fees Rs.10 Lakhs 15 Rs.24 Lakhs Rs.6,911 Rs.5,358
Marriage Rs.15 Lakhs 23 Rs.57.5 Lakhs Rs.7,053 Rs.4,565
Monthly Pension Rs.20,000 28 Rs.1.02 Crores Rs.13,377 Rs.7,659
Some employees take out the money in provident funds for buying new houses or flats. We can't say that it is wrong. Actually, you will get two advantages for Purchasing houses or flats through provident funds. The first advantage is that you will get a house or flat for residing, through which the money spent on house rent will be saved. The next advantage is that you will have your own house at the time of your retirement.

At the same time, the very important thing to note is that, you could invest the saved rent amount (or money greater than that) can be invested in provident fund or voluntary provident fund. Thus you will get more matured money at the time of your retirement.

Conclusion

Though Provident Fund, Voluntary Provident Fund and Public Provident Funds are more secured way of investment types, they give very less returns on long term. Therefore, young investors should invest less money on the above investment types and more money should be invested on Equity Mutual Funds. Those who need money in emergencies and those who are nearing their retirement should invest more money towards PF/VPF/PPF and less money on equity mutual funds.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Content Marketing – Digital Advertising Evolution for the Next Decade

Content Marketing – Digital Advertising Evolution for the Next Decade

Content marketing has existed in one form or another for ages. In recent years, it has achieved an even stronger presence in every brand’s overall marketing strategy. Traditional advertising tactics have become insufficient with buyers relying more on online reviews, articles and blogs for product information. The industry has caught up with the shift in buyer preferences and online marketers are churning out content at an ever faster pace to meet the prospective customer’s insatiable thirst for knowledge.

On the other hand, not all organizations are experiencing the desired results despite their heavy investment in content marketing. The truth of the matter is that quantity does not equal quality. You need good, relevant content that carries value and truly embodies the company’s essence, in order to draw-in new buyers and retain the existing ones.

However, in today’s saturated market, simple content marketing practices just won’t cut the bill. Merely producing new content and posting it is not perceived enough to get plentiful views and attract prospective customers. It’s time to adopt a new approach content marketing by reworking on its fundamental principles to better suit your marketing needs.

Step 1: Get to Know Your Audience

Get to Know Your Audience

Content marketing strategies are more focused towards content value than products or services being offered by the corporation. So knowing your audience can become the key to leading a successful campaign. Hold one-to-one interviews, focus groups, surveys, questionnaires and online forums – or reach out to people with customer-facing roles within your company to organize a thorough research. These activities can help get answers that may enable you to narrow down your group of audience. Try to get answers to the following questions:

  • Who are your current customers and what is their motivation behind the purchase? Are they satisfied?
  • Why your product/service has no value for non-buyers?
  • How does your image stand against your competition?
  • What are the different characteristics or features of your product/service? Is there room for improvement?
  • What is your selling point and how can you bring it into focus?
Your research should comprise of both – qualitative and quantitative data.

Step 2: Give an Identity to Your Audience

Give-an-Identity-to-Your-Audience

What is the nature of your audience? Piece together similar characteristics from your research to give a face to your ideal target audience. This will help to give your thoughts a concrete foundation and make it easier for you to recognize the needs of your clients.

Step 3: What is the Purpose and Worth of Your Content

Purpose and Worth of Your Content

It is vital that you have a documented strategy in place so that your marketing team has a clear sense of the tone/message of the content. Also, establish a list of fundamental objectives of your campaign that could signal its success. Marketing Wind is an exceptional website with highly comprehensive content marketing services that can assist you in strategy building and implementation.

Step 4: Circulation of Content

Circulation of Content

You are less likely to lose existing members of your audience if maintain a stable stream of fresh content ideas and have a fixed schedule for your posts. Finding the right mix of content that is agreeable to your audience can be a lengthy process. But keep notes on what kind of themes are bringing in more audience and work along those guidelines.

Step 5: Systematic Layout of Content

Visualize arrangement of content on your page according to the latest trends, the nature of the content and the freshness of the post. For instance, you can designate the shorter and simpler (but still engaging) content for the first few pages of your site. Save the time consuming and more complex reads for the end pages.

Conclusion

These essential guidelines could set you off on the right track to breathe new life into your campaign. It while render your content more accountable and giving it the right features for revenue generation – i.e. promoting your product/service through content value and educating the target audience.

This post was contributed by Komal Parveen, CEO of Marketing Wind and is an experienced SEO Outreach expert and advertisement specialist. Her interests lie in Digital Marketing Management. She is an internet marketing enthusiast and her specialty is in search engine optimization outreach and content marketing.