Recently, I was invited to attend an event at Society of Grownups. As the name suggests, the theme of the discussion was around things that catapult you into the grownups-zone. One of the topics being, as non-sexy it might be – MONEY!! This makes me realize, that although we don’t talk about it much – it sure is a topic on everyone’s mind. And so I decided to share a few tips, some thoughts and a tried and tested tool with you all.
Tips: This is probably the best piece of advice that I ever received. It was an email that mom sent to me when I was graduating from grad school and was going a little overboard with shopping for handbags from my first real salary. Sharing mom’s email verbatim here. I will not deny that I rolled my eyes at her email then =)) ( thata was 10 years ago – but now I cannot stress enough how much I value this advice and use it a guideline for making any big financial decisions )
Email from mom: There is a saying, “The art is not in making money or relations, but in keeping it”. We all believe in human relationships. We try our best to invest in our relations and then save them because we know relationship is an investment that will build as we continue to devote our time and effort. The more we put in, the more we’ll get back! We all look for means to expedite our work so that we can save those few minutes here and there. We all make efforts to save our designer dresses and shoes so as to keep them for long. So if saving relations, time, or our other material things is that important then why not give some thought in saving the most important resource which is essential for living – Money! Many people take no care of their finances till they come nearly to the end of it. So remember, we must gain control over our own finances or the lack of it will forever control us!
Thoughts: The mister and I recently became first-time homeowners and are slowly learning the financial management ropes that comes along with that territory. Your financial management changes drastically when you realize the various buckets your money will be going towards. Understanding the minute details of all buckets where you are putting your money and being diligent about savings are factors that can make you feel in control – on this otherwise confusing ( and scary ) topic.
Tried and Tested Tool: One of the top 3 expenses of being home-owners is undeniably insurance. When we were planning to buy a house ( and become first time homeowners ), the mister and I sat down and spent extensive amount of time researching and getting an idea of how much would be our monthly expense tied to the house. Mortgage and property taxes aside, I was shocked at how much home owners have to set aside for insurance. Now add car-insurance ( times two). What was more surprising to us was how much people overpay for insurance policies because they didn’t do their research right to begin with. Last month, we got to try Your Poncho – an online tool that evaluates your existing insurance policy, finds potential gaps and helps you save plus get better coverage. When we submitted our existing insurance, waiting for the evaluation was like waiting nervously for exam results. After all the pressure we go through with our initial research/shopping around while looking for an insurance, understanding ( or rather not understanding ) coverage details – if someone tells you they are going to help you ensure that you are paying the right amount and getting enough of the coverage you would ideally need – well that’s just wonderful! Ofcourse I want to know how I did in that exam – and moreover make any required corrections… STAT! ( going back to my original point – save money wherever possible! )
After uploading our existing coverage details online on the YourPoncho site, within a day we received an insurance analysis. The email outlined our coverage in non-technical terms and clearly pointed out areas where we had done good, areas that might have over-coverage. We actually had fared rather well (know the feeling when you realize that you passed with flying colors? ) There was a human touch to the entire process which made it seamless and we got our questions answered on time. There was no unnecessary selling of additional services – just minor recommendations, no pressure. Just the way I would want to work with someone!
I am particularly very happy because lately like I mentioned above, after becoming homeowners, we are constantly concerned if we are paying the right interest rate, or are paying the right insurance premium ( and not overpaying any where ). So having experts review our plan and policy was very helpful.
This is something I would recommend you to try, if you’d like an expert set of eyes to help you evaluate your existing policy ( or if nothing – re-validate what you have ).
This post is in partnership with YourPoncho. All opinions are my own.