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Early Childhood pampered by our parents

This is the time we don't understand the value of money and more often than not, we are also pampered by our parents and relatives.

Education - Key to success

We continue to live on our parents efforts but build a foundation for our career. Education and Graduation dependent on individuals interest and affordability.

We have started earning after graduation!!

Well, we are less dependent on our parents, now that we have started earning. Starting a family and Pampering our children is part of this phase.

Older we are, Wiser we get

We get older, children start schooling.Time to think about loan payments, savings for retirement, we earn, spend on necessities and we save the rest.

Finally the day has arrived and start enjoying retirement

Retirement reduces our needs but not expenses. The extras that we saved supplement the social security and pension and keep us flying till the END!!.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Shave or Crave movement - BlogAdda.com

I have been married for over 20 years. Before marriage, I have seen pictures of my fiance with unshaved facial hair. I always felt it makes a man look much older then they actually are. I had a few frank conversations with him on this subject (Shave or Crave). As our marriage day approached, I was very nervous and the D-day arrived. To my surprise, there I see my fiance clean-shaven and my joy knew no bounds. After the marriage I thanked him for his gesture and told him he can go back to his old ways of not shaving, if he chooses to. But he didn't and till this day, he religiously shaves everyday.

This post is a part of the 'Shave or Crave' movement in association with BlogAdda.com

Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Perfect Look

The Shoppers Stop Perfect Look

 It is the festive season and everyone wants to get that festive look. There is so much traffic on the road, particularly before Diwali and it made me think why not shop online? Well I could do that from my cool comfortable bed, but was thinking, will I be able to get the right looking attire without feeling the cloth in a shop? I decided to give it a try and headed to http://www.shoppersstop.com on the internet highway.

There you go!. I got the perfect look I wanted in under 15 min at shoppersstop.com. Feel free to drop in your comments while I shop at http://www.shoppersstop.com for my family.

PS: This post is a part of IndiVine's the Shoppers Stop Perfect Look contest and is not a sponsored post.



Saturday, 8 September 2012

Where to go for Christmas holidays! Think no more... Its Melbourne

I have lived, worked and slept in many countries (and continents), mostly the Europe's and Americas in the west and Singapore in the east. I have only read about and dreamed about the continent I never visited, Australia, more specifically state of Victoria and Melbourne. Cricket is definitely a binding force which even the most intelligent American or the Swiss (or probably most of Europe with the exception of UK/Ireland) don't understand. The tall buildings, roads, or the markets, all exist everywhere not just in Melbourne but Melbourne is special. It has a rich culture, and the attraction that possessed my heart.

What will I do in Melbourne? Well, a visit to MCG is well worth the time and effort for someone from the city which boasts of Chepauk. Being a book lover and an avid reader, I would love to visit the Federation Square Book Market and my daughter loves books written by Australian authors and the variety of cuisines served in the restaurants. Isn't this start of a great Vacation? And when is the best time to visit? Well, it's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!.

http://www.visitmelbourne.com/in  This post is written as an official entry to Indivine Blogger Contest titled under "Its your time to visit Melbourne now" 



Monday, 4 June 2012

Garbage Segregation and Recycling

Effective Waste Management is very important to keep our earth Green. Garbage segregation  is the first step in this direction. There are different types of wastes like Wet and Dry or Recyclable, Compostable and Residual waste. Apart from these some wastes can be toxic.


Whichever way we look at it, we should reduce the waste by reusing as much as possible. The most effective way to manage garbage is to reduce the amount of garbage. By segregating garbage and handling the segregated garbage professionally, we can use compostable garbage enrichen our soil, recyclable garbage reduce our overall requirement (metals, paper, plastics can be recycled) of the source for these materials. By carefully handling the toxic and Bio-medical wastes we can reduce ill-health due to the effects of these wastes on human health.


Friday, 1 June 2012

Community Portals - USA

There are niche products coming up which help communications within communities. There is a portal in US which is trying to do exactly the same. The one I am looking at today is http://nextdoor.com. Nextdoor.com is a private social network for you neighborhood.

You can create a neighborhood for you and invite your friends in the neighborhood to join. You have to get a minimum number of people to join your neighborhood in Nextdoor.com and if doesn't happen, then site gets closed and another person could try to start the neighborhood.

Please try and comment your views on the site.

Friday, 25 May 2012

New Apartments in Chennai

There is no guarantee the below info are correct. These have been taken from different sources and not from the builder.

Grand Residency   
Grand Residency, Velachery           Pacifica                         Project Oakwood
3/4 BHK Res Apts & Duplexes           Padur, OMR.                 Price: Rs 4,019/sqft
Price Starting at Rs 7500/sqft             Price Rs 2990/sqft


    
Imperial Towers      IP Housing (1 BHK)         Hiranandhani Upscale
Call for Price         Kelambakkam, OMR          Egattur, OMR
Possession by       Price Rs 2,595/sqft               Call for Price
Dec 2013 (Approx)                  


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Another blog on online shopping

I was lazing through some google searches. I hit upon this blog which makes good reading. Click the link http://www.myfirstapartment.com/2012/02/the-best-online-home-goods-deal-sites-what-you-need-to-know/. The thing that I like in the article is "spending money on a good deal is still spending money. If you are trying to save, the best way to do that is by not spending money, even if you’re getting a deal.". This is my idea too but who will tell this to my wife and children? This is the toughest task.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

How to buy an Apartment

Gone are the days of excess liquidity. These days liquidity is tight and that gives an opportunity for buyers in India to find the right property at the right price. The builders are sitting tight and are not quoting lower prices. There are so many development projects started in 2007 which are yet to be completed. However, if you are a buyer in this market, you have to try and make the right moves.
1. Do not consider projects that are just starting out or started long back but yet to see the roof. You do not want to lock your hard earned money in these type of projects where there is no guarantee that you will get apartment completed and handed over.
2. Understand that when you give the money to the builder, the money can get routed to another project that is in doldrums.
3. Look for properties that are completed or close to completion and are in the process of handover.
4. Be aware the builders quote is going to be high (as always) buy decide what price you are comfortable paying for the property.
5. Completed property is definitely worth little more than a project which is promised to complete in a year or two from now. But some premium is worth it (take it as an insurance).
6. Go to the builder with your rate and do not hesitate to walk out if he is not agreeable. If you are convinced that what you are offering is a reasonable price, make it clear this is what you will pay and leave your contact number with the salesperson so that he can call you if your rate is approved by his manager.
7. You can always approach with a slightly higher offer later on if you feel it is worth (or at another property nearby).
8. Builders also try to squeeze you in many forms like parking space, collecting 2 or 3 years maintenance charges upfront etc. Please be careful and refuse the offer if you are not comfortable.
9. If you do your homework and stick with it, you can find a good property at a reasonable price.Just remember that there are many options are available and if one doesn't work out that's fine.
10. I know too many people who gave lot of money to the builder (in India) few years ago (2007, 2008 etc) and are still to get a roof on their head. You do not want to be in the same situation few years from now, say 2016.

Finally Best of Luck.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Surveysavvy

Surveysavvy is another reliable survey site. Important thing to note is that it is free to join. I have received only very few surveys from them (3 or 4) and have completed only one of them. I have earned $15. Though I have not cashed it yet, as per the site, I can cash it anytime. At this point, the only option available to me is ask for a cheque (is that bad by any chance? :) ). If you are interested please feel free to join using the link Join Survey Savvy.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Buying Property

Enough care must be taken while purchasing any property. The decision involves huge sum of money but if the value doubles or triples so does your networth. That way, it has the potential to provide you with a good return on investment.

However we need to watch out for pitfalls. If you are buying land, please ensure that the title is good. If it is forged, then the whole investment is gone. Please ensure that you check with govt authorities like CMDA apart from consulting a good lawyer.

If you are buying a flat, ensure that the builder has the capacity to complete the flat and hand it over to you. If the builder goes bankrupt, you are stuck after paying large sum of money to the builder.

In Chennai itself, there are a number of apartment complexes in OMR which were planned for handover in 2006/2007 but even in 2012 hasn't yet been completed. People who invested money has reasons to worry about the safety of their investments. But you can be more safe if you buy a property that has been almost completed.

Online shopping

There are lot of online shopping websites have come up recently in India. I am surprised if all of them get enough business to survive? While the cost structure enables online shops to work with lesser profit margin, they do have postal charges that traditional brick and motor shops do not have. Some thing blows my mind off. For example, indiaplaza offers free shipping of books. While that is normally expected, I can understand their logic of shipping a Rs 15/- book free. Wouldn't they spend more than Rs 15/- for shipping itself? some sites have minimum purchase amount to qualify for free, which is understandable.

With the increase in online shopping there has been an increase in coupon sites (sites that store discount coupons). Though they may not always be reliable, the offers are posted by users of the site for the benefit of everyone. This is something I would not have imagined 10 years ago.

India has also seen a rise of groupon type sites recently. We need to wait and see, if there are mergers (already flipkart has bought Letsbuy) that will reduce the number of players.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Surveys - Toluna

There are definitely some online opportunities which allow you to earn. One of the options that my friend has tried successfully is toluna. Toluna provides multiple opportunities to earn points.
1. They send survey invites. Answering surveys can earn you points or prize draw tickets
2. There are options for content creation in their sites and earn points
3. You can earn points by answering their sponsored surveys, Quick votes & Quick surveys
4. There are redemption options for the earned points

Please do check it out and decide if you want to join http://in.toluna.com/Register.aspx


Apartment Association

In most Apartments complexes a voluntary body (committee) is elected to help manage the affairs of the complex. In larger complexes, the committee hires a manager to take care of day-to-day activities and the committee deals only with issues that are escalated to them.

What is important is the start of the first association. The builder completes the construction and residents move in, in a staggered manner. It takes a while before they get-together and install an interim committee with sole purpose of legally registering the association and calling for elections to elect the office bearers to the association.

Now the first association of the complex has the unenviable task of getting all the details from the builder which we call as the handover process. This can be complicated as there is no real documentation of what would be a complete handover process.I will attempt to list out a few which are important and should be part of the handover checklist.

1. Collect the completion certificate.
2. Get the approved building plan which includes block-wise and floor-wise information.
3. No objection certificate from Pollution, fire, water and electricity authorities.
4. Hard and soft copy of all approved drawings.
5. Registration and Parent documents
6. Asset inventory of all movable and immovable equipment purchased.
7. AMC and Warranty details; Original receipts for equipments.
8. Handover of corpus amounts to association.
9. contract signed with maintenance agency; agreed SLA's.
10. Details of Insurance taken
11. Audited account statement
12. Introduction to key vendors and suppliers.



Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Accounting Module in Residentsinc.com

The following are the features you can find in the Accounting module of Residents Inc software.


Chart of Accounts – to create any income, expense, asset, liability and equity account heads as needed. Grouping of accounts into sub categories such as Current Asset, Current Liabilities, Income from non residents, etc will provide more clarity.

Opening Balances – to enter opening balances for all accounts as on the date of migration to the BOOKS feature.

General Journal – to record all non cash transactions and any transaction that cannot be entered through the Income tracker and Expense Tracker. Eg: Depreciation on assets, refunds received, writing off bad debts, etc.

Trail Balance – Since all accounting transactions can now be entered (and posted using Double Entry Method) and opening balances are captured, creating a Trail Balance is as simple as clicking a button!

You can also generate Profit & Loss statement and Balance Sheet. 

The entire feature is so intuitive and simple, that accounts can be maintained without any prior accounting knowledge….:-)

To see all the features, Register and log into Residents Inc for a free trial today.


Monday, 30 April 2012

Personal Finance

Many couples do not understand all the investments and assets their partner has. In cases where only one partner is gainfully employed, which is quite common in India, it becomes all the more important. It is best to write down all the assets (insurance, deposits, property etc) and where they are and each couple should keep a copy. In the event the spouse passes away suddenly, at least the family will not face financial hardship. It is also a good idea to specify the nominee in all financial accounts so that the transfer becomes easy. It is our duty that if something untoward happens to us, we should atleast ensure our loved ones are financially safe.

Community Living

I lived in a small apartment complex (12 Apts in the block) for over 10 years. I enjoyed the company of fellow residents. It was nice to know that you are not alone in the building, can lock the door and go on vacation without fear of thief sneaking in. However the part-time management committee, collected the small monthly maintenance fee and paid for common expenses like electricity for common areas, security guard as well as for cleaning the common areas but never really maintained any accounts. This resulted in other resident questioning the integrity of the committee members. Since it was a small community, we were able to intervene and resolve the issue by formally electing another committee who ensured that integrity is not only maintained but also appear to be maintained.

These days, many of the complexes are large, from several hundreds to few thousand apartments in a single community. The monthly maintenance collected is no longer Rs 500/- per apartment but in the range of Rs 3/- per sq ft, amounting to Rs 3000/- for an average apartment of 1000 Sqft. For a complex of about 1000 apartments, this results in a monthly collection of Rs 30 Lakhs which is a large amount to manage which increases the responsibility on the committee. Hence proper accounting is required to maintain Dues collection and tracking expenses incurred. Some complexes have moved to using an accounting system. But there is lot more required than just that in such large complexes. While every resident knew the other 11 residents in the building in the small complex I lived, this is not the case in 1000 apartment complex spread over several acres of land. There is a need for the residents to speak their mind to the happenings, discuss issues online, vote on poll if needed. All these have become a necessity these days. The tool also need to retain documents online, keep track of warranties and AMCs of the hundreds of expensive machines in the common area. We need a tool that can ensure good communication among the residents owners, tenants and non resident owners, keep track of Dues, expenses, be able to track and remind expiry of Warranties, AMCs, maintenance schedules, provide an option to raise maintenance requests and also provide accounting functionality, all of these fully integrated to avoid entering the same data multiple times.

Fortunately there are some tools available now in the market. One such tool is Residents Inc. Please feel free to register for a free trial and evaluate to see if this is what you are looking for.