Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Don’t sweat the small stuff

Life, safety, and security are all important today. Everything else is small and not worth your sweat right now. If you happen to be worried about the following problems you are having with your money, just raise some worries.
Low interest rate

If you are worried about the low interest rate your deposit is taking and you call banks or visit their branches (in masks), to find out if there are better prices, stop. While the RBI uses a number of tools to keep government prices low, moving inflation is pushing prices down gradually. If you haven’t noticed, some major NBFC deposits have already started to increase their deposit rates offered to older citizens and you’ll probably see many such increases go up slowly. Just renew your deposits for a short period of 3-6 months so you can lock up higher amounts a little later. If you have long horizons, go for floating bond rates from RBI or other small savings schemes that still offer good prices.

This short-term low interest rate should not put you in high interest rates during this time – when promises of high returns could pose serious risks to your capital. It’s one aspect of stress that you can easily avoid in these difficult times! Just put up with the high prices that will be available. You are not alone here. We all travel in the same boat!
SIPs are suspended

While most of us will tell you that setting up SIPs is a ‘bad practice’ – this is not a good thing to do in rare cases like the current one. If your job or income isn’t stable or you have to spend extra money to protect your family – such as buying a powerful oximeter or a good steam inhaler to buy your own public transportation vehicle for some time – that should be your priority. Skipping a few months of SIP is fine. With long-term investments, this will not significantly change your wealth status. And you can always lock up lost money for good times to come! What can be avoided by skipping EMIs. Those will leave you awake at night.
Selling money

By now, most of us have heard or experienced the cost of COVID-19 treatment and back costs such as oxygen and long-term support. While it is a good practice not to get involved in investments that are allocated for future purposes, what are they doing, otherwise the sudden turn of events in the lives of your loved ones?

A few people I know are depressed about not having enough money to meet any such emergencies because they are ‘fully invested’. Yes, it will mean a hole in your investment that you have made so far, especially if you are not covered by insurance (please check out Corona Kavach if you are in high-risk countries). But there will be investment opportunities and save with smart planning and cost-cutting in the future. So don’t worry about it.

Instead, think of these as actions that you must take on a regular basis. Generally, your fixed money in the bank is easy to withdraw, for 2 reasons: one, your spouse or family (if you do not know them) do not know which mutual fund or shares you should sell to withdraw money in an emergency. FD is easy to break, and money goes into your account immediately. Second, unless you lock in FDs some years ago, the interest rate will not be too high for you to miss out on any good return.

So, from a simple and recurring functionality view, choose to break FDs.

Next, if you have invested in New Year’s Eve (I call it gambling) bitcoins or dogecoins or NFTs (unmarked token), deposit them and save them in your savings account. Your family is unlikely to know that there is money hidden there (or know how to sell / withdraw it) and that you can access other funds (such as PF) that you can use for emergencies.

Lastly, this can be a good time to get out of some stocks that are not doing well or the funds that are combined and keep them money if that comforts your family. Don’t worry about re-investing your money quickly.

Money in a savings account can be a great source of relief for your family and there is nothing wrong with offering that comfort in these difficult times. You can always resubmit later. Cash is king – let no one tell you otherwise about these times.
Stop tracking funds

Hopefully, nothing will be lost if you stop tracking money every day. If so, it can be helpful to avoid rushing into action. Try to focus on your long-term goals instead of being misled by the short-term return on epidemic-related themes. This can turn into unnecessary sources of stress over time.

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