SPENDING- Expectations Vs. Reality

Sathya Amritha.K  

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Did you know that an overwhelming 62% of people identified themselves as having problems related to both spending and saving? It was concluded that having a problem with both spending and savings is actually just one problem: spending. This was the outcome of a survey conducted by the NFCC (https://www.nfcc.org/tools-and-education/money-management-tips/be-smart-about-spending/spending-reality-check/)


What does your spending habits say about you?

Well, this fact triggered us to ponder more about the problem – Spending. On further brainstorming, we classified people based on their spending pattern as follows:

“Treat yourself” type

It’s all for the sake of “Others” type

Soothing spenders

Boredom spenders

The Deal seekers

Let’s take a closer look at the five types of spenders.

  1. “Treat yourself” type – These people spend to feel good about themselves. Their attitude is simple – ‘When I have earned my money, I have every right to spend it on myself and enjoy life’. Yes, we do advocate their thought but doing it on a regular basis could create a big hole in their pockets. Don’t you agree?

  2. It’s all for the sake of “Others” type – For some section of people, it is important to show how much they can spend and get noticed by others. They might spend on gifting others, might make a purchase as a symbol of status – just for the sake of others. The purchase made could have been easily avoided, and still, they do not shy away from spending.

  3. Soothing spenders – Spending gives pleasure to such people. Their philosophy is similar to those who eat more when they feel depressed or low. Spending offers the “high” that perhaps a glass of vodka can make one feel. Well, even to afford that one glass of vodka one has to spend. Isn’t!

  4. Boredom spenders – Boredom and Loneliness can also result in spending. This is a reality.

  5. The Deal seekers – Such people look for exciting deals. There are obviously no dearth of exciting deals and these people end up falling prey to it, without even thinking if the deal is actually worth spending or if the product which was purchased from the deal was actually useful or just a piece of momentary pleasure!

Expectation from spending

Among all the five types listed above, there is one common thing. It’s the subconscious connection that has somehow been registered in our minds that we equate fun and spending money (fun/happiness = spending money) and that fun is impossible without spending money. This the underlying expectation of people from spending and the reason for the same.

The reality check

Recall five most fun times in your life. We bet at least three of the five involved little or no spending! That’s the reality. Though we are not promoting that you should not spend a single penny for your entertainment, we believe that our perspective on how we spend our money should change. Of course, we can help you in this aspect, but you have to decide for yourself to become a conscious spender.

Using our easy receipt expense tracker, you could easily recollect the items you spent your money on. Tracking your expenses is the first step towards useful spending. It makes you realize if you have any regrets in the way you had spent the money. Tracking expenses can also help you answer that million dollar question –

“If you had to do it over again, would you make the same choices?”

If you prove yourself that your spending was worth it then those are the spending experiences that are actually worth it.

Eliminate the chaos in your spending by using our receipt catcher.

Choose NumReceipt – Your receipt bank for mindful spending!



About Author : Sathya Amritha. K is an engineer by profession with a passion for writing. A keen learner by nature, she believes that every day is a lesson for life. Writing for NumReceipt has taught her the art of spending and saving, so using the app would secure your financial future for sure. Visit her soul space where she has shared many experiences and reflections through her blogs about all amazing things which make up this beautiful life (https://sparkanewbeginning.wordpress.com/) and know more about her. When she is not writing, you can find her at the park running after her rollicking two-year-old twins.


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NumReceipt Mobile App Will Help You Get There!

Every year during summer Bob drives with his family to meet his father, Mr.George in their ancestral farmhouse. His siblings too, along with their respective families gather in the farmhouse and the entire family spends quality time with him.

The only difference this time was by the end of the trip Bob was completely overwhelmed and emotional seeing his annoyingly adorable dad. It was indeed a trip with a difference. Read on further to know how :)

Old ways vs Mobile App

Mr.George, the septuagenarian was an eccentric person. He was punctual, had his own set of rules and a disciplinarian who loathed technology. After the demise of his wife, he had become a bit grumpy too. Nevertheless, this old man loved playing with his grandchildren and always compared the simplicity that was prevalent during “his days” to the hasty fast-paced life of this generation .


One day when all his grandchildren were playfully engaged in the game of treasure hunt organized by their dear Grandpa, they stumbled upon a huge book of accounts. As the children opened the heavy ledgers with great awe and difficulty they were thrilled to see how their grandfather had maintained his accounts diligently, year after year- with details of every single cent he had earned and how it had been spent. At the end of every month, the closing balance was neatly marked in red and cash in hand was tallied. When Mr. George saw his grandchildren appreciating his work, he excitedly explained how he had divided his spending every month into provisions, transport and so on. He further elaborated on how to track expenses, create financial reports and always keep in mind to save for the future.

“I am glad you found my accounts book. I have taught it a hundred times to your parents, but they hardly bother about it. Whenever I start this topic, they try to show some digital receipt app. Don’t you think you remember better when you write every single detail? How easy our times used to be – you are all technology freaks- you have an app for receipts, an app for fitness, an app for even sleeping!”

The children narrated what they heard from their grandpa to their parents. Their parents were not amused and remarked – “That’s a typical dad!”

However, Bob did not end his thoughts there. He went to his dad and decided to show him his mobile app, NumReceipt anyway – he did not care if his father was going to ignore him or debate against it.

The moment of Epiphany

To his surprise, his grumpy father had all ears for him. He never imagined that his father would listen to him like a small baby, excitedly trying out every single feature in the app. He asked as many as 40234 questions about it and was convinced that the app had all the tracking features which he used to do manually and spend about 2 hours every day, while his son spends just a minute or two every day to get the same work done.

For the first time, Mr. George agreed that technology has resulted in saving paper, time as well as money. Not only did he agree that NumReceipt mobile app will indeed help you get there - creating money-conscious responsible future generation, but he also made NumReceipt his receipt pal too!

Thank you NumReceipt!

So the only difference during this trip was that Bob and his father were able to bond over NumReceipt and Mr.George felt proud of his son for efficiently managing his finances. Else the grumpy old man would conclude every trip with a huge list of unpleasant findings and complaints about his careless son. This time the trip ended with Bob acknowledging his father’s diligence and how NumReceipt has taken over this hard work of controlling his finances, making him look smart in front of his dad.

Are you ready for some smart work too?

Then Download NumReceipt app today!




Personal Finance: Determine Your Financial Priorities

Personal Finance 

As intimidating as it may sound, Personal Finance management is all about planning and following some rules you set for yourself. It has become simpler largely due to the varied mobile apps that help you keep track of your income, expenses, receipts, bills, payments, etc. making everything available to you at the click of a button.


Make a decision

The first step towards planning your finances is to decide a course of action that you are willing to take and eventually stick with. Some things may be hard to follow through, your desire to splurge on retail therapy may overpower your need to manage your finances. Don't let an occasional deviation from the plan or even starting trouble let you move away from your goals.


Organize your data

Organizing all your financial data takes some time and effort but this forms the basis of everything that you do to manage your finances. Make a note of your income and your recurring expenses such as house mortgage payment or rent, car mortgage or insurance payment, house and automobile taxes, utilities such as electricity, cooking gas, water, maintenance fees.

To track your other expenses such as food, groceries, retail or similar expenses, gather the receipts for the past 3 to 6 months, tracking these physically may be difficult which is why there are apps like Receipt tracker app which helps you keep track of all your receipts, bills, etc. It also acts as an expense tracker making it easy to identify your average monthly expenses.


Budget

The most important step towards managing your expenses is to create and stick to a budget plan. After you have gathered all the relevant data you now have an idea about how and where you spend your money the most. A very simplistic budget simply includes your income and expected expenses for the month based on your earlier few months’ expenses.

You may also set aside a portion for an expense you anticipate for the month. This could be anything from new furniture to the latest Television set you desired to buy. The idea is to plan how much you intend to spend for the month and stick to it as much as possible.

The most important rule to follow is that your expenses should never exceed your earnings.This is also one reason why budgeting is such an important part of expense management. With a budget, it becomes clearer if you have broken the golden rule.There are mobile apps that help you with the budgeting process as well.




Credit and Debt

One of the most important aspects of managing your finances is understanding the difference between debit and credit. While debt is how much you owe, credit is how much you can borrow. It is essential to eliminate debt as quickly as possible. Follow a steady plan to pay back your debt.

Building up your credit score is important for getting loans for getting your desired car or your dream home. The most common way to build up a credit score is by using credits or by obtaining a loan using credit and paying them back systematically. The better your credit rating, the better your chances of getting the desired loan amount.


Some easy tips to manage your credit card usage


Do not own too many credit cards no matter how advantageous they seem to you. You'll end up paying more in annual membership fees or interests.

Always pay back your credit card bills on or before the due date to avoid paying interests that increase exponentially the more you delay payment.

Always ensure you can pay back the amount you split into installments in the unfortunate scenario you lose your source of income. Else, you'll be paying a huge amount only in interests.

Keep track of how much you spend on your credit card everyone and make sure it is not more than your income.


  Save

Put aside a specific amount from your paycheck every month for the future, it can be for an emergency fund, for your children's education or the down payment on your dream house. Save Save Save! There is only one rule to saving, just do it!


Investment

Employers offer 401(k) that goes directly from your paycheck before taxes into an investment account. The advantage is that employers also match how much you contribute up to a certain point. This is one of the best long-term investment options.

Other investment options include shares, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc. need more careful planning and understanding of the market or the products. Your best bet would be to get in touch with a financial expert for these.


Retirement planning

Though 401(k) is often considered an investment for retirement, it would not be enough for a comfortable retirement. Setting aside some money towards your retirement every month while investing it judiciously can help you have the retired life you look forward to.


General tips

Keeping track of your bills and paying them off on time can avoid any late payment fees. Make it a habit to compare the rates and offers before signing up for general or auto insurance this can save you a lot of money. Avoid using your emergency fund for anything but genuine emergencies. As tempting as it might be to withdraw from it to replace later, you never know when a real emergency comes knocking. Liquid cash is always an asset. At least six months’ worth of living expenses must be in the bank so that even in the case of loss of income or other unforeseen circumstances, you are not caught unaware.


The main purpose of personal finance management is to set you on the path towards a debt-free future where your earnings exceed your expenses while you are suitably insured in case of emergencies, it also guides you towards fulfilling your personal goals such as early retirement or a house or a car. Don't be a penny pincher, the idea is to plan in such a way that an occasional indulgence does not get in the way of your long-term goals.


Go Paperless- Save Trees

Did you know that the United States is the second-biggest consumer of paper and cardboard products in the world according to a  2016 estimate by research firm Statista?. Next, only to China, we use approximately 229 kilograms of paper and cardboard per person! Though the numbers may have reduced in recent years owing to the increased awareness about the many environmental issues surrounding the production of papers, the numbers are still very high and alarming. For a country that prides itself on leading the way for the rest of the world, this is certainly not what we want to model for cultivating a sustainable economy.


A singleton of office paper needs about 24 trees to be felled, chipped, and processed before they can be made into the paper we are familiar with. During this process, the amount of chemicals, energy, and water used is simply humongous, not to mention the pollution and damage to the environment. But considering that paper is still one of the most useful inventions of modern man, one may be forgiven to think that it is enough to just reduce his/her consumption of paper. That is not the case, especially when you realize that 40% of the waste in our country is still paper!


So what can we, as responsible citizens, individuals, small business owners, and householders, do to help this cause? How can we save the trees and stop contributing to the environmental issues? How can we adapt and become role models to showcase a sustainable business or personal practices? The answer is very simple. We can stop adding to the demand for paper and cardboard by going as paperless as possible for us.

Going paperless, however, need not be as hard or difficult as it has been made out to be. Luckily we are in the digital era. Today, there is a wide choice and numerous applications that provide easier, much more accessible and sustainable alternative to using paper for whatever purpose you may have in mind.


Take, for instance, the NumReceipt expense tracker app. It provides you an efficient and simple way to record and track your expenses digitally anywhere anytime instead of spending unnecessary resources and energy on printing paper receipts, filing & storing them, and searching for them desperately when the need suddenly arises. Not only will the app dispose of the need to print or file paper but it will also help you save your energies drastically. So the next time you are purchasing a business supply or paying for an expense, you can simply wave off when the clerk asks you if you need a paper receipt and instead opt to have it sent to you electronically. Once you feed that electronic receipt to the app, it will then automatically categorize and maintain it for you.


Similarly, there are other equally wonderful solutions for going paperless in all areas of your lives. To begin with, you can reduce or cut down the personal paper stationery you may be used to maintain your to-do lists, make notes during meetings, or keeping tabs of your business transactions. Simply identify a suitable mobile app that can address your need and switch to it cold-turkey. Just like NumReceipt, most of them should be able to provide you uninterrupted access both on your mobile and desktops.

The next thing to do would be to ensure no other paper items enters your home or business premises – the junk mails, the bank statements, the utility bills, the magazines, so on and so forth. Do a simple survey of your premises and make a list of all the paper items you see cluttering your space. Take an hour or two to reach out to your bank or utility to sign up for electronic statements and opt-out of physical paper copies. Once you do that, you will need to ensure you do not bring back any paper yourself – either by accepting a printed credit card purchase receipt or a payment acknowledgment. Remember to refuse paper copies and demand that all receipts be sent to you electronically – better yet; make all your transactions electronic as much as possible.

After following this for a month or so, you will get a reasonable hold on the amount of paper you are consuming and you might even be able to bring it down to near Zero. Pat yourself on the back but do not stop there. Do take the time to search out all the old papers you have stashed away and seen how you can responsibly get them dropped off at a recycling facility. For papers that are too important, you will need to scan them into digital copies first before shredding and then recycling them. While it can seem like hard work, it can be highly satisfying as well to know your small efforts will go a long way in helping the environment and saving the trees.







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