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More for less: Save time, money and effort

More for less: Save time, money and effort
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First Published: Mon, Feb 02 2009. 01 21 AM IST

Updated: Thu, Feb 05 2009. 03 34 PM IST
Any time is a good time to talk about the pleasures of more for less. We all want to know how to get the most out of anything. This week, as we celebrate Mint’s second anniversary, Business of Life does just that.
We take a break from our regular format to tell you how to maximize money, health, technology, living and leisure. There’s expert opinion, news, views and trivia. Enjoy!
10 Super Saver Tips
• Save your loose change. Try doing it over a year.
• Time your bills around the time you get your pay cheque.
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7 must-have money products for smart people
• Fixed deposit-linked savings account—to beat money losing its value to inflation and taxes in a 3.5%-a-year savings account.
• Term insurance— about 7-10 times your annual income, to stop your family from feeling the pinch if you suddenly kick the bucket.
Click here for more on 7 must-have money products for smart people
Trim that portfolio
For the perfect portfolio, don’t just pick good funds, but also ones that work well together. Five large-cap-oriented funds won’t diversify your portfolio the same way as two large-cap, one mid-cap and one thematic/ sector fund would. Stick to a maximum of seven funds. These must be a mix from various asset management companies, fund managers, investment styles and objectives. Two of these funds can be your holdings and they should always be diversified equity funds.
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Real(i)ty check
It is important to be familiar with the language and conventions of real estate. While buying property, always find out what definition of area is being used.
Why is it important? Typically, the area that you pay for is higher than the area you actually get. For instance, you may pay for a 2,000 sq. ft flat, but your usable area might only be 1,500 sq. ft. There will be a reduction in the area. In this example, it’s 25%, but it could even be more in actual cases.
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Swim smart in equity’s turbulent waters
Let’s assume you have money in bulk. The equity markets are down. But you are risk-averse right now. So, the dive into the equity pool is ruled out. Right? How about swimming with a float to ensure that you do not lose money. Is that possible?
Yes. With systematic transfer plans. Typically, it goes like this: You make a large investment in a fixed-income mutual fund scheme and give a mandate to the fund house to transfer only the capital appreciation every month to an equity scheme of your choice. Thus, you are not eroding capital while squirrelling away a small amount into equity when the markets are down.
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Redeem those extra miles
One suggestion to all of you who have accumulated airline miles and credit card rewards. Redeem now. Here’s why:
• These points/rewards/miles earn no interest. Keeping them for longer time periods does not increase their intrinsic worth. There are no loyalty bonuses either for keeping them.
• Airline miles and reward points expire if unutilized for a period. This could range from one–two years.
Click here for more on redeem those extra miles
Contributors: Harish Rao, Dhruv Agarwala, Value Research, Bobby John Varkey
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First Published: Mon, Feb 02 2009. 01 21 AM IST