“Welcome to the latest edition of Finshots Sunny Side Up, your weekly dose of positive financial news and analysis.
In today’s newsletter, we take a look at the companies and individuals making headlines for their innovative ideas, impressive growth, and impressive achievements in the world of finance.
We also provide some expert commentary on the latest trends and developments in the industry, as well as some tips and advice for readers looking to take control of their own financial future. So sit back, relax, and get ready for a dose of sunshine with Finshots Sunny Side Up.”
Well, that wasn’t us. That was Chat GPT.
And unless you’re living under a rock, you’d know that Chat GPT, OpenAI’s text-based artificial intelligence model, has gone viral — it crossed 1 million users in just 5 days. The model is trained with a lot of resources and can respond to any kind of writing, mathematical solutions and even stories.
One chap on social media even asked Chat GPT to solve a CA Final Examination question on Direct Taxation! And let’s just say the model did an okay job although it wasn’t entirely accurate with its answers. 😄
Anyway, we thought we’d check it out and see how Chat GPT would introduce this edition to you. And we just love how it describes Sunny Side Up as ‘your weekly dose of positive financial news and analysis’.
Do you agree?
Here’s a soundtrack to get you in the mood 🎵
Desire by Chirag Todi
It’s not often we get pitched songs by the singer/songwriter themselves. But our reader Chirag decided to ‘shoot his shot’ and sent us a bunch of his songs. We loved the tracks! So here’s his debut single for your Sunday listening.
Hope this makes your day, Chirag! :)
What caught our eye this week 👀
An ATM that dispenses gold. What??!
Indians love gold. They’ll buy it during festivals, weddings, or just as a plain old investment. In fact, according to a survey by Axis My India (a consumer data intelligence company), 53% of people prefer gold as an investment tool.
Now as much as you say that digital gold is the future, the present is still the physical version of the metal. See, only 10% of folks invest in digital gold. So Goldsikka, a Hyderbad-based firm thought of a way to capitalize on India’s love for the physical metal. They launched an ATM in Begumpet that dispenses gold coins!
All you have to do is key in your debit, credit card or even UPI and you can withdraw all the gold you like. You can do this even in the middle of the night if you feel like it. It’s open 24x7. And it’ll spit out gold in various denominations — from 0.5 gms to 100 gms. You get a tax invoice at the end of the transaction too!
For now, they’ve started out with a gold ATM in Hyderabad. And plan to expand over South India soon. But the bigger plan is to sprinkle about 3,000 ATMs across India.
But wait…why wouldn’t people simply go to their neighbourhood jeweller to buy or invest in gold? After all, gold isn’t really what you’d label an ‘impulse purchase’. Besides, jewellers even have schemes for regular gold investments.
Also isn’t the first Gold ATM in the world. There are a few of them peppered across the world (Abu Dhabi’s being the first) and they’ve actually been around since 2010. So the question is — what problem is the ATM really solving? Or is it simply a novelty and a marketing gimmick?
This didn’t make the cut ✂️
You’re paying for bags that should be free
On Friday, we told you about the Deposit Refund Scheme (DRS) ― a novel way to deal with plastic waste. Remember that?
Now when we were diving deep into all the problems with plastic, we found something quite surprising. Some might say that it’s even shocking!
See, back in 2011, the Plastic Waste Management Rules were tweaked to include charges for plastic bags. Vendors couldn’t hand out stuff to customers in free plastic bags. They had to charge a fee for it. The idea was to discourage people from using plastic bags. And the minimum price would be decided by concerned Urban Local Bodies (ULBs).
ULBs would get a cut from this income. And they could use to it to deal with the plastic waste created through these sales.
But the rules didn’t tell how the vendors would share these charges with the ULBs.
So, they amended the Rules in 2016 and asked vendors to deposit a flat fee of ₹48,000 every year. This would go straight to the ULBs. In turn, the vendors could recover this money from their customers by charging them for plastic carry bags. Shopkeepers took advantage of this and began to charge high prices for these plastic bags. Consumers weren’t happy about this.
So the government walked in again. They made another tweak in 2018. They removed this deposit system entirely.
But here’s the thing…soon enough, more sustainable alternatives emerged. We’re talking about paper and cloth bags. Many shopkeepers realized that people were now used to paying a ‘fee’ for a bag. Any bag! So quite shockingly, they continued the practice of charging a ‘fee’. This, despite the rules clearly mentioning that this fee was for plastic bags only.
And that’s how we still end up paying a fee for bags.
So we probably need the government to crack down on this practice first. Get the shopkeepers to bear the cost of the bags.
Or maybe this is a good thing? Because most of us do go shopping with our own carry bags these days. Reduce, reuse and recycle, right?
Money tips 💰
Last week, we created our budget on a spreadsheet. So it’s now time to set broad guidelines to manage the budget and money better. But a one-size-fits-all solution to budgeting won’t work for our unique lives. You just need to find the budget that suits you!
For instance, there’s the percentage method
The 50–30–20 budget is one of the most common rules you can follow. You put aside 50% of your monthly take-home salary into an “Adulting” bucket for things like rent, groceries, and other bills. 30% goes into the “Splurge” bucket to treat yourself to the little things in life. And 20% goes to the “Future you” bucket where you save for the goals you have in life.
But you need to remember that this split isn’t for everyone.
You may have moved back to your hometown thanks to remote work and you don’t pay rent anymore. Or you may think that spending 30% of your income at the movies or restaurants is a colossal waste of money. Maybe you have big plans for the future and you want to save up. The beauty of the percentage method is that you can split it any way that you like.
Maybe a 40–30–20–10 budget is what works for you. The first 40% is for the “Future You”. The next 30% is for your rent or home loan. A further 20% is for your groceries and other bills. And the final 10% is for “splurging”.
You see, you can tweak it any way you like and get it to suit your lifestyle and goals.
The only thing is — you have to be disciplined. As soon as you get your salary, move the bit for the ‘Future You’ (the 20% or 40%) into a separate bank account. Lock up the debit card associated with this account in a dark corner of the drawer. And set up your investments from this bank account.
It’ll make your life easier.
Next week, we’ll talk about some non-traditional methods of budgeting. In the meanwhile, tell us what budgeting method you like to follow!
Oh, talking about the ‘Future You’, don’t forget that it’s a great idea to protect your future goals. We’re talking about talking a term insurance policy. You see, according to a survey, only 17% of Indian millennials (25–35 yrs) have bought term insurance. The actual numbers are likely even lower.
But why do you need term insurance?
For starters, it’ll protect people who’re dependent on you — spouse or children. And even parents! Even if you have taken on some loans, you don’t want the burden of repaying it to shift to your dependents in your absence. And the sooner you take insurance, the better. You can get a pretty good bargain on term insurance prices when you’re younger.
So if you’re a millennial and you’re reading this, maybe you should reconsider buying a term plan. And don’t forget to talk to us at Ditto while you’re at it.
1. Just head to our website by clicking on the link here
2. Click on “Book a FREE call”
3. Select Term Insurance
4. Choose the date & time as per your convenience and RELAX!
Readers Recommend 🗒️
Numbers Don’t Lie by Vaclav Smil
Thank you to our reader Kiran Jain for this book recommendation.
“From earth’s nations and inhabitants, through the fuels and foods that energize them, to the transportation and inventions of our modern world — and how all of this affects the planet itself — in Numbers Don’t Lie, Professor Vaclav Smil takes us on a fact-finding adventure, using surprising statistics and illuminating graphs to challenge lazy thinking.”
We like to think that Finshots does something similar too — interesting stats and insightful infographics! No? :)
And with this, it’s time to sulk over Monday blues. Just kidding!
We’re packing up for now, and will see you next weekend.
But before you go, here’s something we wanted to say. We’re currently hiring performance marketing managers & influencer marketers for our team at Ditto. If you’re interested or know someone who’d love to join us, please click this link.
Until next Sunday…