Investment tips for beginners

Its good to start investing as early as possible, even with very small amount. You can plan your investments for one(more) of these goals:

Tax Saving:

ELSS Fund or Tax Saving Mutual Fund is best option to save tax under 80C. Also this amount is usually locked for 3 years and more and can be used as medium/long term investment. Other options to utilize 80C are PPF / EPF / Tax Saving FD etc. You can choose from ‘Top Rated Tax Planning Funds’ on value research website. E.g. ABSL Tax Relief 96.

Park short term liquid money:

  • Debt-liquid category funds are safest for this, transfer money above a threshold from bank account to this fund. You can take out this money whenever you need easily. E.g. Reliance Liquid Fund.
  • Arbitrage fund is also good option, specially tax efficient for higher tax bracket people. E.g. Axis Enhanced Arbitrage Fund.
  • At least convert you bank account to sweep account for better returns. E.g. Saving plus account in SBI.

Index funds:

One of safest options, these funds are very good in other countries and getting better in India. For long term planning, these are being considered as good option. E.g. ICICI Prudential Nifty Next 50 Index Fund & UTI Nifty Index Fund.

Different ways to invest:

  1. Direct investment: Go to individual fund house and invest, with added benefit of lesser expense fee. You can track investments from different fund houses at KTrack & myCAMS apps.
  2. Regular investment: You can go to your bank’s mutual fund portal & go for regular (indirect) investment. It has benefit of ability to track all investments in a single screen, but the downside of having higher expense fee.

Other suggestion: Go for a term insurance as early as possible in life.


5 easy to adopt food habits which worked for healthier me

Following is the list of things I follow to keep myself nutrition rich. Note, I am pure vegetarian and hence chose the list accordingly.

  1. Meals Timings: Heavy breakfast (never miss breakfast), lunch & light dinner along with at least 3 other small meals in the day (like pre-workout meal, snacks, fruit/salad bowl) with a golden rule of having a big/small meal every 2-3 hours.
    • You can choose timing from Early Morning / Breakfast / Mid-morning / Lunch & Evening Snack / Dinner / Bed time, based on having pre-workout and post-workout, fit in these according to your schedule. Sometimes, one can have 2 evening snacks and skip bedtime snack, depending on the kind of routine you have.
  2. Workout meals: Usually to be taken within half an hour before & after workout – if your workout is close to one of the major meals, then you can have a light workout snack before and after 5 minutes.
    • Options for Pre-workout meal (filled with carbs which will fuel your body and will help losing fat instead of muscle wasting):
      • [light] 8-10 Soaked peeled almond (also drink the water)
      • [light] Banana & Honey (5 to 10 minutes before workout)
      • Oatmeal with milk
      • Carb rich Protein bar
    • Options for Post-workout meal (protein rich meal to repair your muscle tissues and to help in recover from pain and internal swelling, also to build muscle mass):
      • [light] Sprouts
      • [light] Protein rich Protein bar
      • [light] Dry fruits & seeds mixture (Seeds – Flax seeds, Chia seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Magaz seeds, Watermelon seeds, Muskmelon seeds, Dry fruits – Almond, Cashew, Raisin, Walnuts, Peanuts)
      • Boiled chana / Boiled Rajma / Grilled paneer
      • Coconut water
  3. Tips for lazy weekends: Don’t stay hungry, if you feel little hungry and eating food might take some time, better to consume something for quick energy. You can keep following things at home for a meal, or for quick energy while your food is on the way or cooking (most of these can be taken with milk/curd):
    • Muesli (like Kelloggs Muesli Nuts Delight)
    • Dalia (like Patanjali Instant Wheat Dalia)
    • Jowar/Bajra Poha (like HealthSutra Jowar poha, Tasty Sorghum Flakes)
    • Cereal (like Kelloggs Special K Multigrain Oats & Honey cereal)
    • Oats (like Quaker Oats Kesar flavour with Kishmish)
    • Cornflakes
    • Liquid snacks like smoothies, fresh fruit juices, plain milk, greek yogurt, fruit and curd.
    • Some evening snacks which don’t take too much time in cooking and planning.
    • Seeds & Dry Fruits mixture is also very helpful on weekends for quickly eating.
    • Roasted Diet (like Patanjali RoastedDiet Oats Mix Wasabi/Flaxseeds Black Salt)
    • If you want to prepare something quickly:
      • Sandwich
      • Poha
  4. Preference: Few comparatively healthier option
    • Prefer Brown/Multigrain bread over white bread
    • Prefer peanut butter instead of plain butter
    • Prefer brown rice over white rice
    • Prefer to each different types of Roti, like Jowar Roti, Bajra Roti etc
    • Prefer whole fruits or fruit smoothies over Fruit juices.
    • Prefer Jaggery, Jaggery sugar or Honey instead of Sugar
  5. Generic tips for healthier you:
    • Very Important: Make sure you drink at least 3-4 liters of water everyday, at least 600ml – 1 liter right after you get up in morning.
    • Always eat salad with food
    • Drink Yakult at bedtime
    • Take a lot of milk, milk products (specially curd & paneer). Also Dal, Rajmah, Chhole etc for Protein.
    • Buy some protein bars (both carb rich, protein rich & mix) & keep handy (specially for pre & post workout, if you don’t find anything else).
    • Always keep some eatables (Millet biscuits, Ragi biscuits etc) & water bottle in your bag when you go out of home.


Filing ITR

Instructions for filing ITR through official website (for simple Form 16)

  1. Register and login to website
  2. Under ‘My Account’ menu select ‘View Form 26AS (Tax Credit)’ to check Form 26AS from which Tax details will be prefilled into your ITR form. Note, you will be redirected to TDS-CPC website to view the 26AS form.
  3. Click on ‘Filing of Income Tax Return‘ from dashboard or choose ‘Income Tax Return’ from ‘e-File’ menu.
    • Select Assessment Year as next one for which ITR is being filed
    • ITR Form Name will be ‘ITR-1’ for Salaried individuals
    • Select submission mode as ‘Prepare and Submit online ITR’
    • You will see a panel where you can opt for few fields in your ITR form to be pre-filled from sources like Latest ITR, Form 26AS etc (Preferably select all checkboxes here).
    • Select AADHAAR OTP or ‘Already Generated EVC’ as option to verify the ITR.
  4. ITR Form Tab 6: 80G
    • If you have made any donations, mention relevant information in 80G tab. It will auto-populate the amount in deductions section on Tab 3.
  5. ITR Form Tab 5: Tax Paid And Verification
    • Check if tax details are already populated as per your form 16
    • Fill Exempt income details from Form 16
    • Enter bank accounts details
  6. ITR Form Tab 4: Tax Details
    • Check if tax details are already populated as per your form 16
  7. ITR Form Tab 3: Computation of Income and Tax
    • B1 (Salary/Pension) columns: All 6 sub-columns to be filled from Form 16.
    • Part C – Deductions to be mentioned here from Form 16 (Deductions under Chapter VIA)
    • If all of above is done then value mentioned in column Total income (C2) should match with Form16, and columns D12 & D13 (Amount payable & Refund) should be zero if you would have already paid exact tax amount.
    • Income from other sources: You can mention interest earned on saving accounts. SBI credits interest on savings account on 25th of every quarter end and Citibank credits interest at the last day of every quarter. You can request deduction on above income under 80 TTA upto 10,000 Rs (basically if your savings account earning is less than 10,000 Rs then you need not to pay any tax on this)
  8. ITR Form Tab 1 & 2: Instruction & Part A General Information
    • Just go through these tabs and make sure all fields are filled correctly.
  9. Before submitting the form finally you can check Tab 5. If you see some amount being showin in D14 (Refund), you will receive this in your bank account once your ITR is processed (which usually takes few months). If you see an amount in D13 (Amount Payable), you can pay the tax by clicking ‘e-Pay Tax’ & note down the challan details from the payment page which are to be filled in Tab 4 (section – Details of Advance tax and self-assessment tax), after filling this details you will see zero in D13.

* Post updated as per latest ITR form introduced in 2018.
* This post will help only in case of simple Form 16.