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Are Some Mobile Apps Ruining Your Financial Health? - Outside View by PersonalFN

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Are Some Mobile Apps Ruining Your Financial Health?
Jun 2, 2017

Ayushman, a young digital marketing associate, was always fascinated with the mobile applications. He had an app for every small and big task he did. For example, he had an app for booking a cab, ordering food, shopping, entertainment, and some wellness apps that could record his snoring pattern, a calorie counter to maintain a balanced diet, etc.

There is no doubt the virtual world is fast replacing almost everything manual. Thanks to technology, all this is possible now.

But are mobile apps really simplifying our lives?

Is this convenience for free? Or, are there some hidden costs?

Let's look at how Ayushman realised it is always the small little things that matter in the larger picture called life.

  1. Daily Cab Aggregators Apps

    Ayushman for convenience sake was habituated to booking a cab to work via a mobile application every day, and he paid Rs 90 for it, when a local auto rickshaw ride would normally cost Rs 60.

    He can easily save upto Rs 900 monthly, adding up to Rs 10,800 on an annual basis if he had chosen a rickshaw ride over a cab.

    Although these paid-cab services compared to public transport are more comfortable, what lures you is the discounts and cash back offers and you're hooked. In time, conveniences become habits, compelling you to change preferences. Travelling in air-conditioned cabs will definitely give you a short-term comfort, but may drain your finances, unless you begin to make prudent choices.

    As wisdom dawned, Ayushman decided to get back to the basics. He used this saving of Rs 10,000 for a short weekend gateway instead.

    For a short distance, make it point to walk down. This will prove good for your health, experience the streetscape, and even manage your budgets prudently; because a rupee saved, is always a rupee earned.
  2. Food Apps

    Further he used various mobile applications to order his lunch every day at work. In fact, he had found one app which could also get him homemade food. A daily lunch out would cost him minimum Rs 200. That would mount upto Rs 4,400 monthly and Rs 52,800 annually (assuming he worked for 22 days in a month).

    Also, he had got into the habit of dining at fancy restaurants every weekend. On an average, he would spend Rs 1,000 - 1,500 for every such dine outs. Now that sums up to whooping Rs 48,000-50,000 for a year, that is almost half a lakh.

    Soon he realised, it was not only affecting his physical health -binging on mostly junk- but also affecting his financial health. He gave up this habit, and thereafter indulged only in homemade food cooked all by him.

    The money saved was invested in mutual funds - through Systematic Investment Plan (SIPs), which infused the habit of saving and investing systematically to compound wealth. He opted for Flexi SIP facility to adjust his investments monthly as per the monthly expenses.
  3. Shopping Apps

    "If you buy things you do not need, soon you will have to sell things you need." - Warren Buffet, the legendary investor has so aptly said.

    So, always make a list before you go shopping. Buy things only which you need, not what you want or desire; because your needs can be met but wants are often infinite. Thus, give up the impulsive buying habit, and purchase what you need and can afford.

    Today, online shopping apps are unfortunately inducing many into spending extemporaneously by tapping a few buttons on the smartphone, tablet, and laptop. They offer several discounts - running almost all through the year - so alluring, and as a result you end up buying unnecessary things. For example, the BOGO (Buy One, Get One FREE!) offer on sweaters in the month of early March, when it's almost the end of winters, at least in India.
  4. Entertainment Apps

    You can also cut down on the cable expenses by unsubscribing to channels you don't really watch. You can re-consider your subscription for high definition or premiere channels offered by your cable operator. You can also customise your data pack and subscribe for channels that watch regularly. Will you really watch 500 channels a month? Mostly likely, not.

    Hence, consider tweaking your data pack.

To Sum-up...

Don't be another Ayushman, who of course works hard but party even harder. Do recognise the value of your hard-earned money and utilise it to give you optimum returns.

Take charge of your finances today, and ensure that your financial health is at its best. Stop being a reckless spender. Instead, save and invest money for your long-term financial wellbeing, where you can accomplish many of the vital financial goals in life.

Start your journey towards financial freedom today! Reach out to a Certified Financial Guardian, who is mark of trust and respect - who'll handhold you to attain financial nirvana.

PersonalFN is a Mumbai based personal finance firm offering Financial Planning and Mutual Fund Research services.


The views mentioned above are of the author only. Data and charts, if used, in the article have been sourced from available information and have not been authenticated by any statutory authority. The author and Equitymaster do not claim it to be accurate nor accept any responsibility for the same. The views constitute only the opinions and do not constitute any guidelines or recommendation on any course of action to be followed by the reader. Please read the detailed Terms of Use of the web site.

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Jul 19, 2018 09:35 AM