You are 48 years of age with 2 grown up children, and you have a huge demand on your money for vacations and for buying gadgets. How do you handle this? You could either do it ad hoc or create a system.

Look at what a friend has done. Nice, brilliant system, and I like it. He has 2 SIPs running in 2 balanced funds for Rs. 10,000 a month. He manages the fund and the withdrawal is democratic. The rules are simple – the last 12 months contribution cannot be withdrawn i.e. there should be no withdrawal load or any capital gains tax. Each of the family member gets a turn, but his wife can over rule if there is a family need. So if an a/c or a refrigerator has to be replaced, that gets top priority. She will decide on all the household stuff including the family laptop. The kids do not have their own laptops, and will get one only after they go to college. The mother can decide to hand down the family laptop to the kid, and that cannot be argued about.

Each person takes a turn in asking for the item they want. However the price bands will be decided by the wife (mother) and she has a damn decent knowledge of pricing of most the stuff that both the girls need. If one girl wants any item she has to ensure that there is enough money to buy one for her sister ALSO. Similar price of similar stuff. So one daughter can buy an Ipod for Rs. 5k and the other daughter can buy a cell phone. If she does not buy, HE earmarks the number of units for the other daughter..so if the market goes up and the other daughter can withdraw say 6k, great luck. Of course if it goes down she is in trouble.

It teaches the girls the value of waiting. They can pitch in with their own savings from their pocket money, but that is not really substantial. They know how to scout the shopping sites, ask friends, etc. and do comparative shopping. They even asked their dad whether it is not better to put into a pure equity fund and play the same game (the jury is still out on this). The kids are taught that instant gratification does not work. Simply does not work.

There is one hitch the girls have a rich grandfather – on the father’s side and mother’s side. So for their birthdays and for Diwali they are indulged. They can literally ask for the moon, with a sure chance that they will get it. So these kids do not bother asking their parents for dresses. Grandfather is a reader so books are a constant flow – and a Kindle too!! So anything educational, or anything that the kids want and the parents will not disapprove is on tap. So a new kindle can come from grand dad but a smart phone cannot (a phone has to be 30 months old before upgrades).

Ditto for vacations. Do not take an Indian vacation for 2 years and go on a foreign vacation. However dad’s rule is one vacation in 18 months is COMPULSORY.

So a nice house with corporate rules and regulations, with parental supervision. Only issue is Grandfather over ride.

 

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  1. Hey Subra, another master piece I am thinking on same lines for some time now but my idea was saving account to segregate for vacations and gadget replacement fund.
    I can tell you its really tough as one or the other expense keep on cropping up eating this fund. 🙁

  2. Simple and brilliant post. Only doubt is selecting the balanced fund for this purpose. But i think the balance between debt and equity will give security as well as better tax free returns.

  3. STATUTORY WARNING:
    all gimmicks and stunts mentioned in this post are performed by experienced professionals and stuntmen under controlled conditions. do not try this at home

    what is so “GREAT” this ginger bread family is doing in this concept can anyone tell me?

    “foreign vacations” typically@ 1 lakh per head.
    family of 4@ 4lakhs every 2 yrs
    2 sips@10000pm@roughly 4 lakhs in 18 months

    THIS HAPPENS IN MILLIONS OF HOUSEHOLDS IN INDIA!

    difference might be the “low class” people might be putting RDs of smaller amounts monthly to pay their children school and college tuition

    common sense in india is becoming very rare!

  4. Paramjeet Singh Kabra

    Subra it is completely your fault that ajayrajaram is poor or cannot afford a foreign vacation.

    he is low class and cannot understand the spirit of the article..what an idiot.

    It is also your fault subra that you allow such jokers to comment and you do not edit that.

  5. That is not democracy 🙂

    Your poor friend is being led by the ear by his wife in all these matters, who seems to have caught hold of the family finalces by the scruff of the neck !! LOL….!!!!

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