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Financial planning tips for parents

Financial planning tips for parents

The cost of education increases every year but this cost is not uniform; there are some degrees that cost more than others. Some expensive degrees like MBBS, MBA, Psychology, Law, and Dental cost up to a crore; this includes tuition costs, living expenses as well as miscellaneous costs. This is because of the popularity, high competition, limited seats, university ranking and location as well as the tremendous ROI attached to the courses. Pursuing these degrees from top-tier universities and countries like the US or the UK can cost you almost a crore of rupees!   So how should you as parents plan to fund these expensive degrees? Here are a few financial planning tips that will help you take charge of your funds and help your child pursue her dream career without any stress! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdwqQH0xkFw Financial planning tips Tip 1. Start early! While a corpus of Rs. 1 Cr. can sound daunting, it is achievable if you have 15 to 18 years in hand. That’s right. If you have big professional career dreams for your children, you must start saving for their education as soon as they are born. Some couples start even before the child arrives. After all, the earlier you start, the easier it will be to put the funds together.   Investment Plan for Girl Child Read More Tip 2. Define your corpus  Always work on your goals on the higher side. The cost of education is going up by almost 10-12% a year, so allow for these growth rates, and for fluctuations in currency rates. It is difficult to predict international situations two decades from now, so you must prepare for the worst, and work with higher numbers. This will save you from having to dip into your retirement savings at the time of your child’s education.   Tip 3. Do the number-crunching  This is part that most people who are uncomfortable with finance dislike. Once you have fixed the financial goal, break it down into years and months. That is the only way you will be able to build that corpus. Define how much money you will need and explore the returns options like equities that can over time give you up to 15% returns. Also, understand the risks involved. Be warned: stay away from get-rich-quick schemes, most people lose even their capital in such experiments.   Source: pixabay Tip 4: Be consistent  Remember, Rome was not built in a day. It took centuries. Luckily, you will have to work consistently only for a couple of decades. Just set up your SIPs in mutual funds, and equities, and start putting money away in Provident Funds and Bonds. While the returns on the latter are lower, these investments add stability to your portfolio. And do it month after month for the entire duration. Do not stop, do not opt out, and do not withdraw these funds for unplanned expenses like a foreign trip or a big-ticket vehicle. Stay focused on your corpus goal.   Tip 5. Go for high-return investments  The longer your investment horizon, the greater the risk appetite you can have. You can consider a 65/35 mix or even a 70/30 mix with a higher percentage being invested in equities and other high-return instruments. Do keep in mind that higher returns are usually coupled with high risk, and you must regularly balance your portfolio to avoid losing your capital.   Tip 6. Monitor your investments  All investments must be regularly monitored. Anything that is underperforming, you must get rid of and replace it with a better-performing option. But don’t try to time the market, keep your parameters clearly defined when you start your investments. This will keep you from making unnecessary mistakes in the market.   Source: pixabay Tip 7. Seek help with your investments   As the time for your child’s college admission comes closer, there are a lot of decisions you have to make to secure your child’s funds. Like turning your high-risk, high-return investment into safer options to protect your investments and corpus from any sudden market downturns, closer to the time of admission. This is an important aspect to consider as you cannot shift the time of admission. Though before taking any of these decisions, it is wise to consult a financial planner to safeguard your interests.  What we have shared here is a broad roadmap that will enable you to build the Rs. 1 Cr. corpus and fund any of the 5 expensive degrees your child may choose to pursue. While doing your initial calculations, also keep in mind that most of these courses also have entrance exams.   Preparation for these exams can start 2-3 years in advance and the coaching for the same is also expensive. You must consider having access to your funds well in time, to avoid financial stress at the last minute.   With planning, discipline, and consistency, you will be able to achieve almost any financial goal that you set for yourself. The key is to get your plans down on paper/on the computer and start working on them. So go ahead and start planning today! FAQs How can I start financial planning as a parent? Start by setting financial goals, creating a budget, and tracking expenses. Build an emergency fund and prioritize saving for your child's education and future expenses. Consider life and health insurance coverage. Consult a financial advisor for personalized guidance. How can I teach my child about money management? Introduce age-appropriate financial concepts. Encourage saving, budgeting, and goal-setting. Involve them in family financial discussions and let them earn and manage their own money. Model responsible financial behaviors and provide guidance along the way. What are some ways for me to save for my child's education? Explore education-specific investment options like Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY) for girls, 529 plans, and education loans. Start early, contribute regularly, and consider inflation. Research scholarships and grants. Consult a financial advisor for tailored strategies. Consult an expert advisor to get the right plan for you  TALK TO AN EXPERT
Do's and Don'ts of saving for your child's education in 2023

Do's and Don'ts of saving for your child's education in 2023

61% of Indian parents regret not saving sooner for their child’s education according to the HSBC Value of Education Report. So that you don’t have to shoulder this guilt, here are some of the key dos and don'ts of saving for child education. Do’s of saving for your child’s education 1. Find out how much higher education costs Before you start saving, know what and where your child wants to study. When you are planning to send your child overseas, you must be fairly certain of the choices being made in terms of a stream of study and the preferred country. The cost of education in Germany, for instance, is very low, as university courses are often government-funded. On the other hand, a 4-year undergrad course in the US can easily cost you Rs. 1 crore, depending on the college and its location. Getting an accurate assessment of the school can help you define your actual savings. Find the best education loan for a child's education Read More 2. Speak to counselors to better understand all the expenses involved When you make plans to send your child overseas, you are heading into a phase of your life that demands substantial funds and even some unplanned expenses. Find a counselor whom you trust, and spend time understanding all that goes into sending your child overseas. Also, keep in mind, that the expenses for higher education overseas begin long before your child even fills out the application form. So, make sure your account for all of that. 3. Starting early is the key to good savings Truth be told, the best time to start putting money away for your child’s education is as soon as the little bundle arrives. While most new parents are in a bubble of happiness when a baby is born, it is important to keep your financial head on your shoulders and plan out a saving mechanism that will put your money away automatically. The less you have to think about it, the more effectively you will do it. Also review your education fund every couple of years, tracking the current college rates, inflation, and your own life situations. This will help in recalibrating your savings procedures. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNqwEZbjEvc 4. Put your money in high-growth investment options if you have the time If you are looking at a 15–20-year horizon, you should consider investing in Equities for the high growth that capital markets offer over the long term. The shorter your term, the lesser risk you will have to take for your investments. In the case of a 5–9-year duration, Mutual Funds are a good option and in the case of 4-5 years, you must ensure the safety of your capital. Debt Funds are your safest option. While the risk is low, you must remember that the returns also are low in these instruments. 5. Prepare for the rising cost of education Higher education rates operate independently of the consumer index and are usually higher than the standard inflation. When you define your value goal, keep this in mind. And regularly cross-check the laws for international and Indian students in the countries of your interest. Source: pixabay Don’ts of saving for your child’s education 1. Don’t select the wrong educational goal for your child This is key, constantly check on your child’s interests and capabilities. Just because you have been planning to have your child study Computer Science or Medicine at some Ivy League university, your child does not have to fall in line. Ensure the child is passionate about the course s/he is selecting. Sending your child to another country to do something s/he is not particularly fond of, is stressful emotionally and can result in a huge financial waste. So, think well before you start pushing your child towards any particular stream. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8N_u4C2rFU 2. Do not assume the education loan is easily available As the competition for overseas studies grows, the demand for education loans has bloomed. This simply means you are in the seller’s market, with not very extensive bargaining powers. Your loan application will have to meet several parameters before it is actually sanctioned. And at times, once the papers are processed, the institute may opt not to fund your entire expense. So do not blindly assume that you can always borrow this money. 3. Do not put all your money in one investment Don’t put all your eggs in one basket! This saying is a sworn truth in the investment sphere. Diversify your portfolio and back up your investments in the stock markets with sufficient insurance coverage. Plan for worst-case scenarios and revisit them often. Calculate College Cost 4. Don’t ignore the foreign currency changes International education is heavily dependent on foreign currency exchange. Track it carefully and update your plans on a regular basis. These days several global universities allow their students to do the initial semesters here in India and call the children over only for the last two or three semesters. This is a good option to consider if the foreign exchange rate is not in your favor. 5. Don’t use the education corpus for other emergency expenses Most of us are happy to see the money grow. But if you are investing in instruments that are easy to liquidate, you may often be tempted to encash this money in cases of emergency. Avoid doing it as much as you can. Higher education is an unavoidable and inevitable expense that every parent has to bear at some point in their life so why not prepare well for it? FAQs How do I save for my child's education? One of the most common questions among parents is how to save for their child's education. The best and most effective way is to invest in mutual funds, US ETFs, US stocks, etc. Within mutual funds, parents who have kids between the ages of 1-5 years should opt for equity-based mutual funds. These funds are great for long-term investors who are looking at 10-15 years of investment horizon. However, each plan depends on the parent's risk appetite, time horizon, and the final amount needed for their goal. How much money do I need for my kid's education? An easier way to find how much money you need is through the EduFund College Cost Calculator. The calculator helps you in 2 pertinent ways: It estimates the final cost of any course and college after adjusting it for inflation It customizes a plan based on when and where your child wants to study It suggests investment plans and even scholarships + education loans that can assist you in paying for the amount Why is it important to save money for my child's education? The average cost of education is increasing rapidly. Certain courses like medicine in private universities in India can cost you nearly 1 crore. If you are planning to send your child abroad then need to think of currency exchanges, LRS limits on spending, accommodation costs, and even expensive flight tickets. All these factors are important to consider while creating a corpus. TALK TO AN EXPERT
What is the best time to start investing in your child’s education? 

What is the best time to start investing in your child’s education? 

In the previous article, we read about why choose SIP to save for your child’s higher education. In this article, we will read the best time to start investing in your child’s education.  As an Indian parent, you aim to prioritize your child’s needs before yourself and strive to provide them with all the comfort and luxury in the world. Eventually, all the comfort you bring to your child’s life exemplifies how protective you are of them. And, out of all the beautiful things that you do for them, education is the greatest gift you give.   Yet quality education comes at a high cost, especially in an economic climate that is affected by the global economic crisis and political turmoil. These events affect your purchasing power, devalue your savings and affect your lifestyle and future needs. The only way to escape this vicious cycle is through smart planning and saving on time.   Why is it important to save and invest early in your child’s education?   The simple answer is inflation. Inflation in the education sector is escalating at a scary rate. It is painful to see that your hard-earned money will likely lose its value over time and may not suffice to protect your child’s future. Thus, the earlier you start planning your child’s education journey, the better it will be for their bright future.  In other words, it's time to not only save but grow your money to meet the needs of the future. Investing enables you to increase your money and retain your purchasing power. However, you must invest smartly.  There are several aspects associated with investing. The two main factors that affect your investment strategy are Risk and Return. The general rule of investing is higher risk and higher return. Based on your risk appetite, and short-term and long-term needs, you can accumulate your desired corpus over time. Another powerful rule of investing lies in longevity; the longer you stay invested, the greater your reward.  Here is how investing early can yield greater returns  Kartik is blessed with a baby girl. After a month of her birth, he chooses to invest a monthly SIP of Rs. 5,000 at 10% for 20 years. This way, he makes a total investment of Rs. 12,00,000 over the said period.   On the other hand, his friend Pratyush waits for his son to reach the age of 10 to start investing. He invests the same amount at the same rate of return but for a smaller period. He makes a total investment of Rs. 6,00,000 over ten years.   When their kids attain the age of 20, Kartik receives an accumulated corpus of Rs. 38,28,485. Whereas, Pratyush receives Rs. 10,32,760 as a return on investment. The growth rate for Kartik has been 3.2 times the investment, whereas Pratyush could receive only 1.72 times. But why is there a vast disparity despite the same amount of investment?   The disparity is a result of time. The longer your money stays invested, the more you get in return. That’s the magic of compounding! So, the best time to invest in your child’s higher education is NOW!  The longer your money stays invested, the more rewards you yield. Let’s find out what are the benefits of early investing.   4 benefits of early investing   1. Time Value of Money  When we talk of money and investing, time is an invaluable asset. The amount and the duration for which your money stays invested contribute significantly to the education corpus. The longer it stays invested, the higher return you get.   2. Acceleration through Compounding  Compounding is the return that you get on your return. It means you don’t just get the return on what you spend out of your pocket but also what you earn from it. As a result, your corpus gets richer with time.   3. Manageable Sums  You can start your investment journey early with a manageable sum. A delay would put an unnecessary burden on your pocket. Whether you start early or later, you need to save to meet the growing cost of education. Why put yourself into unnecessary trouble?  4. Higher scope for modification  In the above example, Kartik had assumed Rs. 40,00,000 to be the cost of his daughter’s higher education. However, when her daughter is ten years old, he realizes that the price may rise to Rs. 50,00,000. This situation will not bother him much because he can quickly meet the increased requirements. But things would not go the same way for Pratyush because he will have a considerable gap to fill just because he started late.  The education industry is highly competitive; over the last three decades, the cost of higher education jumped more than 500%.To ensure your child has all the amenities and a bright education, you need to start working on your savings. Our advice is to start easy, start small, but start early! Consult an advisor to get the right plan for you TALK TO AN EXPERT
How to find the best-fit college?

How to find the best-fit college?

As a parent, it is essential to consider the benefits of providing your child a high-quality education. Enrolling your child in a distinguished university increases the returns on their schooling and distinguishes their career.   At the same time, choosing an institute that aligns with your child’s profile is a task of utmost importance. Some would even call it the make-or-break decision.   A review by Matthew Mayhew and his co-authors of 1800 research studies reflects on how the selected college could affect your child in various ways economically, socially, psychologically, and intellectually.   In a world of IIMs and IITs, it would be wise to know: If these are suitable options for your child Are these your only options?   To ensure that your child is part of an academic environment that nurtures their unique faculties, take note of the following.  Top-ranked colleges are not necessarily the best-fit college  There is a widely-held misconception that top-ranked colleges are the absolute best. While there is merit in these famous universities being labeled as great institutions; the rank may not be the best metric of “fit.”   Popular websites that rank colleges have a set of parameters that they consider while ranking them from top to bottom. The criteria considered can vary from website to website, and these are not specific to the individual preferences of each student and, therefore, can be highly generalized.   Brand value is another main factor that plays a significant role in deciding between different universities for parents and students. The brand value varies from region to region.   It depends on the portrayal of a college to a specific audience. Having alumni from a particular university in a social circle can also influence the decision to pick a university for many parents and students. So, parents and students may choose which is the best university rather than the best-fit university for them. Source: Pexels What is the best-fit college?   The best-fit college for one student is hardly ever the best-fit college for another, even if the course of study is ordinary for them both. Two top colleges that offer the same principle can be completely different choices for these students.   While one college could provide a great deal of work experience while studying, the other can be a traditional college that entirely focuses on academics.   It is significant for every student and parent to understand which environment will work best in the future. Thus, a parent can choose the best-fit college for their child only after they know what their child expects from a college, especially as a contribution to their future career.     What to consider while choosing the best-fit college?   Before shortlisting options, parents and students need to discuss what they’re expecting out of a university. If flexibility in courses is a choice for the students in, then the UK may not be the best place.   Most UK colleges demand students choose the course they want to study before admission and continue to learn the subject throughout their period in college. However, many colleges in the US offer students more flexibility when choosing their courses.   Students should also account for the teaching methodology of colleges. Some colleges offer one on one attention to students and demand they work on each chapter after a few lectures and discuss it with their tutors weekly or regularly.   Such colleges may work for students who like to be regularly taken care of. However, if a student prefers to attend large lectures, conduct their research, and prepare for exams on their own, these colleges that offer special attention to each student may not be the best fit for them.   Students should also look beyond academics while zeroing in on a college. Some of the main factors that should be studied are opportunities for internships, extra-curricular activities, the scope for exploring sports and the infrastructure to support it, and community involvement. These days universities also look beyond students' academic achievements while screening their applications. They look at their interests, how they perceive the world, why, and more.  A few colleges also expect essays about how students plan to explore different campus facilities.     Most importantly, how your budget accommodates the best fit is a significant factor to consider before sending out applications. Know the total cost of education over the usual academic costs. Consider expenses related to accommodation, food, commute, outside campus activities, internship costs, etc. Parents should assess if their family can afford these fees and if they need a scholarship or loan to lighten the loan on their finances. FAQs What factors should I consider to find the best-fit college? To ensure that you've chosen the best-fit college for yourself, check if the college's ranking, location, ROI, curriculum, faculty, crowd, fees, scholarships, and other facilities match your preference. If it does, then you have landed on the right choice. If not, do more research. How do I start looking for the best-fit college? First and foremost, decide on a subject that you want to pursue and a country you want to study in. Then, make a list of colleges and put them into different categories based on affordability, admission difficulty, ranking, ROI, housing facilities, location, etc. Once done, start applying. Consult an expert advisor to get the right plan TALK TO AN EXPERT
Student Dorms Vs. Apartments: Which is better?

Student Dorms Vs. Apartments: Which is better?

Deciding where to live after getting your acceptance letter is a tough decision. Students are often torn between the two most popular forms of living abroad- student dorms vs. apartments. The idea of living on your own is both exciting and anxiety-inducing. Adulthood and its accompanying responsibilities can easily throw you into a tizzy. Having your own space comes at the cost of having to do your own chores, managing your own expenses, running errands and so much more. It can all be a little too much at times.  You’ve figured out what degree you want, you’ve figured out which college offers the best educational plan for you, and you have your parents convinced. Figuring out where to live and how to live is the next step. Should you go for university-provided student housing or should you rent your own apartment? There are certainly pros and cons to both and luckily we are here to help you figure things out! Student Dorms Vs. Apartments: What to Expect from Dorm Life? Dorms are a kind of student housing common in many universities. Usually, dorms consist of either shared or private bedrooms and common living and dining areas. Your college will allocate you a dorm room and a roommate based on the preferences you indicate, and in some cases, you can even choose your own roommate.  Colleges have different kinds of dorms and student housing available. You should go through your college’s website thoroughly to ensure you have the proper information about the kinds of dorms they have available, the facilities available in these dorms, how they are allocated, and the costs involved. Dorms are a very good option for Indian students who study abroad. Studying abroad means that you leave behind most of your friend circle and support structure. Student dorms in colleges have orientation programs and resident advisors who can help you ease into social life at your university. Pros of Living in Student Dorms No Dealing with Realtors or Brokers: Renting an apartment can be a complicated venture. You are not likely to know the area, the property costs, or the other intricacies of the real estate market when you're in a new city. Opting for college-provided student dorms may be a more reliable and secure option for you. No Extra Utility Bills: Utility charges like electricity, water, and heating are often covered by colleges. Even if they charge you extra for these amenities, these bills would still be relatively cheap. Proximity to Campus: Dorms enable you to stay on campus or very close to campus. This saves you both time and commuting costs. More Social Life: Staying close to campus enables you to enjoy campus life and student activities better. Additionally, dorms often have planned student events and activities that can help you make friends more easily. Extra Amenities: Student dorms often have extra amenities like recreational centers, gyms, game rooms, and TV rooms. These amenities may be entirely free or available to residents at a small charge.  Cons of Living in Student Dorms Lack of Privacy: Student dorms are notorious for being too crowded with barely any privacy. You may be able to get a private room depending on your college, but common areas may still lack privacy.  Strict Rules: Dorms often have strict rules to ensure discipline. You may have restrictions on how many visitors you can have, noise levels, cooking, and maybe even a curfew. You may not be able to experience the independence for which you decided to study abroad. Lack of Space: Dorms are often crowded and lack space. You may be allocated a tiny shared room with barely any space to move in.  Student Dorms vs. Apartments: What is apartment living like? Apartments are independent residential units that can be rented either by contacting the landlord directly or through a real estate broker. Apartments provide more privacy and independence than dorms and are generally more spacious. College websites and social media groups associated with your college may have information about localities with apartments for rent for students. You can go through these pages to find brokers, landlords, reviews, and other information. Pros of renting an apartment More Privacy: Apartments give you more privacy. You don’t have to live cramped together with too many people and there is more privacy in common areas even if you live with roommates. Additionally, you have more control over choosing your roommates than in the case of dorms. More Space: Apartments are definitely more spacious than dorms. You also get private bathrooms and a full kitchen to cook your own food without restrictions. More Independence: Renting an apartment makes you more independent and self-sufficient since it comes with more responsibilities and chores. You will also have to be much more meticulous with budgeting and expense management. If becoming more independent was a motive for you to choose to study abroad, apartment life may be best for you. Cons of Renting an Apartment Dealing with Landlords and Brokers: To rent an apartment, you will have to deal with brokers and landlords. As a young international student with limited knowledge of the country, this may be a complicated task for you. It is easy for you to get scammed or abused by brokers or landlords when you study abroad. Utility Bills: Unlike in dorms, you will have to pay your utility bills separately when you rent an apartment. This leads to extra expenses. Less Security: Living off-campus means you don’t have access to campus security. Apartment living may be less secure than dorms, although this also depends on the location of your apartment. More Traveling: Off-campus living certainly entails a lot more traveling and commuting. You cannot simply roll out of bed and go to class as you would in a dorm since you have to take into account commuting time. What is the Right Choice for You? There is no right or wrong decision when it comes to choosing the perfect student accommodation. It is up to you to decide what kind of housing situation is the best fit for you. You will have to weigh the pros and cons as well as the actual financial expenses of renting an apartment versus a dorm room. Your financial obligations and constraints will differ depending on whether you are studying abroad with a scholarship, self-financing, or working part-time jobs. These will need to be factored in, along with rental costs in the city you are in to determine which option is more cost-effective.  Whatever choice you make, living away from your parents and being exposed to a foreign country is sure to make you a more independent and well-rounded person. This is what makes studying abroad worth it. 
How to plan for your child's education? Should real estate be considered?

How to plan for your child's education? Should real estate be considered?

Parenthood is the best experience for all humans. However, it is also true that raising a child comes with huge expenses that can challenge your finances if you are not well-prepared.  Education forms a significant chunk of all the costs incurred in raising a child. Thus, planning your child's education is as crucial as retirement planning for yourself.  Let us see in this article how one should go about education planning what assets one should explore, and the role of real estate in your portfolio, in accumulating the corpus for your child's education. How to plan your child's education?  Planning your child's education starts in the early stages of a child's life. Today, higher education is quite expensive and costs around Rs 20-25 Lakhs for a degree in India.   This number increases further if you are looking for a foreign education for your child. Additionally, the currency depreciation that the Rupee (INR) is witnessing against currencies like the USD adds to the parent's worry.   While estimating the cost of education and tuition fees, you should look at other costs such as accommodation, transportation, stationery and books, coaching, etc. You can explore EduFund's unique cost calculator.  Let us now talk about planning your child's education financially and the steps involved.  Step 1. Estimate the Cost of Education Parents have to make an active choice for   Place of education  Tier of school  Type of course or field for the child to study in You will also need to consider whether your child wants to study abroad or prefers a domestic education. The education cost in India is increasing at a high rate.   Beginning from the admission process to the entire school life, parents increasingly find it challenging to meet the increasing fee structure and other costs associated with education.   Inflation in education has led to rising costs. The education inflation trend has been 10-12 percent over the years, double that of household inflation.   For example -   A 4-year engineering course costs around Rs. 12 lacks.   10 years, the cost will likely increase to Rs. 31 lacks By 2038, it would cost around Rs. 61 lacks to get an engineering degree.  Step 2. Decide the time horizon Calculate your child's graduation or post-graduation time.  Step 3. Analyze your current assets and liabilities This helps to know the current financial position to help the parents plan better.  Step 4. How much to save? Once you estimate the cost of education, decide how much to save in a lump sum or a monthly contribution.  Step 5. Investment Planning  Plan a proper asset allocation that is well-diversified and reflects suitable risk-adjusted returns.   For example - Suppose you have a long-term horizon to accumulate the corpus. In that case, you should consider equity as an investment asset class in the portfolio.   As you come closer to the goal, your allocation on debt tends to increase, and distribution inequity reduces.  Step 6. Start investing  Real estate as an asset class  In general, real estate is considered a great investment option in India. The two types of real estate investment options are   Residential properties   Commercial properties Real estate can be an excellent alternative to many investment options that offer lower risks, yield better returns, and diversify.   Characteristics  Durability: Investment doesn't come with a fixed maturity plan and has the possibility of creating wealth for multi-generation  Immobility: Real estate investment is very illiquid in nature.  Transparency: When purchasing a property, there could be a possibility that the seller is withholding information.  The cost involved: A significant lump sum is locked in to pay initially when purchasing a property.   Additionally, housing loans help to bridge the gap between savings and the cost of acquiring a property. Post-down payment and a monthly mortgage payment include a part of the principal and the interest on the loan.   Registration and Stamp duty payments need to be made to the legal owner of the property. In addition, there are various other charges such as preferential location charges, maintenance charges, parking charges, and taxes like Goods and Service Tax, property tax, capital gains tax, etc. Why is real estate not a good option for a child's education investment?  One main reason real estate is not a good investment option is its illiquid nature. Because education is a defined event and cannot be pushed further, the parents must be ready with the required corpus before the child is ready for school/college (as applicable). If an investor is required to sell the property in a short duration, it could lead to distress selling, where the seller faces a substantial loss compared with the current market value. On the front of the returns, the rate of return does not justify the costs and taxes incurred in property investment after adjusting for inflation. Interest on loan and mortgage payments further reduces the actual value of return received on property investments.   Due to inflation, the return is just a poor single-digit number lost in many years. It also requires more initial capital in the form of a down payment which may be difficult for parents in the initial or mid-stages of their careers.   Calculate SIP for Child Education Buying a property vs. systematic investing  Let us consider a case where Mr. A buys a house to fund his child's education after 16 years, and Mr. B considers investing in mutual funds via SIP for the same duration.   1. Case of Mr. A  In the first case, Mr. A makes a down payment of Rs 10 lakhs (10% of the current property value) and gets an EMI of Rs 79,892 for the period of 15 years. He then sells the property in the 16th year. The real estate growth estimation is at 6.5%.  2. Case of Mr. B  Mr. B starts a SIP of Rs 50,000 per month when the child is born for a long-term period of 15 years. Source: Edufund Research Team Table showing the investment in real estate vs mutual funds. Mr A – Outflow is the sum of the down payment and all the subsequent EMIs.Mr B – Outflow is the sum of all the SIP.Source: EduFund Research Team Note: Outflow is the total money paid by Mr A and Mr B. Graph showing the difference in the outflow and total value of the investment in real estate and mutual funds The difference in cash outflow (Total EMI vs. Total SIP) is considerable at Rs 53 Lakhs - is because when an individual starts paying EMI, he ends up paying the principal and interest component, both due to which the cash outflow is high.   Further, when we consider the amount accumulated in SIP after 16 years and the amount recovered from the property sale, there is a staggering difference of Rs 40 Lakhs.  Thus, the total benefit in mutual funds over real estate stands at nearly Rs 1 crore. We see that investing in real estate creates a hole in the investor's pockets. Moreover, many investors may not have such a substantial initial lumpsum readily available to invest in.   Mutual funds provide the feasibility to start with SIP and increase the amount gradually. But for a housing loan, a minimum down payment is a must.   EMIs for housing loans are like an expense for an individual. Whereas SIPs are like reasonable EMIs where an investor earns interest on their periodical installments.   Also, mutual fund SIPs have the power of compounding, whereas real estate investments only have an average inflation rate that gets added to the asset value year on year.  To plan your child's education, you should also ensure that your portfolio has the necessary liquidity. The property sale is a difficult and lengthy process, requiring time in hand. Mutual fund redemption is instant, and the investor receives the funds in 2-3 business days. The properties in a preferential location have a reasonable appreciation rate, but that may not always be the case.  Distress selling takes place in case of an urgent need for money through a property sale, that is, property sold at much less than the actual market value.  But in the case of mutual funds, even during emergencies, the investments are sold at market value. Therefore, transparency and liquidity are more in mutual fund investments.  These points are more than enough for a parent to choose mutual funds or other alternate investment options over real estate while planning their kid's education. Consult our expert to discuss the right plan for you. TALK TO AN EXPERT FAQs Which mutual fund is the best to plan for a child's education? The best choice of mutual fund scheme varies highly from investor to investor. One shoe doesn't fit all. Hence, it is important for investors to understand their goals, risk level, time horizon, etc, to find the best mutual fund. However, some of the top AMCs offering mutual funds that investors can explore on the EduFund App include UTI, HDFC, ICICI, DSP, etc. How much money do I need to start investing for my child's future? There's a common misconception that only rich people can invest. The truth is that you can start a SIP for as low as 100 rs/ month. Explore your options on the EduFund app and make an educated decision with the help of our Savings Experts. How can I save money for my child's education? There are many ways to start saving for your child's future education. Some common ways are - investing in mutual funds, putting money in eligible saving bonds, buying digital gold from licensed sources, investing in US ETFs to prepare for foreign education, etc.
4 essential tips on investing in your child's education

4 essential tips on investing in your child's education

Life becomes easier and more manageable with planning. A very important part of a happy and balanced life is managing your finances well. This responsibility becomes manifold if you have a family to provide for. Prioritizing the prior planning of your child’s college education can make your retirement life effortless and stress-free. Put away savings to preserve wealth. Invest money to generate more wealth. At the end of the day, gaining that fine balance between your savings, investments, and spending habits is what will secure a beautiful future for you as well as your family. Here are some pro tips on how to invest and save for your children’s college education. 1. When to start? Timing is everything. The logic is simple - the earlier you start, the more wealth you can generate and accumulate. You may begin as early as the family planning stage itself. Even if you do not have a clear sight of the stream of academics your child might pursue later in life, it does not hurt to put away money. As your child grows up, they might decide upon what line of academics they want depending on their career goals. Your savings will come in handy in reassuring your child that you are perfectly prepared to back them in realizing their dreams as there will already be a considerable amount of funds they can count on. 2. Compartmentalise your savings The habit of saving money regularly is one of the healthiest habits one can inculcate. But mastering the art of saving requires self-regulation and a sense of organization. Putting away a bulk of money indiscriminately is not the most effective way of saving. Keep track of your expenses and your income; device upon an amount you can afford to put away as savings. Make a list of all the things you need to save for - emergencies, education, health, housing, and so on. Divide your savings accordingly. The act of compartmentalizing savings can also be effective in regulating your spending habits. You can also inculcate this healthy habit in your child from an early age by encouraging them to save money from their monthly allowances. 3. Consider different investment options Investing is always an improvement upon saving because investments can generate new wealth. Thus, it is not enough to just put away money as savings; you also need to allocate funds to certain investments that suit your monetary goals. There are different kinds of investment channels you can opt for. Some of us prefer fixed or recurring deposits while others want to generate more returns and go for mutual funds. Mutual funds can be of different types depending on the factors like the amount of risk, duration, return rates, etc. The mode of payment can also vary. For example, you can go for a one-time investment or you can choose monthly SIPs. Be well aware of all kinds of investment plans available so that you can choose the best one for yourself. 4. Invest in a global education Your savings and money made from investments will be especially useful when you send your child abroad to pursue a college education. Even if you are not sure about the possibility of global education in the future, it is always advisable to remain prepared for the same. Simply saving money is not enough. Investing is a better idea and in the case of global education, it can be beneficial to invest in foreign stocks. This is because the value of the Indian currency is forecasted to fall in comparison to other stable currencies in the world. This means that the cost of living and studying abroad will be way higher than the cost of living and studying in a new city within India. Once you set your financial goals, find out about investment schemes with international equity funds from countries like the US, so that you can make money in a more stable currency. Conclusion There can be several investment goals relating to different parts of your life like yourself, your spouse, relatives, housing and accommodation, health, gadgets, and emergencies. Mixing these up will only cause chaos and distress. Hence, it is important to think separately about saving for your children’s college education and indulge in smart investments. Consult an expert advisor to get the right plan TALK TO AN EXPERT
Explore the best places to study overseas

Explore the best places to study overseas

If you’re up for an adventure that not only is going to be adventurous and fun but is also going to add immense value to your future, education abroad is right up your alley. And while there are plenty of options with countries and universities, we wanted to list down our top picks to make your job considerably easier. Here are our top picks for the best places to study overseas! 1. France  Known for its rich cultural heritage and the ever-glowing Eifel, France is also one of the top picks for Indian students wanting to study abroad. The attraction isn’t limited to the glorious scapes that the country has to offer but also universities like the European International University, INSEAD Paris, and HEC Paris.  Photo by Pixabay from Pexels 2. Spain  Everyone in India was wowed by the Spanish nostalgia that ZNMD and Zoya Akhtar brought us. While Spain is a great country to relax and explore on your vacation, it is also growing in popularity in terms of higher education for international students. Photo by Luis Quintero from Pexels The country is home to some world-renowned universities like the University of Barcelona which was established in the 15th century, the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, IE Business School in Madrid, and more!  3. Australia  The world-down-under welcomes hundreds of thousands of students from all over the world to its major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra. The culture is welcoming toward the student community with exciting experiences to offer.  Photo by Patrick McLachlan from Pexels The popular universities include the University of Melbourne which has a populous Indian student community, RMIT University that’s famous for its journalism and media offerings, Monash University which finds its place consistently among the top 100 universities in the world, and many more!  4. Germany  As one of the most attractive education destinations in the world, Germany brags about International students from all over the world. From the public transportation system to the healthcare facilities, everything is made pleasant and convenient for students.  Photo by Leon from Pexels The universities that attract the most students from abroad are public universities like the University of Cologne, Technical University of Berlin, and Ludwig Maximilians University Munich which date back to the 15th century! 5. Canada  Canadian cities find themselves ranked among the most desirable cities in the world for students for their hearty communities as well as scholastic offerings. A progressive culture, plenty to explore, and internationally ranked universities are the reasons why Canada is on the wishlist of most students.  Photo by Burst from Pexels The University of Toronto, The University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta are counted among the best universities that Canada has to offer.  6. The United States  The home of the brave is also home to some of the best universities in the world. The USA is home to top-ranking colleges like Harvard, Stanford, Princeton, and the entire Ivy League. What the US offers is not restricted to just education but the enormous opportunities that come with it. You can see yourself working your way up to Wall Street or establishing your own business in the business hub of the world.  Photo by Michal Marek from Pexels Each one of the 50 states has a distinguished university to offer and a culture that would enhance your own understanding of the world. One thing is for certain, when there is a break between classes, you’ll always find plenty to explore.  7. The United Kingdom The United Kingdom is home to football, cricket, and brilliant universities that are centuries old and still extremely relevant. University towns adorn the map of England, Wales, and Ireland. The top names include Oxford University, London School of Economics, University of Manchester, University of Edinburgh, and more!  Photo by Pixabay from Pexels While the UK might seemingly be more expensive than the rest of the world, you always can count on affordable education loans because a UK education is an experience that’s well worth it and can set you up for a promising career.  Conclusion  That was our list of the best places to study overseas and you’ve hopefully found a favorite or two from our list. The next steps are important once you’ve narrowed down a country, you’d need counseling to consider your options and choose your best-fit university and more.  EduFund helps students fund their dream education with affordable education loans that do not burden them in the long term. You can fill in this simple form to get a free counseling session from some of the top experts in India to get started on your overseas education dream! TALK TO OUR EXPERTS! FAQs What are some affordable options for countries to study abroad? Some of the cheapest countries to study abroad are Germany, Mexico, Poland, Argentina, South Africa, Malaysia, etc. Which is the best country to study abroad for Indian students? Each student has their preference when it comes to studying abroad. So, one answer or country can't be the choice of all students. However, if we go by data, the top preference for Indian students is usually the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, etc. What are some best countries to study abroad and settle in? Some of the top options to study abroad and settle after that are New Zealand, Spain, Thailand, Canada, etc.
7 commonly asked questions during university admissions

7 commonly asked questions during university admissions

University admission interviews can often seem daunting and intimidating as a young student that’s about to enroll.”What questions will they ask?” “What if I answer wrong?” Don’t worry, university interviews are often not half as bad as you imagine. In fact, they’re a great way for you to touch base with those already working at the university and set expectations for what you will get out of the course, in terms of growth and future prospects.  To help you navigate these questions and come out on top, here are some of the most common interview questions asked during university admissions -  1. Why have you chosen this university? This isn’t a trick question or an opportunity for the candidate to appease the interviewers. Instead, it’s a genuine chance to explain why you chose the specific university you’re interviewing for, and what makes it special as compared to the other choices out there. It could be as simple as the fact that it is relatively close to where you reside, or because they offer a specific program that you’re looking for. Either way, make sure to be open and honest about the reason why you have chosen this particular university, and you should be good to go! 2. How did you enjoy high school? Interviewers ask this question for many reasons. Firstly, they would like to get to know a little background about you and how you fared during high school, from your point of view. Secondly, they are looking to hear about your general perception of educational institutions to get an idea of how you might perceive universities in the future. Remember to be careful about your criticism, and definitely avoid bad-mouthing your high school, as these are red flags to university admission interviewers. 3. Tell me about your strengths and weaknesses This is an interesting question that can reveal a lot about you. Avoid the worn-out, “I’m a perfectionist” and “I work too hard”, answers that the interviewers have heard before. Instead, choose, to be honest about your weaknesses and come forward with a truthful answer like, “I struggle with deadlines”. They will appreciate it much more, and you won’t feel like you’ve had to lie in an interview. 4. Do you have a role model? Here’s an interesting question that will allow you to speak more about the people you look up to. Maybe you’re pursuing a literature course and greatly look up to a renowned author. This is your chance to show the interviewer that you have role models in line with your aspirations, making it far more likely that you will complete the course and pursue a career in your chosen field. 5. What are your goals? This is your chance to be open and honest with the university about what you aim to achieve with your time there. Remember to leave nothing on the table and be clear about your dreams and goals, no matter how outlandish they may be. You never know how many candidates before you might have shared similar goals as you have now. You might even hear interesting accounts of past alumni that have already achieved the goals that you currently aspire to. 6. Where do you see yourself on completion of this course? This a very important question that you can definitely expect to be asked during your interview. With this question, interviewers are looking to find out what your endgame is, and how you plan to progress after you’ve graduated from the university. This is where they will get a chance to set your expectations straight if needed and find out how motivated to complete the course you are. Also, they’re looking to understand whether or not you are trying to pursue a career in a field related to the course of your study. 7. How do you wish to expand your skills with this course? This question might be a little more challenging to answer, considering you are likely a candidate that is just starting with the university. However, it is an opportunity for the interviewer to understand how you wish to grow and learn during your university study. Feel free, to be honest, and speak about the things that you would like to improve about yourself, and try and tie this into any weaknesses you might have mentioned about yourself earlier as a way to negate them. Conclusion While Universities don’t expect you to have all the answers upfront, make sure you do your due diligence by researching topics related to these questions. You want to come across as someone who is well prepared and informed about the university and their own goals and aspirations about the course you’re enrolling into. The more knowledgeable you appear, the more likely you are to ace the interview and land a seat in the university of your dreams. And to get you better prepared, EduFund is here to bring you the best education counselors in the country. They do their best to get you confident about the interview along with helping you with all the insider knowledge to give you an edge. FAQs What are some good questions that I can ask a university during admissions? You can ask questions about the diversity on the college campus; its achievements in sports, science, or any other field of your interest; the number of graduates attending the college, the school rating, their anti-ragging policies, etc. How can I impress a university during admissions? To impress a university during admissions, you have to be prepared. Research your course and school well; compile all the relevant documents well; show your previous work/ internship/ volunteering experience; have a sound statement of purpose; show originality in your application; add or improve on your relevant skills, etc. What do universities look for in a student? The answer varies from university to university. However, there are a few characteristics that every university wants in its students. Universities want students who either excel or show signs of excelling in their fields. They look for students who are dedicated to their field of education and show great promise. For a detailed answer, it would be a good idea to ask this question to your interviewer at the end of the interview.
Tips to Plan Education in Abroad

Tips to Plan Education in Abroad

Stressed about going abroad to study at your dream college? Wondering how to better plan your education abroad? Then, take a deep breath and let all the negativity flow out. Next, formulate a plan to go about the whole process in the most systematic way possible. There are a few intrinsic steps involved in this journey. We have made a list right here that can help you set your goals right and achieve them one at a time.   Top 10 Ways to plan your education abroad 1. A Basic plan  Every journey begins with a basic course of action. Sometimes journeys appear more difficult than they are and this is often the case with education abroad. Charting out what you want to do demystifies the complications, it offers you clarity on what you must do next and how much time you have to do it. When global education is involved, usually the course of action starts with deciding which part of the world you want to study. The following points can help you form a well-structured plan before you get started.  2. Looking up universities  Once you decide which places you are interested in, the next step is to make a list of universities and colleges. Make sure to put down the names of institutions that have crossed your mind. In fact, you can prepare separate priority lists - one for your dream colleges and another for institutions that can offer your desired course or potential research supervisor. This way, through newer shortlists you can reach the final list as you do more research on each college.  3. Time management  While noting down the names of the universities and colleges, make sure to also look up their application deadlines. Knowing the deadlines for submitting applications is what will give an ultimate edge to your course of action. Now you will have an idea about the approximate number of days you have in your hands to prep yourself. Usually, the date for submission of applications comes under the same month. Not knowing the deadlines is what creates all the stress and confusion. But once you are aware of them, you can be confident and focus on making optimum use of it in gathering resources, and money and developing your skills.   4. Savings  Going abroad is a costly affair. Knowing how much time you have on your hands also lets you calculate how much money you can save. The income-expenditure ratio also becomes important in deciding how much money you can put away as savings. Start saving as soon as you can. Even if you are not sure about going abroad for your higher education, it is still advisable to put away money in general for education. On deciding to pursue a global education, make note of the tuition fee, cost of living, and other miscellaneous expenses that might be incurred during your stay there. This gives you clarity on how much you will need to save.  5. Investment  Be it education or any other significant event in your life, investing is always an improvement upon saving money. Savings do not generate more wealth, investments do. You can look up different mutual fund schemes to know which one will be the best for you. Fixed deposits have a certain rate of interest, but mutual fund schemes usually offer more than that. You are also advised to start investing in foreign exchange stocks like US stocks to make up for the depreciating value of the Indian currency and the subsequent rise in the cost of pursuing education abroad.   6. Building Credit  Another financial aspect that is quite understated is the importance of building credit. Building and maintaining a good credit score can go a long way in availing you of the best deals in loans with negotiable rates of interest. It is also crucial to start young and early, for example, with education loans or simply with credit cards. When the time comes to go abroad, your impressive credit score will make you qualified for the student loan that can support your global education.    7. Scholarships  An important thing you are required to look up while checking out different institutions is the scholarships that apply to you. In a lot of cases, deserving candidates can avail themselves of different scholarships that pay their tuition fee or at least a considerable part of it. In the case of research, you might enjoy deductions on the tuition fee from the institution itself, alongside receiving a stipend. Read up thoroughly about these international scholarships and the criteria or qualifications required to avail of them.  8. Building Contacts  The process of building contacts is something you should ideally get started with while you are in the stage of planning the basic course of action. Taking the advice of peers or seniors who have already been through this process can offer perspective and useful information to ease up the journey for you. Later, you might have to build contacts with the faculty member(s) of certain institutions that you are aiming to get into. This is usually the case for research scholars and falls under the application procedure.  9. Skill Development  Skill Development takes into account prepping for the final application submission as well as becoming sharper at the subject you are going to pursue. Deciding to pursue global education is sometimes synonymous with entering tough competition. Make sure you are doing your best in presenting yourself to the world as a deserving candidate. Skill development also takes into account clearing the examinations that are often recommended or mandated by some institutions as proof of your worthiness. These include SAT, GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, and so on.    10. Preparing for Applications & Interviews  Last comes the main procedure - that of submitting applications and attending interviews. As scary as it sounds, once you are done with all of the above, you will find yourself to be more at peace and confident to brave it all. Institutions might require you to submit essays or answer questions alongside the submission of the SOP and the main application. There might be interviews on a group or individual basis. Find out about these things beforehand so that you can be well-prepared when the time comes.    Conclusion The correct way to simplify a complicated procedure is to break it down into small parts and set short-term goals that make it look doable. The thought of pursuing global education can make you anxious at first but with the right plan, you can ace it.  EduFund is your partner through and through, whether it is guidance that you need or student loans, we're here for you. FAQs How can I make my application better for studying abroad? Start early. Be honest with your details, especially with your SOP. Show your involvement in extra-curricular activities, community service, and work experience. Add letters of recommendation from your teachers, counselors, employers, etc. How do I motivate myself to work on a better plan for education abroad? You can motivate yourself by constantly reminding yourself of the great educational and career opportunities that await you after you complete your studies. You'll have a whole new experience of living in a different country, miles away from home. You'll be able to learn great things about different cultures, share your culture with others, make new friends, learn a new language, and find great employment opportunities. What skills do I need to develop to study abroad? In order to not only get admission abroad but also successfully manage to thrive there, you must develop the following skills - Independence, adaptability, communication skills, cultural awareness, budgeting, time management, networking, flexibility, etc.
Benefits of education planning for new parents

Benefits of education planning for new parents

Remember the old children’s fable about the ant and the grasshopper? The ant planned for the future and saved up food and resources. Meanwhile, the grasshopper decided to live in the moment and enjoy the spring.  Then, when winter came, the ant was warm, well-fed, and secure. The grasshopper, not so much. As new parents, you may feel like you have years and years left to make education plans for your children’s future. But do you? Or are you setting yourself up for the grasshopper’s fate? Long-term plans are the best way to produce high and reliable returns; the earlier you start, the better.  An investment in knowledge pays the best dividends.”  Benjamin Franklin Creating a solid education plan for your children is the best investment you can do for them. But what does education planning in India entail?  Image by Andreas Wohlfhart on Pexels 1. Savings only go so far ‘Well’, you say, ‘we already have a savings account in our child’s name. Do we need to do more?’ The answer is yes because savings only go so far. While they are great as an emergency fund to cushion you in a sudden financial crisis, when creating an education fund for your child, they fall short. The main reason for this is, savings do not generate wealth. A savings account helps you preserve and protect the money you already have, but the interest on these accounts is not enough to generate wealth in the long run. Meanwhile, the costs of education in India and abroad continue to rise. If you have plans of sending your child to study abroad, simply saving will not help you. Investing, on the other hand, is an instrument of wealth generation. By putting your money in assets that appreciate over time, you are compounding your wealth instead of simply holding it idle. Investments also offer higher returns, helping you reach your financial goals quicker and much more easily.  2. Always plan for inflation Education costs are rising. Tuition fees for college abroad are rising even more. According to Forbes, the cost of an undergraduate degree in the United States has risen by almost 500% between 1985-86 and 2017-18. This is even higher than the rate of inflation in the US in the same time period.  Keeping these numbers in mind, your plans for your child’s future must keep this inflation in mind, especially if you want them to study abroad. This is another reason why savings are not a good option for child investment plans. As the value of money depreciates due to inflation, your savings lose value. You may have Rs.5 Lakhs saved right now for your child’s future, but the value of Rs. 5 Lakhs will have changed in the next 10-15 years. Will your savings be as valuable or useful for you or your child then? Likely not.  A much better way of combating inflation is investing your money in assets that are likely to appreciate over time. This way instead of devaluing your money, inflation can help you generate more wealth. If you want to invest in stocks and bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc., are an easy way for beginners to ease into the market. 3. Sips can be your friend SIPs, also known as Systematic Investment Plans, enable you to invest in mutual funds on a regular and timely basis. SIPs help in creating a regular mode through which you can invest small sums, periodically, instead of a large lump sum, all at once. This is an invaluable advantage for small investors because it enables you to invest when you may not have a lot of capital on hand. You can start a SIP investment scheme for child education for as little as Rs. 100 a month.  SIPs are ideal for long-term investment and goal-based investment planning. After all, regular investments are key to long-term financial planning. By keeping faith and investing regularly, even if the markets fall temporarily, your investments will rise in the long term when the markets are correct. This was the experience of SIP mutual fund investors who continued to invest in their plans during the 2008 recession. SIPs also offer automatic deductions which ensure you never miss an installment.  4. Consult a professional So how do you start investing for your child’s future? Beginners may find the stock market too complicated, too intimidating, and too risky at first. But don’t go hiding in your comfortable cocoon of savings just yet. It is true that investing comes with market risks, but if you have the right people and the right advice by your side, you can create a foolproof investment strategy.  Think about it this way, when your child is thinking about applying for colleges but is unsure of which college or degree will be the best fit for them, what do you do? You may offer them your own input and advice, and encourage them to talk to friends, seniors, teachers, etc. You may also hire a professional education counselor to offer counseling and advice with EduFund.  Similarly, when you are unsure of yourself and about how to start investing in your child’s education goals, consult a professional. If you are worried about the high fees a professional financial advisor may charge, you can look into consulting a financial advisory app like EduFund. An advisory service that specializes in education planning can be extremely helpful for you. 5. Always put your child first This is probably the most important part of any planning you do for your child. You must always put your child first. It is easy to superimpose your own dreams and expectations on your children, especially when they are young. Remember that you are planning for the sake of their hopes and dreams and not yours.  Be supportive and mindful of what your child wants. You should talk to them regularly about their future and what they have in mind. Tell them, especially when they are older, about the steps you have taken for their future, and ask them if those steps align with their dreams. It doesn’t make sense to plan for medical school if your child has an artistic bent of mind. Keep in mind that your children are the real stakeholders here.  Conclusion Child investment takes many forms. Every parent wants to raise their child to his or her highest possible potential. Reaching that potential can take quite a bit of money and this is why education planning and fundraising are important. Investing in your child’s education is a long-term goal that will require patience, faith, and reliable advisors. Research your options thoroughly, talk to the right people to get the right advice, and invest in the right places. With the right plans in place, no goal is too far. FAQs Why is it important to have a financial plan for my child's education? A financial plan creates a roadmap and assists you in achieving the goal you had set for yourself. Does it really help to start saving for a child's education even before birth? Yes, the earlier you start saving, the higher your savings will grow. The power of compounding is a great factor in advance savings. How does an education plan for new parents? Through advanced education planning as new parents, they can save enough money to fund their child's future and possibly expensive educational dreams. Consult an expert advisor to get the right plan TALK TO AN EXPERT
8 side hustle ideas for college students

8 side hustle ideas for college students

College can be expensive, especially when you are studying overseas. The education fund investment and planning your parents undertook for you should be enough to cover your tuition and housing. However, a side hustle can help you earn some extra disposable income to offset an overstretched budget. Here are some side hustle ideas for college students across the globe! Easy side hustle ideas for college students A side hustle is basically a part-time job that you can do in your free time when you are not engaged in classes or coursework. You need to pick a job that is easy, requires skills you already possess, and fits into your schedule as a college student. 1. Freelancing Freelancing can be an easy and flexible side hustle for college students. Freelancing involves offering your skills or services for hire on a contract or project-to-project basis. Depending on your skill set you can freelance as an artist, a writer, a programmer or developer, or a translator. Freelancer marketplaces and platforms like Fiverr and Upwork let you take up projects and clients on a flexible schedule which is perfect for students. Additionally, freelance work can be done remotely and you do not need to go to an office. This is great for students who study abroad and may not have a car or a license. 2. Tutoring Tutoring is a great option for you if you like working with kids or teaching. You can offer personalized tutoring services for high school students, especially students who are starting to apply to colleges. These students can benefit from your experience with college applications and admissions. You can offer them both education and mentorship.  If you are studying abroad and worried about not being able to connect with non-Indian students, or if you do not have a car to move around, you can offer to tutor online. Holding online classes saves you time and enables you to offer your services to a much larger potential demographic. 3. Sell hand-made crafts & products If you are creatively inclined and skilled in arts and crafts, you could make some money selling your work online. Products like hand-made candles, soap, decor, and knickknacks sell really well on marketplaces like Etsy and through social media. You can start by starting an Instagram or Facebook page advertising your products to students on your campus. After that, you can expand your little business on other platforms.  Keep in mind that your college may have rules or guidelines in place if you are starting your business from your dorm room. If you are making products like soap, that involve harmful chemicals, you may have to get special permission and take appropriate precautions. 4. Get a retail job Retail jobs are jobs that involve selling products or dealing with customers or inventory in a retail store. These jobs have been traditionally popular with students who go to study abroad. You can work as a sales representative, as a stockist, or as a cashier.  These jobs may seem like they are trivial or unsubstantial, but they teach you a lot of real-world skills that you can later bring to the job market when you graduate. They teach you the basics of sales, inventory, accounting, and customer management. They also give you the experience of working in a real workplace environment with co-workers, managers, and bosses. Retail jobs can be a real learning experience. 5. Get a restaurant job Jobs working in a cafe, restaurant, or coffee shop are also popular with college students who study abroad. In fact, you may not even have to go off-campus for one of these jobs. Usually, cafes and coffee shops on college campuses have barista, wait staff or line-cook jobs available for students.  The benefit of restaurant jobs, especially if you are a server or wait staff is that you can earn money on top of your salary through tips. This makes these jobs quite lucrative. Like retail jobs, restaurant jobs can also teach you valuable skills like customer management, order management, and accounting.  6. Food delivery service If you have a vehicle, like a car or even a bicycle, you may be able to work as a food delivery person. You can work with a restaurant directly or work through a food delivery service application. These jobs can pay well and, just like with writing, you can expect to rely on tips as well which can be lucrative. A downside of food delivery is that it can be time-consuming and involve a bit of travel. However, college campuses house hundreds of students and faculty who tend to order a lot of food. This means you may not even have to travel to far-flung areas to deliver your orders. Your location may be able to offset some of the downsides that are usually typical of food delivery gigs. 7. Library assistant If you are an international student with big study abroad dreams but not enough knowledge of the job market in a foreign country, you may like to work close to campus. Campus libraries are always looking for extra help with reshelving books and managing the lending software.  A library assistant job will keep you close to campus so you do not have to worry about traveling to and fro and missing classes. It can also be extremely rewarding, especially if you are a book lover. Being familiar with your college library will also be useful during exams and assignments. You may even be able to snag important and popular books before someone else issues them out! 8. Get paid for taking online surveys Marketing research companies are constantly looking for data on consumer behavior and preferences to improve their products and advertisements. These companies often pay people to take surveys for them so that they can sell this data to product designing and manufacturing companies and ad agencies. This is a good side hustle that does not even require you to leave your dorm room. You can squeeze in some questionnaires and short surveys in your free time and get paid for them! Conclusion Your parents have, no doubt, given you everything to the best of their ability, investing in education fund trusts and taking on education loans for your future. However, as you grow into adulthood, it is time for you to start learning to take responsibility for your own income. One of the things that make your decision to study abroad truly worth it is the independence and self-sufficiency it teaches you. A part-time job can teach you the hard work it takes to earn real money out in the world. Being on your own in a foreign country is a unique adventure that you should take full advantage of. A side hustle can be part of that adventure! FAQs How can a college student earn a side income? There are many ways for a student to earn a side income while studying. One can start tutoring, blogging, becoming an influencer on social media, getting an internship or a part-time job that aligns with their college schedule, and many more. What are some of the best college student-friendly side hustle ideas? Some of the best side hustle ideas for college students are - affiliate marketing, participating in paid online surveys, blogging, doing paid internships that are relevant to the subjects they're currently studying in college, etc. Is it important for students to have a side hustle? The answer varies from student to student. For some, it's a necessity as their families are unable to fully support them financially. For some, it's a way of transitioning toward financial freedom.
The college student’s guide to budgeting

The college student’s guide to budgeting

College teaches you a great many lessons and gives a guide to budgeting. Not all of those lessons, as it happens, are learned in the classroom. As a young college student, budgeting and good financial planning are lessons you will learn to appreciate sooner rather than later. This is especially true if you are planning on moving abroad for your studies.  The expenses of a global education may have you worried and asking “Is studying abroad worth it?” Well, there is no doubt that going to study abroad has a great many benefits, both for your career as well as your personal growth and development. In fact, learning how to live on a tight budget can be a life lesson on its own. In this blog post, we try to understand how to get started in creating your first personal budget.  Image by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels Basics of financial planning When you are preparing for your college applications, it is likely that you have an education plan in place. This ensures that you are more organized with your applications and aren’t surprised or thrown into a tizzy due to unexpected circumstances. In the same way, to ensure that you are organized with your money and to avoid being beset by financial emergencies, you need a financial plan. What is Financial planning? Financial planning is basically a method to plan and manage your income, expenses, investments, and other finances to ensure that you can achieve your life goals. A good financial plan also anticipates and makes room for emergencies that may otherwise drain your savings or cause you to incur debt.  The first step in creating a financial plan? The first step in creating a good financial plan is the same as the first step in creating a good education plan - identify your goals. You need to figure out what your financial goals are. They can be as simple as being able to save a certain amount at the end of the year. Be realistic with your goals. Keep in mind that you are still young and do not have too many responsibilities right now. Therefore, you can treat your college life as a growing and earning period. You don't have to put too much pressure on yourself. image by Karolina Gabrowska on Pexels Understanding & tracking your finances Once you have your financial goals in place, you can start sketching out your plans. Understand your finances. Figure out how much money is coming in each month, (through education loans, scholarships, part-time jobs, or your parents) and how much of it you are spending. Figure out which expenses are reasonable or non-negotiable and which ones you can cut down. You should also maintain a personal balance sheet to record how much you have, how much you spend, and how much you owe. Collect all bills, invoices, and bank statements to accurately record all your transactions. This will enable you to understand and track where your money comes from and where it goes. How to create your first budget? Once you have a financial plan in place, creating a budget will be easy. A budget is a summary of estimated income, and discretionary & non-discretionary expenses. Budgets help you figure out where your money is coming from and where it should be going. This enables you to spend and save money more wisely. Budgets are especially important when you study abroad and are away from family support during emergencies. If you have done your financial planning and tracking, your personal balance sheet will be your first step to creating your first monthly budget. Next, follow these simple steps - Calculate your monthly income based on this balance sheet. Your income will include all money that you earn through part-time jobs and scholarships as well as any allowances you get from your parents or through an education loan. Make a list of your monthly expenses. This list should include all your fixed as well as variable expenses including tuition, rent, utility bills, food, transport, entertainment, etc. Next, separate the non-discretionary expenses like rent and utility bills from discretionary expenses like entertainment.  Set aside money for non-discretionary expenses as a priority. This is money you are not allowed to touch for anything other than its designated purpose.  Set aside money for savings and emergency funds. You don’t have to save a huge amount but do try to keep aside at least some money for this every month.  Make any adjustments that may be required. Cut expenses where possible and adjust savings where no other options are left. And voila! Just like that, you have your first budget! Good monetary habits Good monetary habits teach you financial responsibility and maturity. When you study abroad, you do not always have your family to rely on during emergencies. By practicing these, you ensure that you do not end up in sudden financial emergencies that cause you to incur debt.  Image by Maithree Rimthong on Pexels Financial planning and budgeting are some good monetary habits. Another important habit is avoiding unnecessary expenses. Avoid buying expensive clothes or gadgets that you don’t need. Avail of student discounts wherever possible. Use the library. Use public transport. Save money wherever you can.  Pay off your debts. Try not to buy anything on credit or borrow money unnecessarily from your friends. Only buy what you can reasonably afford. S Saving money may involve sacrifices. You may have to cancel a trip with your friends or miss out on going to an expensive restaurant. Keep in mind there will always be time for those things. By planning for the long term instead of focusing on short-term pleasures, you are making sure that you enter your working life on solid financial ground.  Pay your bills early and on time. Not being prompt with your payments causes you to accumulate late fees which can easily drain your resources and unbalance your budget.  Another important monetary habit to build when you study abroad is to always have an emergency fund. This fund can help you pay sudden expenses, like if you lose your phone or if your laptop needs repair.  Image by Liza Summers on Pexels FAQs What is financial planning? Financial planning is basically a method to plan and manage your income, expenses, investment, and other finances to ensure that you can achieve your life goals. A good financial plan also anticipates and makes room for emergencies that may otherwise drain your savings or cause you to incur debt. What is the 50-30-20 rule? The 50-30-20 rule states that 50% of your income should go toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings. How should a student plan a budget? To create a budget, first understand what your monthly income/pocket money is, and figure out your daily and monthly spending like rent, food, and transport. Compartmentalize your spending into necessary spending and miscellaneous spending. Once you have all the information, figure out where you are spending excessively and try to save the money to create an emergency fund for yourself. Conclusion Financial planning is the first step towards financial responsibility and eventual financial independence. Your parents were able to send you to your dream college because they were fiscally responsible, saved money, and invested in child investment schemes to ensure the best future for you. The best way you can pay them back is by learning to be financially responsible yourself.  Your attitude matters. If you are not resolute about sticking to your budget, your financial planning will be futile. No financial goal is as difficult as it seems once you have your personal balance sheets and budgets in place. Welcome to adulthood!
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