Living a Glam-mom life by investing right
“A grandmother is both a shield and a sword.” – Fredrick Backman
Sanjana Suneel Jog is not your typical grandmom, though her 5-year-old grandson Sahaansh may disagree.
- She is not retired,
- She is not stay-at-home,
- She is not constantly force-feeding her family ladoos,
- And most importantly, she is not financially dependent on anyone.
Sanjana Jog is the epitome of modern grandmotherhood or as the new age lingo calls her tribe – Glam-mom! She travels internationally and has mastered the art of social media. She is the founder of one of the large closed groups of women on Facebook with more than 15,000 members and several sub-groups. She is working with Freedom from Diabetes, an organisation helping people deal with the disorder. And she is the mistress of her destiny.
Planning is key
Getting where she is is the result of a well-planned life. “I started working in my late 20s when my kids started going to school,” she says. Married to an army officer, life kept her on the move and teaching was the most practical option. “I would save a quarter of my salary and the best saving option for us at that time was the post office. I would put the money in an account where it earned cumulative interest. Every few years – 2 to 3 – at the time of our move from the city, I would take out the money and put it into mutual funds”, she says.
Sanjana got a lot of investing advice from her father and on his recommendation, she also started considering investments in shares. “When we moved to Mumbai, I got a job in the corporate sector and my salary jumped. Since I was used to saving even on my earlier salary, the salary hike notwithstanding, I continued my savings pattern. The quarter of my salary that I saved became quite substantial. I got into investments through SIPs and this was before you could give your bank auto-debit instructions. So I had to give post-dated cheques for the SIPs,” she says.
Golden rules – save and invest
As her savings grew she started looking at shares actively. “I was lucky that I was able to get some very good shares like Indian Hotels and Reliance at face value,” she recalls.
Her mantra for being good at personal finance is self-discipline. “I kept a certain part of my salary for indulgences and generally stuck to it. However, whenever I wanted something that cost more than I had budgeted, instead of going over budget, I would forego my spending for a month or more and save up for it” she explains.
When her husband retired, they settled down in Pune.
Enjoying the investment results
“At the time of retirement, we studied our portfolio. On paper, we had a lot of money. But all that is notional wealth. It feels good to see that you have mutual funds of the value of a certain amount. But the real value of money is its buying power. So we gave instructions to our financial planner to book our profits as soon as the investment crosses 22 per cent. Meaning that if we have invested ₹100 and the value of the fund reaches ₹122, we would encash the ₹22 and keep the ₹100 invested. This profit is what I use for my travels,” says the lady who has recently returned from Jordan and is on her way to Spain.
For her travels, she does not keep the money idle in the bank. “I put the profits from my investments which I have encashed into a quick withdrawal fund. These are funds which you can encash in one to three days,” she explains.
Even while keeping her savings bank account flush, she has a sweep-in account where once the money crosses a certain amount it is automatically put into a fixed deposit. “However, fixed deposits have never been an investment option for me. I use the FD option only for saving income tax, at times,” she says. Fixed deposits do not keep pace with inflation and whatever little interest you earn is taxable. Quite a savvy investor I must say!
She sums up her advice to young women:
- Start early.
- Book your profits and keep your corpus intact.
- Do not join kitty groups, you are not earning any interest; SIPs will give you better returns.
- Budget your expenses.
- Even if you are not working, use creative homemaking skills to save money.
- Hone your skills and use them to add to your income.
- Indulge yourself, but with smart spending.
Got questions on how to invest your money right? Join our community Life on My Terms a safe space for women to discuss and learn about all things money.