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Virtual Meetup

Given the COVID-19 situation, it is probably better to do a virtual meetup rather than a physical one. So here is an invite to join me in a virtual meet-up to discuss random things on the topics of financial planning, early retirement, home schooling or sustainable living. We can share our stories and ask each other questions or give suggestions. As a group we can learn from each other’s experience, learnings and pit-falls. Since I post a lot about me on this blog, you probably already know everything about me. But if you ever wanted to ask me something and … Continue reading “Virtual Meetup”

What Does Minimalism Mean To Us

Like many things in life, what something means to you may not mean the same to others. Take minimalism for example. It has a different meaning to different people, but the core tenets remain the same. Some people confuse minimalism with cheap or frugal. While it does help to be frugal, it does not necessarily mean minimalist. What does minimalism mean to us then? We’d like to think that minimalism means owning or buying the minimum amount of things that will let you lead a comfortable but simple life. That’s a mouthful. Lets break it down. Things you don’t need … Continue reading “What Does Minimalism Mean To Us”

The Truth About Organic Gardening

You have heard about our organic terrace garden. You know all the exciting projects that came out of it and the fun we had building it. Don’t forget the good harvest we had over the past year. However, not everything is always smooth sailing as one might mistakenly assume. We do have our share of pesky problems and that is what this post is about. I write this post in the hope that it may help you understand the other side of terrace gardening in case you are planning to embark on the journey. Shade net issues It was been … Continue reading “The Truth About Organic Gardening”

My Corpus Reached All Time High And I am Worried

Just recently, my corpus has reached an all time high. I thought we are in the middle of a world wide pandemic. How come the markets don’t seem to care? Agreed that I don’t understand markets, but still, this is completely unreasonable. Various indices and stocks in India, as well as in the US, are hitting all time highs. But the economy is hurting. Where am I going wrong in my understanding? Well, there is nothing new happening really. Mr. Market has always been manic-depressive and probably will continue to be that way forever. My corpus Just 4 months ago … Continue reading “My Corpus Reached All Time High And I am Worried”

Experience with TyresNmore – A Tyre Replacement Service

My Maruti alto car was manufactured in 2007 and the tyres have been the same since that time. While the tyres haven’t worn out quite as much, they have become hard and brittle. One of the tyre’s rubber gave way on a ride. Thankfully we weren’t too far from home, so we just drove slowly and reached home. This was before the COVID pandemic. So we had lots of options to have the car fixed. We do have road side assistance on our car insurance, so could have it towed to the nearest Maruti service center and have the tyres … Continue reading “Experience with TyresNmore – A Tyre Replacement Service”

How Do Unschooled Children Learn?

The question that we often get asked when someone learns that we are unschooling is “How does your kid learn?”. You see, in the case of home schooling there is at least a curriculum and everyone expects some teaching. They intuitively understand that home schooling means teaching subjects like Math, Science etc. What craziness is this unschooling where the kid is completely left to learn on their own? Of course home schooling and unschooling have some things in common. And home schooling does not necessarily imply following a strict curriculum and time table. But most people do follow some syllabus … Continue reading “How Do Unschooled Children Learn?”

Taxation of Franklin Segregated Funds Payout

There is a lot of confusion about how the payout from Franklin Segregated funds (Vodafone Idea papers) will be taxed. After reading a lot about the taxation for the past 3 days, I think I finally have a good idea. If you received a payout from Franklin, you will find all the details on how to calculate your tax. I can tell you upfront that we are at a tax disadvantage. Moreover, you might have to pay advance tax depending on how much you received. In the rest of the post I will be using Franklin Ultra Short-term Bond fund … Continue reading “Taxation of Franklin Segregated Funds Payout”

Franklin Ultra Final Payment From Vodafone Segregated Fund

Yesterday, Franklin Templeton announced that Vodafone Idea has made full payment of the principle along with interest. If you recall, a few funds from the AMC were holding Vodafone Idea papers which were downgraded to junk. As a result, Franklin has moved those papers to a segregated fund. Franklin already made a partial payment last month after it received interest payment from Vodafone. Now the AMC will be paying out the full amount from the segregated funds. Remember that this is the payment from the segregated fund and has nothing to do with the winding up of funds. The winding … Continue reading “Franklin Ultra Final Payment From Vodafone Segregated Fund”

How To Make Bio-Enzymes – Part I

As a continuation of the previous post on how to reduce and reuse the wet waste produced at our homes, we need to learn about bio-enzymes. Bio enzyme is basically homemade vinegar made by fermenting left over fruit, vegetables, flowers, and leaves. We can use whole fruits or just the remains of the vegetables, i.e., peels and cuttings alone. As a household cleaner, bio enzyme can be used for your bathrooms, mopping floors, clean pesticide residues on produce, dish washing, as laundry detergent etc. It can be used to clean anything and everything literally. It is used to eliminate odor, … Continue reading “How To Make Bio-Enzymes – Part I”

Are Sovereign Gold Bonds a Good Investment Option?

Sovereign gold bonds are open for subscription starting today (July 6, 2020) and will end on July 10, 2020. Should you invest in them? Sovereign gold bonds are issued by RBI and thus are one of the safest investments. If you like to invest in gold, but don’t want to hold physical gold, this is a good option for you. The issue price is set at Rs. 4,852 per gram, but if you buy online, you get a discount of Rs. 50. You have to buy a minimum of 1 gram up to a maximum of 4 kgs. But is … Continue reading “Are Sovereign Gold Bonds a Good Investment Option?”

Rolling Ball Machine Construction

After building a doll house and disk drop board, my daughter had another idea for a cardboard project. This time she wanted to build a rolling ball machine. Again, as usual, I comply. I had no idea of what she had in mind. So I asked her to do a drawing and explain how the machine is supposed to work. She drew a spiral on paper, cut it out along the pencil drawing. Then, pointing at the dangling spiral, she said “that is what I want”. She explained to me that the balls will roll from the top and spiral … Continue reading “Rolling Ball Machine Construction”