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Suggestions To Make My India Trip Frugal

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by mangaii, Mar 1, 2020.

  1. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    I’m trying to create budget for my India trip . Most of the money goes to transportation so I want to reduce that . For a family of 4 we will be traveling to Chennai , Bangalore , trichy , Kanyakumari and Hyderabad . One sibling in Bangalore and another one in Hyderabad . Both cannot stand each other so not possible to meet at one place . In laws spread all over Tamil Nadu from kanyakumari to Chennai .
    What is the economical way to commute ?
    2. Gift purchase . I have a house warming ceremony in my DH village . It is in my DH name . Expecting turn around of at least 10-12 families . What is the economical return gift ?
    3. Gifts for ladies and kids in the family
    Women in late 40s and 60s . Nor sure what to get them.
    4. Shopping for the family . This one I want to be conscious because my kids complain Indian clothes are itchy . Just planning to get simple cotton outfits . Both of them hate polyester fabric. Teen has been asking for 1/2 saree so planning to buy some good ones for her . I have enough supply so I’m going to see how not to waste on impulse buying or buying because it is cheap when converted to dollar. Last time I ended up donating to friends exactly like new .
    5. What are some easy to buy jewelry gold or fancy accessories for teens ? Any recommendations for stores in Chennai . Something goes well with Indian outfits and western outfits .
    6. I have some extra cash to invest . What would you recommend ? Gold or fixed deposit .
    7. There is rental income of Rs.20000 from property which is never accountable . More like public fund . What is better way to invest this so it doesn’t get dissipated among family . I will have hard time asking this but I think this needs to be sorted out . I would like to have a plan in place .
    8. In bank statement I see charges for atm card and account maintenance. Is this norm in India now ? Anyway to avoid these charges .

    9. I’m a India citizen do I get a pan card ? What is my photo identity in India other than my passport . I’m going after a long time so don’t have any id there.

    looks like too many questions . Any help or suggestion is appreciated.
     
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  2. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    1) Best way to commute will depend on how much time you have. If time is short flight might be the best option. We usually hire a SUV to commute between Chennai and Bangalore as we have a group of 4-6 people.
    2) Return gifts: one of my relatives had 80th birthday celebration last year. They gave some attractive heavy serving bowls which looked like silver but were made of some other metal. They were not that expensive and looked luxurious in the gift box.
    3) For real gold my family likes GRT and Vummidi. I like Sukra in Mylapore for silver jewelry and they have traditional as well as modern pieces. All these shops also have fancy jewelry. If you are looking for plated pieces Tara Jewellers on Kutcheri Road in Mylapore have a great selection. They have a Facebook group where they post their items.
    4) I always stock up on cotton tops, scarves and skirts at Fab India and Anokhi. One of my friends recommended Her Choice boutique in Alwarpet for reasonably priced salwar kurtas but I have not been there personally.
     
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  3. kavya007

    kavya007 Gold IL'ite

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    If your office is willing to send you on a business trip, take the opportunity to combine it with your India trip :grinning: That is what I did on my last India trip. I went to Bangalore to meet my team. I got to meet a cousin for dinner. Then flew to Chennai and met the rest of my family. Most expensive part of the trip got taken care of.:)
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2020
  4. peartree

    peartree Platinum IL'ite

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    My suggestions in bold. I also feel like going to India now :) Have a great trip!!
     
  5. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    This is a tough decision.
    With gold investment - gold may go high or low and when you sell gold you may lose some money also.
    Fixed deposit - the interest may be low and you cannot get the money when you want it. Have to wait till maturity.
    These are the cons of both investments.

    If you like jewelry and do not mind losing money if you want to sell it, then buy the jewelry and enjoy wearing it.

    Personally, I am not fond of jewelry - So we buy gold coins and we have invested in high yielding fixed deposits. Trying to get best of both worlds :)
     
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  6. AppuMom

    AppuMom Silver IL'ite

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    Few things we did
    1.Hiring a car with driver.Check with travel agency for good tariff.
    2.Buy steel cup or plate sets from wholesale vessel shops.or Sarees (you get 500 Rs range good sarees in Chennai or Coimbatore).Very old relatives I prefered to give nice bed spread)/sheet ,something they will use
    3.There are high quality cotton dress in shops like Fab India
    4.Pondy bazar in Chennai has lots artificial jewellery shops.Bangalore too(places like Jayanagar 4th Block ,commercial Street etc)
    5.Buying gold coins ,silver blocks is good investment ,recurring deposits,retirement fund etc are other options
    6.Check whether you can apply for Aadhar card in India.website will have info
     
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  7. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    Thank you
    @MalStrom @kkrish @AppuMom @peartree for all the great suggestions . I will definitely spend some time in Chennai shopping . I’m sure my daughter will be excited .

    @kkrish what are high yielding cds ? Could you provide more information on that
     
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  8. kkrish

    kkrish IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi @mangaii
    Are you looking for investing/saving in India in the fixed deposits? If so there are many Indian banks that offer different interest rates.
    I am not familiar with India banks. Hopefully the article here will help you.
    Top 5 bank FD rates

    While in India FDs can earn up to 7-8%, in USA the Certificate of Deposits (CDs) earn much less interest. Not more than 3% as far as I know.

    CD is an extremely conservative, low risk way to save/invest.
    You may approach your bank to find out their CD rates or go online.
    Here is a list of the highest CD offers.
    13 Best CD Rates for March 2020 - NerdWallet

    The recommendation is to ladder the CDs so that if you want money at a given month you do not have to pay penalty for withdrawing early.

    Laddering is to buy multiple CDs that mature/terms ending at different months.
    Let us say, you buy a CD this month, March 2020, that will mature in March 2021
    Buy another CD in April that will mature April 2021 and so on.
    When March 2021 rolls around you can withdraw the funds or choose to continue for one more year/many years. You can also add more funds to that CD.
    The longer the term of the CD the higher the interest you will earn.​

    Start with the minimum required and slowly build your portfolio.

    Hope this is helpful. There are other financial savvy IL members who may provide more information.

    Please keep in mind there are other ways to invest also. Some are medium risk, and some high risk.
    I stick to the traditional, no worry, safe CD.
    My husband plays with the high risk/medium risk ones where we have lost and gained. So please do not ask me about the high risk investments. I do not know much about them.:shakehead:
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2020
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  9. mangaii

    mangaii Platinum IL'ite

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    After careful consideration I have decided to cancel my trip . It was a very difficult decision but I will re-evaluate the decision later and maybe make a trip when situation is little better .
     
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  10. Caughtinbetween

    Caughtinbetween Gold IL'ite

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    I read in one of your posts that you were making this trip after a long time . I am positive you would be able to go very soon. With all the travel restrictions coming up everyday your decision is definitely wise though tough.
     
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