How Can You Gift Your Spouse a Vacation?
Gita - Hi Sita! Just saw your holiday pics on social media. Phuket must have been wonderful.
Sita- Thanks, Gita. It was really fun. The beaches were pristine, the viewpoints breathtaking, the city-life electric and the islands were pure paradise.
Gita- You’re making me feel jealous already. How did Rahul manage to talk you into it, with your busy schedules and equated monthly instalment (EMIs) on top?
Sita- Well, it was my idea. I reckoned he deserved a vacation on his birthday.
Gita- But didn’t that burn a crater-sized hole in your pocket?
Sita- No, it didn’t. I planned ahead and was able to save enough over the last year to make the trip happen.
Gita- Really! It must be quite complex and risky. Did you invest in the stock market?
Sita- Not at all. It’s quite simple actually. I invested in several low-risk assets, and was able to rack up a decent profit in a short time.
Gita- That’s wonderful! Could you tell me more about it?
Sita- For a start, I invested in Fixed Deposits. FD schemes are available from several banks for a period of 6 months to a year. The interest rate is around 8% and it helps to save on tax as well.
Gita- That’s great. But several of my friends are investing in mutual funds. Did you go for them as well?
Sita- In fact I did. I went for a special type of mutual fund called Liquid fund. It gives returns of around 10% and is a very safe place to park your funds for a short time. Unlike SIP’s, which need 2-3 years, Liquid funds can be easily converted to cash in a year’s time.
I also invested in Fixed Maturity Plans (FMP). They have a maturity period of 1 year. They offer good returns of 9.5% at least!
Gita- Wow!! You really did some smart moves there, but isn’t there something more conventional I can do to plan my holiday. Kaushik and I don’t really know much about all these fancy financial fixes.
Sita- Well you can always go for a Holiday Savings Account with any bank. The banks tie up with major travel agencies and provide a sort of EMI scheme for Tour Packages.
Your entire package amount is divided into 13 segments for a year. You pay 12 of them in the form of Recurring Deposits and the travel agency pays the 13th one for you. This helps us to save money and gives a nice little discount by the side.
I went for a bank-travel agency tie-up scheme when I decided on Phuket a year ago. It helps us plan our trip and save for it as well. This way all my other investments became add-ons to my original fund. Extra cash at hand meant we could do more!!
Gita- Well that’s good to hear. I guess more conventional people would consider that a safe investment and a one-stop solution. I only wish I could put my birthday money to good use. Wouldn’t it be good if we can get our trip “Crowdfunded” just like they’re doing with the web series’?
Sita- Well there’s a way for that as well. There are several travel sites that give innovative offers for creating a travel fund. Instead of cash and other presents, you can get people to fund parts of your trip. It costs Rs1000/- for a guided tour of Phuket, and ?5000/- for a full relaxing spa massage.
Gita- That’s really cool!! Who knew you could plan a trip in so many ways? But all the savings apart, how did you manage to keep on track? Wasn’t it hard to resist the urge to splurge?
Sita- That’s a no-brainer. Of course, it’s hard not to pick up those stiletto heels or that branded handbag. But, that vacation was worth a thousand times more than any of those odds and ends. Can you list out all the clothes and shoes you’ve bought since college? But I bet you’d still remember that trip to the hill station.
What’re you waiting for? Plan now and let’s go to Paris next summer!
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