Valentine’s Day gifts for book lovers – The Bloggers League 2022

February 14 valentines day is just right around the corner. The days I’m between quickly pass on in the blink of an eye. Now is the time you get worked up thinking what to gift.

The gift needs to be thoughtful in such a way that has to benefit the receiver as in be of use to them so must be related to something related to what they love doing.

If your valentine is a book lover, you needn’t worry as you have a lot of options to choose from to gift them. Being a book lover you needn’t just gift them books because there are a lot of other related stuff to books that are quite new, innovative and thoughtful

With just a month left, here are few gift ideas that can light up your Valentine’s face.

Bibliophile journal or planner

Who wouldn’t love a gift that helps them track their reading goals. With sections like checklists for actions like reading and related activities. Recommended read lists , or titles from genres this would be a good choice of gift to get them to track their reading journey.

Click here

Bibliophile cushion cover

Every reader has a reading nook or a cozy corner where they prefer reading. They’d definitely have a cushion to make them comfortable so why not gift them a bibliophile cushion cover that resonates their reading mood. This would be great gift to enhance their home decor too.

Click here

Abibliophobia mug

Does the word ring a bell or makes you panic. Is your valentine one? Or if you are hearing this word for the first time, it’s the fear of running out of books to read. A cool gift for your bibliophile valentine to sip that mig of hot chocolate while reading.

Click here

Bibliophile postcards

Though we don’t write letters these days. This gift can rekindle the love for writing letters. Crafted with foil to give that original touch to the bookish mentions, these postcards are carefully curated to look exactly like a book and a treasured keepsakes.

Click here

Metallic bookmarks

Bookmarks come in all sizes and shapes. This particular set is so very cute am sure a person who is not fond of books will also find these adorable. They are affordable too.

Click here for metallic bookmarks

Magnetic bookmarks

Book reading lamp

Many of us love reading at nights. If your valentine is also one such I’m sure they will definitely fall in love with the design of this lamp. In the shape of pages of book this will definitely be a valuable addition to their bookish treasure.

Click here

Scented candles

Who doesn’t love scented candles and the aromatherapy they offer. Especially when your reading the candle takes it to a different level amping up the ambience and giving the who place a new vibe. And choosing a fragrance that is loved by your valentine will give you bonus points.

Click here

I hope you would have now zeroed in on any one of the options above. Hope your valentine would appreciate your gesture of gifting them something relating to what they love.

This article is written as a part of The Bloggers League conducted by Vidhya Thakkar Neelam Sharma and Siddhi Palande powered by Penguin IndiaDreamland Publications and Acclidesign should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Hosts are not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Why is Chidanand Rajghatta’s Book Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman a Must Read?

Kamala Devi Harris or simply Kamala Harris was a name that rang in almost every household in India right from the moment the elections were announced in the United States. Forget that she won, even before that the Indian subcontinent saw a magnitude of social media mentions involving her Indian Origin.


The journey to becoming the Vice President of one of the Supreme powers in the World being an immigrant is not an easy feat. The struggles, the path that held challenges all shaped her personality as a daughter of recent immigrants and becoming a woman of higher authority in the United States.


Donning multiple hats, taking care of the family and being a rigid Vice President Kamala Harris manages the role quite remarkably. Her path to winning the election was not an easy one especially with her coming from a non-traditional background.
The phenomenal woman that she is, her story is truly inspirational to all women out there letting them know that they can be bold, fearless and ambitious.


In her own words as she says,


‘We not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be. We shoot for the moon … We are bold, fearless, and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome; that we will rise up.’


This was part of her inauguration night address. These are not just words from speech but a positive affirmation that every woman can not only dream but can also do wonders. We will rise up should be the daily mantra that would work and make miracles in every life.


The biography describes her struggles on her path to success, the challenges she faced to see her rise on a Land that was not her native. The book Kamala Harris: Phenomenal Woman describes her Indian and Jamaican connect, but a deeper introspection in her Indian relativity. Being a woman of colour her ascent to occupy one of the highest positions has been explained with attention to all details involving her expedition to become a superwoman.

Why is this book by Chidanand Rajghatta a must read?

Lessons to learn from her Biography

  • Kamala’s single-minded focus and determination is a lesson to all women that they can be independent when it comes to carving their career path. Kamala not only secured admission to UC Berkley but was also capable of taking care of her studying expenses.
  • Her unshakeable confidence and zeal were proven when she owned the stage upon her winning the elections. Her speech wherein she mentioned that Women sacrificed so much for equality, liberty and justice when they are overlooked but in fact, they are the backbone of the democracy.
  • The United States had a surrogate to the President which was not seen in all these years. Joe Biden chose to make her an equal powerhouse with authority and importance by his own design and his consent. His confidence in her depicted her importance to him. It isn’t easy to achieve that. And for the First time the TIMES magazine which published the person of the year as only the President, in 2020 published the picture of the Vice president alongside the President. Such a prestigious moment to celebrate.
  • The White house communications can now never be seen without Kamala’s name or comments in each dispatch depicting her influence which is seen significantly.
  • Breaking what has long been a male preserve, Kamala went first and followed up with remarks at the Pentagon during Biden’s first foreign policy speech.
  • Kamala is clearly seen wading into foreign policy deeply with Biden’s guidance and can be evident to the world when she spoke with the Canadian and the French Presidents in her first outreach with foreign leaders. This was considered as an exclusive domain of the President until Kamala changed that she could do it too.
  • Leadership came to her as easily, and once she said, ‘Lawyers have a profound ability and responsibility to be a voice for the vulnerable and the voiceless.’” Which was the reason she chose to pursue a legal career.
  • Her decision to become the prosecutor rather than the defender raised many eyebrows including that of her mother’s. It became a much sterner test than passing her bar exam for her to convince the family and friends that her decision was wise.
  • ‘I knew quite well that equal justice was an aspiration, I knew that the force of the law was applied unevenly, sometimes by design. But I also knew that what was wrong with the system didn’t need to be an immutable fact. And I wanted to be part of changing that,’ she writes. ‘When activists came marching and banging on the doors, I wanted to be on the other side to let them in.’ Her reading about brave prosecutors opened her eyes to possibilities of working from the inside. She gained a lot of courage to fight from within and help people too.


The book quotes a lot of life instances that can serve to be a sense of inspiration that to make a change one always does not need to be on the opponent’s end but could also fight from within. One needn’t be quiet just because it is a male preserve but can serve to be the change and show that women aren’t incapable.

Why online shopping is popular? #ecommercebuildseconomy

Shopping is a therapy to many. Checking out the aisles of stuff going round trying to see if you could pick up something, look at what others choose to shop are all various events that one would notice when you set out to shop. They could also be disadvantageous to few.
When the pandemic hit, we were all holed up at our homes. Shops big or small were all closed up. The world of offline shopping didn’t expect to see itself going into a black hole which was taking it to darkness for an infinite period. And for those whom I mentioned that shopping was a therapy it was a total crash landing.


Ecommerce even way before pandemic was well established. In fact, there were a sect of people who stopped doing offline shopping and only stuck to shopping online. I myself belong to that category. I found that it made my way of shopping much easier and whenever I want to.


The pandemic was also the time when businesses decided that they will have to shift to the online paradigm. They knew that was the only way that the Business would continue to see the light until the pandemic ends.


Online shopping through e-commerce saw a drastic rise in purchasing capabilities thanks to the pandemic. Vendors continued to move ahead with their business collaborating by onboarding their business with already existing ecommerce majors or sought to make a standalone website.


While we still reel under the pandemic wave, ecommerce still continues to boom even if shops open up online because some of the recent users felt that the choice, they made to shop online convinced them that this could make it easier for them.


Vendors in the tier 2 cities also saw through vast expansion in their reach through the online venture that they decided to go on with it even if the pandemic is gone forever. If it is boosting your economy why not continue to do it was what they thought.


The steady rise in the shopping trend also contributed to the economy. Be it whatever category that is being shopped the country is benefited through the taxes. So this helps boost the economy of the nation as well.

So why would people continue to shop online or why does online shopping remain popular trend?


Ease of shopping.


Ecommerce brought in the comfort of shopping from home. I needn’t get squished in the crowds or wait for the sales person to show me other options similar. I can shop while cooking, reading or even while lying down on the bed.

Everything within few clicks


The technology in ecommerce is so very advanced that within a few clicks and scrolls I could shop for the entire family. Right from choosing to making the payment it is all very simplified.

Options to share


Say I’m shopping for my mom, I don’t have to drag her to the shop, make her wait and patiently check on what she chooses. With the apps available on phones, we could check and share across, get to know the choice, make payment and get it delivered. Especially a savior if you stay away from home. Also makes both of you happy, doesn’t it?


Unlimited choices


The ecommerce website algorithm is so well versed in understanding the human actions because while you keep shopping, we are also shown similar interests or even options that would go well with the commodity that we are about to buy. This makes our planning much easier. Say I’m buying an attire, I also get suggestions on the accessories that would go well with the look. I needn’t go look for it separately that I just hit one click buy this combo and my job is done.

Ease of payments


The biggest problems when it comes to offline shopping is the big queues at the billing desk. The change for the currency and the working condition of card swiping machine. It really makes you go nuts when you’re almost about to get your cart billed, the card machine stops working or there is no proper change.
Online shopping has hassle free payment methods like using debit cards, credit cards, net banking, UPI and digital wallets. Added to that you get amazing discounts if you’re using any particular type of cards.
You also get the option to choose COD(Cash on Delivery), I don’t think that would even be possible when you do offline shopping.

There is no worry of theft in case of shopping in a crowded place, the payment you make is secure.


Cashbacks


Online shopping payments methods also offer various cashbacks which is great to lure in customers. Who wouldn’t want to save some money?

Augmented reality and virtual reality

This has made it easy especially when it comes to trials in case of apparels and accessories and the order of placement when it comes to furniture or home décor. I cannot really imagine how the piece of décor or furniture would suit my space by imagining it over in my head rather than getting to see a real image of how it would actually look on my screen.


Reviews and comparisons


Reviews and comparisons between different brands is made clear when you shop online. You get to know what you actually buy is going to be genuine and worth the investment that you are going to make. This won’t be possible in offline shopping.

Online shopping has way more advantages than its disadvantages. The ecommerce industry is continuing to see steady rise as we speak as the word of mouth and even digitization spreads its benefits. As long as people continue to shop online, they would be seen as one of the main contributors to the country’s economy.

This post is Written as part of Blogchatter’s campaign #ECommerceBuildsEconomy

Why reading books is important? How to read mindfully?

Reading books take you to another world. It’s a noisy world out there and I tell you reading a book is one kind of meditation. A turn of a page can make your brain network calm and free you from the chatter that you’re currently present in. It helps boost dopamine making you empathize over people, providing ways to socialize and broaden our perspectives.


The power of reading helps in healing trauma, virtually transport you to another world or even help you build new qualities. There is no better teacher than a good book. Books can be an escape from the reality, the mundane day to day demands in front of us. All avid readers would agree with me that reading books is self-medicating and it is no surprise that reading books offer many more benefits.


A survey by the NPD revealed that the book sales went up in 2020, increasing print volumes much higher post 2004. While this was the trend it was also noticed that they were buying more but took much more time to complete because they were doing it slowly. The reason being they were distracted.


The mind doesn’t stay calm, holding a book in hand and screaming out ‘can’t you see I’m busy’ would show that you are not completely into reading. The lack of concentration in turn made it harder for them to proceed with reading. The anxiety in us that makes the brain constantly scan for threats around is becoming a roadblock to the reading. It releases stress hormones that is consuming more energy that people find it hard to concentrate on reading.


Here is how you can practice mindful reading. These habits will ensure that reading benefits you.


Begin with a short read


Our brain loves it and releases happy hormones when it is given a reward. And finishing a book that you started with is definitely rewarding that your brain wants to continue doing it. So pick up a short engaging read that you can finish sooner.

Meditate before reading


Reading needs a calm mind for it to happen naturally. Sit down and clear your mind away from thoughts. Close your eyes and do a deep breathe or even meditate with a prayer.

Reading to relevancy


Sometimes reading about what’s happening around you or what’s happening with you an make you stay glued. It will make you more attentive to what you read. Reading fiction, memoire also helps in making you show empathy on others.

Familiarity


Uncertain times can be handled when you return to something familiar that gives you solace. There are two types of readers: One who wants to keep reading to discover and learn about new things, and one who rereads just to comfort themselves and give them stability.

Read first thing in the morning


It is a great thing to start the day with. It can in putting your phone away and spend more energy on reading.


Put your phone away


Phones are a main distraction especially when it comes to reading. Give it to someone who wouldn’t give in for your please or in another room. The best would be even kept it in another floor.


Make it a habit


Relax yourselves in a comfortable spot, make yourself a hot cup of chocolate or your favorite beverage and try reading at the same time every day.

Read like a child


Read under the blanket, under the bed or a cozy corner like how we used to when we were kids. It gives a whole new perspective to the reading habit.

Stop reading if you cannot concentrate


Life has uncertainties that make you stress and let reading not be one. So, whenever you feel like that thought creeping in put down your book.


Listen to audiobooks


During solitary times it is comforting to hear a voice is your mind that is not yours. GO for an audiobook if you cannot read yourself and let the narrator take the stage while you relax.


Be prepared for the next.


Once you finish a book or you are almost going to complete it, keep another one ready so that you will continue to read. Do not give a long pause.


Here are reasons why reading can be a therapy. It’s called bibliotherapy.

  • Sometimes stories can hold deeper meanings in us than the real situations we live in.
  • Rekindling the interest in reading can make you feel connected and alive.
  • Switching of the stress buttons, giving yourself some me-time and helping you relieve from stress.
  • It will make you feel that you are not alone and there are people going through similar situations.
  • It gives you a sense of creativity and even make you start writing probably a journal which might further help to understand what you are going through.

I hope these benefits will definitely give you that positive push to get back to reading. But a reading challenge can even push you further to make it more interesting when you have a goal set for the number of books that you look forward to complete. I am taking part in blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge and aimed at completing 30 books this year. If you would want to know more and like to participate you could check here and sign up.

Review of Active parenting

BLURB:

What do you want your child to be?
There is no one way to raise a child. Each child is unique and can vary in so many ways in abilities and behaviour from others in their group. Ramgopal Vallath, indebted to his own parents for an upbringing that has helped him overcome great challenges and difficulties, set out to meet numerous parents to work out some common guidelines that could help groom a child. This book is the result. As with his previous bestselling book, From Ouch to Oops, this too is bound to reach out and move its readers, and leave lessons of lasting use in what is one of the most important tasks a parent undertakes: raising a child to be a healthy, resilient, positive adult.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Ramgopal Vallath, better known as RamG Vallath, is an IITian, a tech company co-founder, a much sought-after motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling autobiography From Ouch to Oops. He has inspired over 50,000 children with his talks and his life story is a chapter in one of the eighth-class textbooks for CBSE students. As a keynote speaker, RamG has addressed over one lakh people across the globe and helped them become more resilient, more positive, happier and more successful.

REVIEW:


Parenting being one of the niches I blog about doesn’t mean I know A-Z of everything that relates to parenting. I’m sure that the author would also agree to this. Because for us parents, each day is a learning and there is a lesson to look back, introspect and gain something from what happens each day.
This learning I would say wouldn’t always be something that I would smile and be proud of because there are days that would kill you with guilt and self-doubt. What I write might work for 9/10 kids but not one. Why? Because each child is different and they need a different way to handle and to be taken care of.

Being a mom of two I can confidently say that I’m not using the same way of parenting to my younger son in comparison to how I raised my daughter. A matter of three years and boom there is a lot of changes in how children react or what they expect. What do I do? Continue to do what I knew? No, I find new ways to see what suits better for me and son.
This is exactly what the Author conveys in the book. Not every child fall into the same group. The book showcase techniques to approach and values to be instilled in children. The best gift that I’d say we can give our children would be values that are to be taught which would help them at any point in their life.
Though I spent very little time with my Grandparents, there are specific nuances that I learnt or should I say life lessons to how to deal or how to decide now. I can even use them at a later point of time in my life. These I’d say are the values that are passed on. They cannot be outdated. People just come up with new ways to instil the values that we know of earlier. I don’t think there is anything wrong because in the end the value is taught.

As I read through, I saw myself at few places

“That is what great parents do-they live on for centuries after their physical selves depart, through the thoughts and values that they have bequeathed to their children. Their influence is boundless across generations”. As I mentioned above, I’m grateful for the very little time that I spent for lifetime of knowledge.

Befriend but with firm boundaries – The less you say no, the more free-spirited your kids will be.

Telling by showing- The values children display are often a reflection of the values that parents demonstrate. 

The real-life experiences that the author has shared from his and his circle of friends will definitely make you nod your head, or smile or at least question yourself like’ isn’t that me?’ Only when you know examples from real life it makes it much clearer to understand what is being conveyed or what must be observed and taken as a lesson.

Just mentioning that these are techniques, these are values are only going to be giving you a theory which would land you in a dilemma. But here the author makes it easier for you.
The key points section at the end of each chapter is a bonus. With a 200+ page book, the author will definitely lead you to the right direction when it comes to parenting. The language used is simple and much easier to comprehend.

Takeaways in bullets about what you can expect after reading the book

SHARP technique that proves effective parenting.
5 approaches to look in parenting
Fundamental principles children should be taught
Values to be instilled in children

I’d definitely recommend this book as a gift we parents can get ourselves and also to fellow parents.

Must have winter wardrobe staples

While every season comes and goes it is also necessary, we choose what to wear that would suit the climatic conditions. With temperatures dropping it is high time that we ladies up the dressing game with winter fashion trends. The mornings are getting colder that we could barely get out of bed, and the constant worry of what to wear.

This comes up as a challenge to many but an opportunity for many to dress up and flaunt the best winter fashion pieces from their wardrobe. Maintaining a sense of chic and style while bundling up with layers is something that makes dressing up a lot of fun.

I look forward to dressing up each day and plan my outfits the day before. This season is a great opportunity to have fun with the winter staples in our wardrobe. Whether it is adding layers, fabrics or textures dressing up in winter clothes is something that every fashionista looks forward to.
But on a sustainable note look for what you already have. Does it need an upgrade or can be used.


Knit sweater


They’re the centre of winter fashion and center of layering. Different cuts and colours you can never stop with just one. They keep you warm and cozy and a great piece for layering your outfits. They literally can be paired with anything like skirts, trousers and pants so go get them.

How can you style?

Wear it over a skirt.
If your dress is too tight or is too thin for wearing, layer it with a sweater.
Wear it over an oversized t-shirt.

Scarves

Scarf is a winter fashion essential and when it comes to scarf go for bigger ones. The bigger the better. It is chic and is effortless to be worn on top of any outfit. Over the shoulders or as a wrap they can make any look bag a lot of eyeballs going up. Experiment with vibrant colours, patterns and textures.
They can even brighten up a boring look, keep your neck warm or even be a good layer of clothing.
How to style?
Cashmere scarf known for intricate works goes with vibrant shades. So choose one that is in neutral shade.

The longer the scarf the better the layering.
Coats

The first buy when it comes to winter wear shopping should or must be a coat. The outer wear of your attire should make a style statement. Whatever trends may come and go the classic coat is still in the winter fashion game. Heavy puffers, long or oversized ones make sure you choose the one that suits your personal style. Not confident of wearing an outfit, the coat can save your day and also keep you warm.

How to style?
Choose a classic neutral and a bold one.
Go for looser fits so that its easy to layer up.
Modern silhouettes definitely make you stand out of the crowd.

Blazers


When the temperature doesn’t require puffers go for a well fitted blazer. Can be over the tshirt/blouse or even beneath your coat. Blazer adds to sophisticated looks. It can make the transition from work wear to casuals seemingly effortless.

How to style?
Pairing it with jean gives a dress feel.

Printed blazers over blouse gives a funky look.

Choose right fabric, colour and fit. A perfect fit is definitely worthy.

Plaid trousers


If you are someone who makes a style statement, then the plaid trousers is a must have in your winter wardrobe. Versatile in its pairing as it can be worn with Pump and crisp button down so as to a sweatshirt and a sneaker. It makes a great work wear outfit.

How to style?
Play mix and match with the plaid patterns.
GO for loud designs and neutral pairing.

Turtle necks

A light weight turtleneck is the base for your layering game. It serves it purpose as a heat provider and also a style statement. Be it a sleeveless dress or a sweater over it, the turtleneck can also be paired with a high waist jean. This will help to keep you warm around the neck and still be the fashionista.

How to style?
Stock up basic colours
Style it under a shift dress for keeping warm.

There are lots and lots of choices out there for you to shop this winter. But be mindful and choose to shop only ones that you would put to use in the long run. Looking fashionable and staying warm definitely sounds easy. But whatever it is choose appropriately according to your style statement.

Review of Young blood

BLURB:


Bored roommates use a planchette to contact a legendary ghost that haunts Pune University. Will she answer?
Is the abandoned Khairatabad Science College in Hyderabad really haunted? A gang of students break inside to investigate.
Nirav and Pavi love each other . . . most of the time. Will exploring a forbidden place inside IIT Kharagpur bring them closer?
From strange sightings to urban legends, from haunted buildings to not-so-friendly ghosts, colleges in India have their fair share of spine-tingling tales, be it Kasturba Medical College in Manipal, St. Bede’s College in Shimla or Delhi University. Young Blood is a collection of ten tales that reimagine college urban legends and true first-person accounts, that promises to terrify even die-hard fans of horror.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chandrima Das has a B.Tech in Computer Science from NIT Durgapur and an MBA from IIM Calcutta. After a decade-long career in management consulting, she followed her passion for writing. Her digital debut The Talking Dead was a bestseller in the horror category. She’s performed live at storytelling events with Tall Tales and Kommune, and was published in The Best Of Tall Tales. 

MY REVIEW:


I enjoy horror as a genre in both watching movies and reading books. Though many would disagree that horror books do not give you the same vibe when you read them as much as you watch movies in that genre. But individuals differ and its all in the reader’s mind I would say.


So, when I knew there was this chance to review the book, I knew I should definitely not miss the chance of reading book in my favourite genre. The blurb intrigued me further because not long enough my husband and I were discussing about planchette and was coincidentally mentioned in the blurb as well.
The book has ten stories from different institutions across the country and involves the various tales that haunt the campuses. The stories gave me chills at certain points. I wantedly chose to read them at nights so that it adds to the thrill and the author sure didn’t disappoint me.

Each story sets a different stage and addresses a social issue pertaining to the modern age. I loved the way how the author connected the tale and the social issues. The nature of how each story was narrated is one of the biggest pluses that does not let you keep the book down once you start reading.


The author through her writing makes you feel that you are in the tale experiencing the horrific events when you are just right there on your bed reading the book. That is a win-win for any author to make the reader transport to the bookish world.


The stories and the notes at the end made a well-connected read. I’d suggest not to read notes at last but as and when you finish a story for a much greater reading experience.

The book is a must read for those who love horror and who would want to try the genre too.

Buy the book here.

This book review is part of blogchatter’s bookchatter.

5 best ways to invest for child education

Best ways to invest for child education
Child education investment

The average Indian household’s major expense has been skyrocketing even though we do not see the same trend in inflation. Higher education costs have been rising ever since and it is one of the major cash outflows of Indian families.

Be it a four year engineering or a five year medicine or a three year art degree the rise in costs haven’t spared any of these sectors. Gone are the days when they used to say we cannot afford engineering or medicine better to take up arts and science.

The low competition and the lower rates at Government institutions made it easy for the previous generations. But today the tough competition to get admitted into quality governments institutions is making people sought costly private institutions forcibly.

Though in the near future we might have some of the global majors come down to our country the education costs are still going to be on a higher scale. Change in lifestyle and the inflation also has an impacts on the higher education costs.

Our way of Living definitely influences the decision we make on where we send our kids to get educated. Quite often the trend that is seen is children being brought up under affluence predominantly reject being admitted to Government institutions due to the minimal infrastructure facilities.

The burning question in every Indian parents mind is that will they be able to afford the higher education for their wards. Will they have any problems on the funding for the choice of higher education chosen by their children.

The answer would confidently be a ‘yes‘ if they are an early bird in investing and have a clear cut understanding of taking the right steps on where to invest.

Here are the most commonly faced challenges by parents and ways to overcome them when it comes to funding for higher education.

Early bird

Beginning to saving early is an obvious solution . This will not only help in yielding a large sum but the money will also gain from the compounding power. A sip investment for 18 years in equity with an amount of 9000 giving a 15% return is not going to make one crore a daunting amount.

Compounding needs to work on longer period because the inflation rate of education seems to be very high . So saving as early from when the child is three months is one of the doable solutions yielding great results.

When you start late you are not only going to see lesser returns but also can ruin your plans on other financial goals. Starting at 40, isn’t going to become a successful plan because it can definitely land you in a short fall of the amount that is needed.

The Indian household immediately plunges the retirement savings to manage the expense which is a risky move because this will make you dependent on them once you get old. Employment nature is changing because young workers who are energetic replace the one’s at 40 because of their latest skills and this apparently makes it necessary to start investing early.

Short term helps play safe

If the time you have is less than five years then relying on the lower return fixed income instruments is the option. But on a positive note they offer guaranteed returns and safety. These factors make it important in short term.

Though these options seem fairly safe it isn’t fine to do it on a random basis. When you invest in these debt instruments you will need to check that liquidity shouldn’t be a problem .

In this case the much lauded PPF may seem to be a great option but if the money is needed in 3-5 years this idea wouldn’t work.

The tax savings bond on the other side looks to be attractive but poses a reinvestment risk. Always safe to opt for the cumulative option because the interest payout every year, will need to be reinvested in lower interest rates

Choosing the right option that suits your need

Not only does starting early important, but investing on the right place yields good difference.

Equity mutual funds have delivered annualized returns of 16.5 percent in ten years. But this is not everyone’s cup of tea.

Indians have a high urge to save and invest but they still look to the side of safety. If 15-18 years is the time you have for the child’s higher education then equity funds would be the right place to start investing.

The return volatility is flattened out since this is a longer time period. So if you have the will to risk you can go to allocate even 75-80 percentage of the portfolio here. Diversified equity or stocks can be great for investing to tackle the inflation rate of higher education.

The remaining can be put into ppf, fixed deposit or tax free bonds which are safe.

Portfolio review

A yearly review of the portfolio is a must , once the portfolio is in place. Keep a check on the amount required for goal. In this case the two main factors would be tution fee and cost of living. If any one of these rise up you will need to rethink the inflation rate.

Keep checking whether the portfolio is on the track to meet the goal. If there is a downfall you may need to increase. This is also applicable of there is a salary increase.

Keep a check on the fund performance. If a fund lags don’t jump to sell off rather stop sip and invest in in a better performing fund. Analyse the fund and understand the reason for its down performance. Make a decision after analysing 3-4 quarters.

Make sure to rebalance the portfolio at the end of each year. Sell an outperforming fund and reinvest in underperforming funds.

Goal approach

The long term investment process is not static. Start shifting out money to safety of debt if you are in 10-15 year equity investment.

A systematic transfer to short term debit fund would be apt. When the savings is for a crucial goal be sure to act conservatively. The child’s admission to college should be in mind and a down performance in the stock cannot do a spoilsport in your child’s future.

Skincare ingredients harming the environment. Did you know?

As much as all of us want to make ourselves presentable in terms of physical appearance and also to smell good, we fail to notice one of the most important after effects.

As per studies an average human uses about 30 gallons of water to wash . And when I say wash it does include the chemicals we wash away too like soap, face washes, shower gel. This not only goes to our drain but ends up in the aquatic ecosystem.

All this because certain substances are non biodegradable and we also end up consuming the aquatic life which have been affected by the harmful chemicals. So it is indirectly affecting us.

They not only affect by indirect usage by us but also when being tested directly on animals that’s another topic of discussion.

What are the products that harm the environment??

Oxybenzone

Oxybenzone is predominantly found in sunscreens. Since sunscreen is widely used in tropical places they end up being present in the water harming aquatic life. They have an adverse effect on the coral reefs which ends up bleaching them. Hence always choose a safe sunscreen that doesn’t have oxybenzone.

Parabens

Parabens are mainly used as a preservative in cosmetics like primer. They end up being found on the tissues of aquatic life. They can damage coral reefs and introduce reproductive issues in aquatic life.

Triclosan

Mostly present in soaps and handwashes, triclosan also can be present in toothpastes in minimal quantities. They end up killing the algae which is food for majority of aquatic life. Also cause hormonal problems in dolphins and disturbs ecological balance.

Silicone in whitening creams

High levels of siloxane, a derivative of silicone was found deposited in skin of fish and other marine life denoting the fact that it fails to leave the skin.

Microbeads contains polyethylene and propylene

Face washes, shower gels, detergents all have variants which have plastic microbeads. Aquatic life predominantly fishes misunderstand the beads to be fish food and end up confusion them. It takes hundreds of years for them to break down to simpler substances.

Wet wipes having plastic fibres

The wet wipes we use for convenience has plastic fibres which does not disintegrated instead binds to fats from the sewer and clogs drains. They cannot be recycled and hence end up polluting the environment and drains. So avoid sheet masks and wipe pads too.

Here is a video explaining the same

https://youtube.com/shorts/Cb7emTiAVQQ?feature=share

In addition to all these a major contributor is the packaging which the products come in. Mainly packed with plastic and cardboard though their main purpose served is safe transportation and for usage purposes. These packing materials also contribute to keeping the environment polluted.

The beauty industry has been named to be contributing to the environment degradation because they pollute the landfill and end up in pollution.

The cardboard is made from tree pulp which also indicates harm to trees used for packaging materials. On top of this, companies also use mixed materials like polyethylene which are non biodegradable and end up in the aquatic life adding more fuel to the already existing pollution problem.

Almost all products have chemicals in them which cannot be broken down to the lowest levels. These products cannot be destroyed either. A

As consumers we cannot abstain from buying products but the choices we make can bring in a lot for difference.

Next time before buying make sure to check labels and help conserve the environment by embracing brands that are eco friendly and contribute our part to preserving the mother earth.

Inspiration from consumers who opposed using such chemicals has made brands adopt green strategies. This also proves that in the end the consumer has the power to change the strategies for businesses and help them undertake sustainable practices.

Responsible purchasing choices should be practiced and proper education what should be avoided citing the adverse effects, consumers will definitely have an impact on reducing the harmful effects.

This post is part of blogchatter cause a chatter.