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Small intro:
I am 30 years old, living with my parents in Mumbai, India. I am the only child. During the past 8 years of working, I have managed to change my family's financial condition to a great extend i.e. from greatly in debt to debt free & even got myself rid of 7-8 credit cards, 2-3 times & also paid Rs.400,000 person loan.

The problem:
1) I have No Savings, No FD, No RD, No MF, No LIC, No Tax-Savings, No Retirement Plans, No Term-insurance or any kind of insurance:
              Why I don't have one? Because I never got a chance to do so. Whenever I managed to save a bit, another debt / need / crises arises & whatever I save goes to drain. My attempt to lower my expenses is clear from my previous situation mentioned. So it's not that I have unwanted expenses.

2) Home Loan takes away huge chuck:
             I recently purchased a home via home loan of Rs 3,300,000 and this plus home loan insurance is taking a little more than half of my salary. I am also looking to repay the loan as quickly as possible but bank charges 2-3% of the outstanding amount for pre-payment, so I have to be ready with good cash & strategy to clear it.

3) Remaining half is spend is online bills, home expenses. So I again ended up with no money left at the end.

4) How to handle Marriage & Post Marriage Expenses without a penny left in pocket:
             My parents are searching bride for me, as if there's no tomorrow but I don't know how the marriage & post marriage expenses will be managed without a penny in the pocket.

5) Being late in savings, investment, insurance & retirement plan, I am worried how to achieve all this plus enjoy my life.

6) Someone just help me, guide me on being my own financial planner:
              Being my own financial planner will enable me to help myself to understand what's happening, steps to take & get out from this situation.

7) A small silver lining but too many obligations to choose:
              I have seen a scope to free up Rs. 10,000/- p.m. but the thing is that the amount is variable i.e. every month there might be some deviation like 8,000 or 9,000. Plus there are too many diverse obligations to fulfil(home loan + paying extra cash in advance in order to reduce the burden, savings, investment, tax savings, marriage, retirement plan), so which one to do first & which comes later, I don't know. Please help / guide me at such basic , simple level that I don't need anyone's help. I can take decision on my own. Plus looking at just the time taken to collect 100,000 seems discouraging. How can I use existing financial tools & knowledge to achieve my goals.

8) Dreams left behind:
              I have barely brought or done something for myself. I am longing to go out for a trip, to freshen up but that again comes to finance problem. I want to do my own business but to do it in any kind like side by side or hire 1-2 people to work or anything, requires at least some basic accumulation to certain amount. I certainly can't quit or take much leave from job to do the same. VC wants to see some cash flow & how I run business, etc.

9) How to handle some many diverse obligations & still live a life?

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    "How to handle some many diverse obligations & still live a life?" It's not easy. Honestly, it seems that you've done well so far. One question I'd ask is whether or not you bought too expensive of a house (because 50% is a lot in the US). – RonJohn Sep 12 '19 at 20:26
  • @RonJohn: No I haven't brought anything too expensive related to house or house related stuff. I don't know which 50% you are talking about but the procedures, legalities , steps are greatly different from that of US. The current USD conversion of my loan will be $46,493 just to buy 800 sq ft area, which is cheap when compared to its peers in Mumbai. Buying home related stuff is still pending, – Varun Krish Sep 12 '19 at 20:47
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    "this [I'm assuming you mean the mortgage] plus home loan insurance is taking a little more than half of my salary." That's what I mean by 50%. In the US, spending 50% of salary on house payments is considered "much too high". – RonJohn Sep 12 '19 at 20:59
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    Pay yourself first. I trust somebody will post a better complete answer. – Chris W. Rea Sep 12 '19 at 23:09
  • @RonJohn: ok I got it. You are right. – Varun Krish Sep 13 '19 at 2:12
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It's great that you recognize your mistakes so now is a good time to start.

By the way, I am just highlighting few mistakes, so that others may learn from your experience and may avoid doing the same.

1) You are very late in your investment planning. You have missed out on 5-10 years of compounding effect.

2) Life insurance is needed to safeguard your family and the earlier you get it, the lower the premiums will be.

3) Renting is very good option in such situations when you find that almost more than 50% of your salary would be eaten up by your EMI only. Real estate is not appreciating as it was during our parents' time. Then, it was a very good option to own a home/land because loans were cheaper and property appreciation was very good. However, times have changed. I hope that we will see a new boom in this sector in the near future.

Regarding your planning:

I would like to see everyone to handle their finances independently. It is must for every individual and it's good that you want to do this. Considering all the conditions you mentioned, here are some must do and must not do things :

Must Do :

FD/RD savings - If you want to move out of this tough situation, save instead of spend and start investing. This is one of the first suggestions offered in most books about investing. Since you are saying that you can manage at most 10k monthly but not sure so first make it sure in any case. I am not suggesting you to go for MF and Equity as per your situation because higher return comes with higher risk and you need expertise in that also. So simply start with Bank Deposits either RD or FD but stick to it on any case.

Term Plan - It is must for family safety but you can start it little later (say 1-2 year), because you will generate minimum 1-2.5 Lac fund in 1-2 years if you stick to above 10k monthly FD/RD. You can find suitable term plan details on policy bazaar or something or else post a separate question for that someone with better expertise will answer.

Meanwhile you can read books, listen audio books or summary of books on investing (Rich Dad Poor Dad and The Intelligent Investor) if you are interested in equities. You can invest in MF but currently, Indian indices are at their highs. If there's a correction in the near future then you can go to MF in lump-sum amount.

Must Not Do :


Large marriage expenses: This is very important decision in our society. If possible, do a simple court marriage instead of big reception and avoid taking out a loan for this.

At the moment you have important short term goals (Marriage/ Post Marriage) so stop thinking about Retirement Plan and Dreams. I hope you have Provident Fund and Gratuity for Retirement. Keep them safe. Do not withdraw from them. You also need an additional source of income which can be generated by your skills, hobbies which you can sell in part time. Since you framed this question well, I think you could write blogs as well. Write some blogs on things you are good at or make videos. These will generate you side income.

Also if you get any appraisal and bonus, do not not touch them and move them directly to your investment plan. You can invest this additional amount in MFs or Equity to just play around and get a little experience of this volatile market.

If you have any questions, please add a comment.

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