We are a generation of easily offended people. Every other day, I would see someone publicly shaming a company on social media. While, I’m totally okay with someone leveraging the power of the platform to voice their opinions, we should also be vocal about the products that have helped us in some way.
So this time around, I’m planning to tell you about one such product that brings a smile on my face every time I open it. Do you struggle with saving your money? What if I told you this application helps you with just that. “Oh come on Raghav, we have tons of apps helping us do that.” Just stay with me in this one. This will blow your mind.
A few days ago, I covered a “Dad approved” quick trick on how to save money. Ever since, I became a huge fan of quirky ways of saving money. The best savings are where you don’t even realize that you are cutting down. Cherry on the top would be not only saving money, rather investing it. This fintech platform will help you achieve that state of happiness.
This crazy new born baby is called Zeffo. It’s so new that it just got a new name and was known as Bravo erstwhile (Hence the post ‘B’ of Blogchatter’s #BlogchatterA2Z Challenge). Born in the pandemic, the app derives it’s name from amalgamation of two words: Zero+Effort = Zeffo. The core proposition is in line with its name. It helps you in effortless investing.
How Does it Work?
So you visit a Kirana store nearby and purchase some regular stuff. The shopkeeper hands over the bill of Rs. 137 to you. You give him a 100 and a 50 rupee note. In return you get Rs. 10 coin and 3 toffees. That Rs. 10 coin is a logistical nightmare. I always tend to lose it. Also, 3 toffees are just extra calories.
Now what if I say, you not only get the entire Rs 13 back, but also get to invest it in a mutual fund. While this may sound crazy on the face of it, Zeffo helps you do exactly that. “But, Raghav, cash is dead”. Yeah, I know and so do the developers at Zeffo.
Long story short, every money you spend from your account (UPI, PayTM, ABC Wallet, Credit Cards), is rounded to the next multiple of 50 and your beloved “chillar” (change) is invested in a safe mutual fund.
Say you purchase a ‘Vada Pav‘ using PayTM for Rs. 17, the rounded up Rs. 33 will be deducted from your account and invested in a mutual fund. Later, you go about purchasing a new top from H&M for Rs. 1499 using your Credit Card, the remainder of Re. 1 will be given the same treatment.
Convinced already? Hit the download button to get started.
Nee a little more context? Go on!
What All Problems Does it Solve?
1. Habit of Savings:
If you are keeping cash aside from your monthly salary, you know that it is hard. Harder when you are just getting started. Your brain keeps on telling you that what good Rs. 1000/month going to do in your future. Only once you see it build up over the years, you realize the real power of savings. That’s what Zeffo does for you. You skip that difficult phase through seamless “chillar” savings and finally come to terms with this indispensable life trait. One of my teachers once said, we all know that savings are important, we just don’t know the ‘how to’ save money part of it. Hopefully you now have a partial answer to that.
There are 5000+ mutual funds in India. All of them loaded with jargons like NAV, Alpha, Beta, XIRR, CAGR and what not. Also, you don’t trust your father’s uncle any more who helped him with investing. What do you do?
Let Zeffo handle it for you. The entire money saved from the ‘Change‘, is invested into ICICI Prudential liquid fund. This fund has historically given gains beating inflation and FD rates. Although past performance is not the only indicator of a fund’s future, liquid funds generally lie at the low risk spectrum of the MFs.
While this won’t replace all your investment needs, it is a good starting point for someone trying to enter the mutual fund world or thinking of how to save money in general.
And what good are savings if you can’t use them in the need of the hour? The fund selection by Zeffo combats that problem as well. As soon as you call the shots and hit the ‘withdraw‘ button, you get money in your account almost immediately.
I did a redemption about a week ago and money was credited in my bank in less than 5 minutes. That’s as fast as it could get in my opinion.
It has been over a month since I am using Zeffo (Bravo). After understanding the concept behind the app, you simply do a KYC by submitting some documents. Along with that, you issue a bank mandate to Zeffo. A mandate is an authorization to withdraw a sum (you can maintain the upper limit yourself) from your account. If you have ever invested in a SIP, you would know that this is a standard practice.
Contrary to the existing notion, this process hardly takes 5 minutes. I recently installed this application on my significant other’s mobile and it took me under 10 minutes from sign up to setting everything up for her.
Considering the time we spend on deciding what to eat in our next meal, this process happens at a pretty darn lightning speed.
Now, as much as we’d like all of this to happen in real time, there are some regulatory bodies involved in the process, which causes some delay in investing your roundups in the mutual fund. So, once your round ups are getting collected, Zeffo tries to open an account (of sorts) with ICICI. This entire process takes 15 days. Then, SEBI guidelines don’t allow you to deduct money within 7 days of getting the mandate. Apart from that, you need to inform the customer 2 days prior to deducting the money.
In toto, the first deduction for me happened after 10 odd days of making the expense.
After the Initial Debit:
Once it came into the a regular flow cycle, some money keeps on getting deducted from my account every day and I am duly notified of the same. This money may be of an expense you made a couple of days ago.
Till date, I have saved about Rs.10,000+ without putting in much effort. I know this might have been carved out of my Swiggy and Zomato but that’s the beauty of it. Financial and Physical health, both in place. The answer to the age old question of “how to save money” hasn’t been simpler.
So, where do I start? Well, right here my friend. Hit the download button.
You Call the Shots:
And this is perhaps where my experience went from great to phenomenal. Even if Zeffo is automating the entire process of deductions and investment, you are still in absolute control. How? Here are a couple of features added in the latest update that took it to another level:
Yup. You guessed it right. Need that little extra this month due to some unprecedented expenses? Just pause the deductions. You can turn them on or ‘un-pause’ any time you like. Super flexible.
B. Round-up Settings:
To take it up a notch and make your savings even juicier, there are a bunch of settings you can play around with:
Round-Up to Next:
You may chose the next round up multiple. If you want smaller deductions, chose the multiple as ’10’. If you want to go all out, chose it as ‘100’. So in a similar example of Vada pav we referred to, a 17 buck snack will rake in an additional Rs. 83 to your savings instead of Rs. 33. It’s like ensuring that your future self can continue to enjoy this snack, guilt free! (well, at least from a financial perspective)
Planning to put your savings on steroids? Welcome aboard. This setting allows you to multiply your rounded off amount by 2x, 3x, 5x and 10x. I put this to use to cut down on my cheat meals. The best way to get rid of a habit is to make it unattractive (Source: Atomic habits by James Clear).
So, a landscape where you are spending hours of research to find that one coupon code that will fetch you an additional 50 bucks off, it is unlikely that you’d order at the same frequency if you are spending 10x on the change.
I actually saved a good sum of money initially and gradually started being conscious of my dietary habits. Killing two birds with one stone? Hell yeah!
If you follow any kind of financial influencer, this shouldn’t come as a surprise to you:
“Rather than buying iPhone XX, if you had put similar money in a n Apple stock X years ago, you would be having $Y by now.”
Well, Zeffo kind of makes it a reality. How? If you often make big purchases (>Rs. 2000), you can now ask Zeffo to deduct a percentage of it towards your savings, rather than a straight round up. This can be set to 2% or 5%. So imagine buying that new top from Zara for Rs. 3,000. Now Zeffo, just like your mom, would ensure that you also save Rs. 600 (2%) along with that purchase.
C. Monthly Goal:
You can also set up a cap to the round-ups using this feature. This is customizable and can be changed any give time. I like to set a new upper limit every month basis my budgeting activity in the month beginning.
Innovation knows no bounds. This app is a true representation of this statement. You can download the app from here and get started right away. (Currently available for Android only). Until then, don’t hesitate in saying, “Keep the Change”
So, when are you planning your next.. wait for it.. “Chillar Party”? Like literally! Okay that was the last one! Tell me more about your version of how to save money?
Until Next Time. . .