How to track changes in Microsoft Word?

Track Changes allows Word to keep track of changes like additions and deletions which are cleanly displayed. This feature can be useful when you are working alone on a document, but it is more powerful when multiple collaborators make changes to a document. Every change is clearly marked in a document. These changes can be accepted or rejected before the document is made ready.

Track Changes is one of the more powerful features in Microsoft Word. The ability to see the edits which have been performed by you or your co-workers is at the core of document collaboration. But Track Changes is also more than that. It is a feedback tool and the best way to create a more improved document through teamwork.

Let’s see how to switch it on and use the different markups that make the changes easy to spot.

Turn Track Changes On

You can turn Track Changes on and off by going to Ribbon > Review > Track Changes.

Just remember to turn Track Changes on before you start reviewing a document. It’s no good making changes to a document and then realizing you need to track the changes.

Microsoft work track changes button

When you select Track Changes from the dropdown Word will start monitoring any change to the document. Try adding or deleting some text. Or, even make a change to any formatting. Word will record everything and display it with markups.

How to View Changes with Markup

Word uses different markups and colors to show the type of edits made to a document. You can choose the type of markup from the dropdown in the Tracking Group.

Microsoft word markup options

  • Simple Markup places a small red line in the margin of the paragraph where a change has been made.
  • All Markup shows each person’s edits in different colors of text and balloons for any formatting changes.
  • No Markup is the clean version of the document without the distraction of the colored markups.
  • Original shows the original document before then changes were tracked.

How to Choose the Markups You Would Like to See

You can choose the kind of edits which will be highlighted with markups. This helps to remove unnecessary clutter that all the markups bring into the document.

Click on the Show Markup option. The dropdown list has options to turn markup on or off for the different kinds of revisions made. You can select all of them or selectively choose them to make your reading smoother.

Microsoft word - show markups

Balloons helps you decide if some markup appears inline or in balloons out at the sides of the document.

Specific People helps you focus on only certain reviewers if your document has been marked up by more than one person.

How to Accept or Reject the Tracked Changes

A document is ready when you decide to accept or reject the edits made to the original document. These decisions are controlled from the Changes group on the Review pane.

Microsoft word accept reject changes

  1. Go to Ribbon > Review.
  2. In the Changes group, click the little dropdown arrows on the Accept or Reject buttons.
  3. From the dropdown list of either button, you can do things like Accept or Reject and Move to Next, Accept or Reject All Changes (or All Shown), and Accept or Reject All and Stop Tracking.
  4. When you just want to move through the changes without accepting or rejecting them, you can also use the Previous and Next buttons in the group.

How to Use Comments to Annotate Changes

The Comments group on the Review panel is separate from the Track Changes feature. But sometimes it is essential to explain the reason for the changes and add other suggestions if necessary.

To write your first comment follow these steps:

Microsoft word insert comment

  1. Insert your cursor at the place you want to leave a comment. You can also select the text that you are commenting on.
  2. Go to Ribbon > Review > Comments group.
  3. Click New Comment. The comment balloon is displayed on the side of the document.

Microsoft word comment balloon

Finetune the Advanced Track Changes Options

As we have seen before, you can filter the kind of markups you want to see in the document from the Show Markup drop down. The tiny downward arrow on the Tracking group also opens a dialog box with the same options and other advanced controls.

Microsoft word track changes option

For example, you can uncheck all the options except for Formatting.

The default Track Changes rules are often good enough. But there may be instances where you would want to change them according to the needs of the document and the collaborating team. You can set tracked changes and comments to appear in different colors for different authors.

  1. Click the Advanced Options button on the Tracking dialog box.
  2. Click the arrows next to the Color boxes and the Comments box and choose By author.

Microsoft word advanced track changes option

Use the color options to change the default color codes for the different markups and comment balloons. A different markup color for each user can easily help you track multiple reviewers. Do note that the colors chosen are for your computer only. Other people will see the tracked changes in whatever colors they set up.

Use Track Changes to Improve Your Editing Skills

Track Changes in Microsoft Word is a visual feature. The colored mark ups and the tools to navigate through them make reviewing a document easier. But they also help you spot and correct errors with a glance. Yes, you will struggle a bit in the beginning as you work your way through the myriad  tracked changes or the pile of comment balloons on the side. So, take each marked up change one at a time to get the hang  of it.

Try Track Changes alone or with a collaborator and tell us if you found a stumbling block or two.

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How to Use The Resume Assistant in Microsoft Word ?

Resumes are a necessary evil. Not everyone likes making them because of the effort involved. Not everyone can design resumes well. That’s why the Resume Assistant feature in Microsoft Word can be a Godsend if you don’t know where to start or don’t have the words to describe your job roles.

Microsoft Word’s Resume Assistant isn’t a template. It is a powerful suggestion tool that takes your desired role and then gives you insights and examples of skills from others in the same role. You can craft your own professional resume with the help of the ideas drawn from your peers.

Note: This feature is available to Office 365 Windows subscribers. The Resume Assistant button is part of the Review tab on the Ribbon. If you do not see the Resume Assistant, check if you have the latest updates from Microsoft.

resume assistant ribbon

 

If the button is visible but dimmed, then you must enable your LinkedIn integration. Go to File > Options > General tab. Under LinkedIn Features, select the check box for Show LinkedIn features in my Office applications and click OK.

word show linkedin features

Start Designing with the Resume Assistant

You can activate Resume Assistant by:

  1. Click the Resume Assistant button on the Review tab.
  2. Open your resume or a Word resume template with Microsoft Word.

Resume Assistant is displayed on a sidebar on the right of the Word interface. Do remember that the Resume Assistant is powered by LinkedIn and follows its privacy policy. You can click on Get Started button to begin or scroll down to the Learn more link and browse through the support information from Microsoft. The explainer video on the Help page is a good place to start if you are new to the feature.

word resume assistant sidebar

The Resume Assistant takes you through a few steps after you click the Get Started button:

  1. Enter your job role and optionally an industry. The assistant will autosuggest both for you. Click on See examples.

word resume assistant enter role

  1. You can tweak the job role and the industry to narrow down to your desired role with the help of the example profiles displayed. You can also filter the results by top skills. For instance, if you are a “programmer”, you can filter the example results with a few specialized skills and programming languages. For “writing” it might show “copywriting”, “journalism”, or “creative writing”. These sub-categories can be further filtered to help you drill down to the exact role you are looking for.

word resume assistant filter results

  1. Browse through the resume examples in the results. The work experience examples come from public profiles on LinkedIn and you will notice that the names of the people they belong to are not displayed. If you have a LinkedIn account, you can click on See examples on LinkedIn and get a few more insights there like median salary and the top companies hiring in the sector.

Linkedin insights

LinkedIn says that:

If you have a LinkedIn account, the information you share in your public profile is available to be shown in Resume Assistant, but you can opt out of sharing this information in your privacy settings.

Head towards LinkedIn and log in to disable this information sharing.

Click on Me > Settings & Privacy > Privacy.

Scroll down to the Security section and under Microsoft Word, click on Change. Toggle the slider from Yes to No. The preference is saved automatically.

linkedin profile visibility

The Benefits of Resume Assistant for Your Career

The Resume Assistant is like a catalyst. You might have noticed that it is not meant to be a cut-paste tool nor is it a template. It is instead a powerful research tool that surfaces similar professional profiles to yours. The information here gives you better idea of the key skills you can highlight on your resume. There are no personal identifiable details on view, but the descriptions are handy hints to compare your resume to others in the same industry.

Use it to edit your resume. And an important jump off point to research what your industry wants. Scroll down the sidebar and use these sections.

resume assistant resources

  • Browse the Top skills and benchmark yourself against the highlighted skills for your role.
  • The Articles to help write your resume can help you design or improve your own resume.
  • The Suggested jobs are curated for your job skills and the industry. You can apply to them via LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is now a Microsoft company. Turn Word into a more powerful tool by using the Resume Assistant as a bridge with LinkedIn. Go to LinkedIn and share your career interests with recruiters. You can also specify your city, region, or postal code to improve the suggested results. And LinkedIn does assure us that it takes steps to keep Recruiter users who work at your company, as well as related companies, from seeing the career interests that you share.

But do remember this…

You Still Have to Put in the Work to Design Your Resume 

Microsoft Word templates can help. There are also several third-party resume templates available for free on the web. Pick a good template and use the hints from the Resume Assistant to key in the relevant details. A well-crafted resume needs occasional maintenance. But that effort goes a long way when you are trying to give yourself an edge among the competition.

Have you tried the Resume Assistant yet? Did it give you some inspiration to improve your existing resume?

 

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How to Insert and Use Icons in Microsoft Office Documents?

Microsoft Office documents can always benefit from some visual chutzpah. Icons can sometimes be a better alternative to generic stock photos and staid text. After all, Microsoft Word is a desktop publishing tool while Microsoft PowerPoint is a visual communication aid. With the right icons, Word and PowerPoint documents can do better than plain text letters and bulleted presentations. And when we are speaking about letters, an email signature created with simple icons can help you say something more with your Outlook mails.

So, let’s look at where to use them and how to insert and use icons in Microsoft Office documents.

Where Can You Use Microsoft Office Icons?

Remember Microsoft Clipart? Icons are not exactly a replacement, but they are a tasteful alternative. You can use individual icons to combine them to create:

  • Simple logos.
  • Email signatures.
  • Flyers and pamphlets.
  • PowerPoint graphics.
  • Copyright symbols.

Insert Icons in Microsoft Office Documents

Icons help you visually communicate with symbols. All Microsoft Office applications include a rich set of icons you can use at the right place. The icons are in the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format and can be easily rotated, resized, and colored without any loss of quality.

Ms word icons

Also: Icons and SVG files are only available to Office 365 subscribers.

  1. Go to Ribbon > Insert > Icons. The placement of the icon button is common across all Microsoft Office applications.
  2. The Insert Icons box is displayed.

screenshot ms word insert icons

  1. Scroll through the icons or drill down to the right one with the help of categories on the left.
  2. Select the right icon and then click Insert on the lower right. You can also use multiple icons at the same time by clicking each of them before clicking Insert. In presentation slides, Microsoft PowerPoint will also give you a few design ideas when you place an icon on the slide. You can accept one of the ideas or close the design ideas bar.

Ms powerpoint design ideas

  1. You can also use third-party icon engines like The Noun Project and IconFinder to insert icons in Microsoft Office documents. Drag and drop the file from Windows File Explorer into your document.

Microsoft Office supports both PNG and SVG icons. PNG is not a vector format, so you must choose an icon of the right size and color that will not grain when the document is printed. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is an open vector standard that can be resized and customized in your document.

How to Customize the Icons in Microsoft Office

You can customize the icons in many ways. Microsoft Office gives you an entire Format tab to play around with the look of the graphic. The process is common across all Office applications, so let’s look at Microsoft PowerPoint for a change.

  1. Click on the inserted icon and the contextual Format tab is displayed on the Ribbon. You can also right-click on the icon to use the contextual menu.

Ms powerpoint format icons

  1. Graphic Styles are the quickest way to change the look of the icon. You can use the pre-defined styles to remove the fill or to add a different colored fill to the icon. Hover your mouse over each graphics style in the gallery to see a preview of what your image would look like with that style.

Microsoft powerpoint graphic styles

In the illustration below, I have used a graphic style to remove the default fill and give it an orange fill with a green border. Next, I can go to the Graphic Fill and Graphic Outline in the Format Toolbar and use the options to tweak the icon to the desired look. For instance, I have increased the width of the icon border.

Ms powerpoint change icon look

  1. Use the Eyedropper to pick any color from your document. You may want to match the look of the icon to a specific color theme on your document or slide. Go to Format > Graphics Fill or Graphics Outline. Select the Eyedropper tool and point it at any object in your document, on your slide, or worksheet. A small box above the dropper will fill with the selected color of that object. Click your left mouse button to “pick” the color and your selected SVG shape will be filled with that color.

Ms powerpoint eyedropper fill

  1. Graphic Effects can help you add more effects to your icons. Access Graphic Effects from the Format tab or the Format Graphic sidebar on the right. For instance, add a drop shadow or a perspective shadow to an icon for a stylized look. Most of the effects have Presets you can use to shortcut the process.

Ms powerpoint graphic effects

Convert Your Icon to a Shape

Your creative options will expand when you take an icon and convert it into a shape.

  1. Insert an icon in your document.
  2. Go to the Insert tab and click the Convert to Shape button in the Change group. You can also just right-click the SVG image in your document and select Convert to Shape from the context.

Ms powerpoint convert to shape

  1. The icon converted into a shape can then be disassembled into individual elements. For instance, you can color some part of it to suggest a different meaning to the symbol.

Ms powerpoint edit as shape

Icons are Powerful: Use Them Carefully

Microsoft Office gives you the ability to personalize the icons and use them in your projects. They are wonderful replacements for garish clipart which dominated the Office space for some time. But with this power comes a bit of responsibility. The ubiquitous nature of icons makes them instantly recognizable, so you must use them right. Pick the right icon to convey the appropriate meaning.

Have you explored the potential of Microsoft Office icons yet?

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How to Create Simple Formulas and Functions in Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is the most powerful member of the Office suite. With that power comes a steep learning curve. But it’s worth climbing it because spreadsheet skills are a must for self-respecting digital workers today. And don’t worry like everything else you can start from the very basics and learn Excel one tiny bit at a time.

One of the fundamental concepts in Excel is the difference between formulas and functions. So, let’s learn how to create them and see how they can help us manipulate the data in the rows and columns.

What is the Difference Between a Formula and Function in Excel

A formula (also called an equation) is something that you as the user create to calculate a value with the data in the cells.

A function is a built-in formula that already exists in Excel as pre-defined piece of code.

In short: A function is a built-in calculation, while a formula is a calculation defined by the user.

Both are building blocks of any Excel operation. A formula can make use of a single function or a combination of functions to calculate a result. A formula can also refer to cells, rows, columns, defined variables, and functions to create complex statements that manipulate the data in the spreadsheet.

Here’s an example:

A1 + A2 + A3 is a simple formula that calculates the values in the cells A1, A2, A3.

A Simple Excel Formula

 

Instead of laboriously adding each cell, you can use the SUM function to add up a range of cells: =SUM(A2:A3)

Microsoft Excel - SUM Function

How to Write a Formula

To enter a formula:

  1. Select a cell.
  2. To enter a formula, type an equal sign (=) in the cell.
  3. Type the cell references for the cell values you want to calculate. For example, type the formula =A1+A2+A3. Hit Enter.
  4. Instead of typing each cell address, you can also select cell A1, A2, and cell A3.
  5. If you change the value of any cell, Excel automatically re-calculates the total. Also, when you select a cell, Excel shows the value or formula of the cell in the formula bar. You can always click in the formula bar and edit the formula.

How to Write a Function

Instead of inserting each value to be summed as in the above formula, you can use the SUM function to add up a range of cells. There are several ways to insert and use functions, but let’s see the simplest one to begin with. The process is similar…

  1. Select a cell.
  2. To enter a function, type an equal sign (=) in the cell.
  3. Type SUM (A1:A3). Hit Enter.
  4. The SUM function simplifies the calculation. The part between the brackets (arguments) gives Excel the range A1:A3 as input. As you can see, the range includes the first and last cell of the range separated by a colon.
  5. You don’t have to type a function name in all caps. Microsoft Excel automatically capitalizes it once you finish the formula and press the Enter key to complete it.

SUM is a basic function. There are 467 functions in Excel and more can be used through third-party add-ons. Don’t worry—there are easier ways to use functions without memorising them all. Let’s get introduced to the Insert Function feature in Excel.

How to Use Insert Function in Excel

The Insert Function dialog box makes it easy to search and reuse the right functions from the library Excel provides. It also gives you an easier way to understand the arguments the function will take.

  1. To view the Insert Function dialog box, click the fx button on the Formula bar.

Microsoft Excel-The Insert Function Dialog

  1. Use the search box to type a brief description of the task you want the function to do. Click Go.
  2. A list of closest matches will be displayed in the Select a function box. You can use the dropdown under select a category to broaden your search or narrow it down. For instance, selecting All will display all Excel functions in an alphabetical order.

Microsoft Excel - Insert Function Arguments Screen

  1. Click a function name to see the function syntax and a brief description immediately below the Select a function.
  2. Double-click a function name to display the function and its arguments in the Function Arguments wizard, which helps you add correct arguments.

The Insert Function dialog box helps you paste the correct function with its arguments in a cell. Simpler functions can be entered manually, but you will feel better equipped to handle the more complex functions (like COUNTIF or COUNTIFS functions) with the dialog box. Excel couldn’t have made it any easier for beginners.

There are two other ways to display the dialog box.

  1. Click the Insert Function button on the Formulas tab.

Microsoft Excel-Insert Function Formula Tab

  1. Click the small arrow to the right of the AutoSum feature on the Formulas Ribbon. Select More Functions from the dropdown.

Microsoft Excel-Insert Function-AutoSum

The AutoSum Button for Simple Formulas

The AutoSum button on the Home tab is a timesaving feature for the simplest of calculations. You can also use it from the Formulas tab. This one-click formula button can add, average, count numbers, or find the minimum or maximum for a column, row, or group of cells.

  1. Click the AutoSum button and it will enter the SUM function. Click the arrow for the button, you will see the other common functions you can use for basic calculations.

Microsoft Excel-AutoSum Button

  1. Let’s say you have a column of numbers you would like to add. Click the cell where you want the total to be displayed. Then, click the AutoSum button. Excel will automatically detect the numbers you want to add and their cell references. The cells get selected and the function will be displayed like this:

Microsoft Excel-AutoSum Example

  1. Click Enter for the total.
  2. The other functions available in the AutoSum button will work in the same way.

Do Everyday Tasks with Simple Formulas and Functions

You don’t need to be a statistical guru to use Excel. Formulas and functions are a great help to manage everyday tasks like home budget management, income taxes, and loan amortization calculations. Simple formulas and functions are the first building blocks.

How to start and invest in a mutual fund SIP?

Savings is perhaps the basic goal of every earning individual. You will find it tough to locate an individual would want to put in hours of effort to earn just as much that he is able to pay off all his expenses and be left with nothing to keep aside for his and his loved one’s future.

While savings are important, what is even more rewarding is to see your savings grow over time. If that happens, you know for sure that you are doing good for yourself and your family. With mutual funds, growth in your savings becomes a tad bit easy.

growth in your savings with Mutual funds

Among the different types of mutual funds, Systematic Investment Plans or the SIPs as they are commonly known as are increasingly becoming popular investment vehicles for the working class. As the name suggests, the SIPs are all about investing in a specific plan systematically over a period of time to earn good returns at the end of such period.

If you go by what the mutual fund experts believe in, the SIPs are the best investment vehicles for periodic investments. Though SIPs are quite common investment vehicles, the fact remains that there is not complete clarity on how an SIP really works or what are the steps to start investing in any SIP.

What is an SIP and how does it work?

Simply put, an SIP is an investment tool. It works best for people who like to invest regularly as this investment tools systematically regularises your investments in mutual funds. In case of SIPs, regularity is the key element and not the amount you want to invest.

how sip works?

The SIP can be started with as low as INR 500 every month and can go up to any amount that you can set aside from your earnings consistently every month for a certain period. The frequency of investment in the SIP is also up for your choice – you can start a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly SIP but being regular with your frequency and investment is essential.

SIPs are the best-recommended options for those interested in mutual funds as it helps them maximise their returns while averaging out their cost of purchase. The best that an SIP does to any working class individual is that it imparts discipline in financial savings and compels the investor to invest a certain amount regularly no matter what the condition in the market.

How to start investing in SIP?

When you decide to invest in an SIP, you choose to take up a financial commitment. To do so, you need to first evaluate your income and total expenses to decide how much amount of money you can put aside for an SIP every month or for whatever frequency of investment you are considering.

how to start investing in SIP?

A monthly SIP is often believed to be the most feasible option for working class individuals. Once you have evaluated your financial position, the next thing to do is to find the right fund and start investing. While you can always rely on your research to find the right mutual fund, if you are not too sure, several professional investment consultants can help you choose the right mutual fund based on your financial situations and financial goals.

Initiating the process to invest in SIP

Once you have decided on the mutual fund, you can initiate the process to start investing in the SIP. It typically involves three basic steps. Below are the details on how easily you can complete these three steps and start your SIP fund.

invest in SIP

Step 1: Arrange your identity documents

Typically, you will only require basic identification to start investing in an SIP. These include your PAN Card, an address proof which could be your driving license, bank statement or Aadhaar card, a passport size photograph and your chequebook.

Arrange your identify proof (documents)

You will need the chequebook for verification of your bank information. As such, there is no compulsion to have an Aadhaar card but having it will make the whole process lot simpler.

Since you can complete this process online, an active internet connection is the need of the hour. With these basics, you can complete the registration process and get started with your SIP in a jiffy.

Step 2: KYC Compliance

It is essential you fill in the KYC compliance form to get eligible for investment in the SIPs. The KYC requires you to provide basic details such as your official name, date of birth as per your identification documents, mobile number, and address. You will need to complete the KYC compliance process just once even though you may be planning to invest in several mutual fund or SIP schemes.

KYC compliance

If you prefer to go online, you can use the eKYC facility that is easy and convenient to use. Most reputed mutual fund companies allow you to complete the KYC formalities online as long as you furnish soft or scanned copies of the required documents.

Merely fill in the necessary details in the online form and upload soft copies of your official documents such as your PAN card and address proof to support the details mentioned in the form. Once you submit the online form, the KYC process will be initiated, and a representative from the mutual fund company will conduct a video call to complete the KYC process.

Just remember, using your Aadhaar card to fill digital KYC form will make the process much easier and quicker as details in the card can be linked to pre-populate the form. If you adopt this measure, there will be no need to have a conference call with the mutual fund representative.

Step 3: Going the online way

Once you have completed your KYC compliance check and have decided the mutual fund you want to invest in, you can check the web link of the mutual fund company and choose the shortlisted SIP.

Going the online way

There are different funds based on the level of risk you are willing to undertake. In case you are a first-time investor, it is recommended you start with low-risk funds that have average returns.

The Bottom Line

You can start the process of investing in the SIP by registering yourself as a new investor and fill in some basic personal details. You can then choose your username and provide a password for accessing your SIP online. As SIP is a regular investment plan, you can submit your bank details and set up an auto debit with your bank for a monthly (or the frequency you have chosen) payment into your SIP. You can also select the date you will invest in the SIP every month based on your convenience.

 

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How to grow your wealth by saving taxes?

No matter what your chosen career, the fact is that everyone works very hard to earn money. People sweat day in and day out to fulfil their professional commitments and the reward is their salary. If this salary only serves the survival needs, the whole purpose of the hard work remains unfulfilled, as future is uncertain and preparing for it financially is the only certain thing you can do.

save taxes

With regards to your earnings, savings can grow only when you have enough money left in hand after your regular financial commitments like utility bills, child’s education, and monthly groceries. These regular expenses cannot be avoided, but what about the taxes?

A major part of your income, as much as a third, can go away in government taxes. However, there are some legitimate ways in which you can save on your taxes and grow your wealth. Of course, business owners have several ways to reduce their taxes to the government, salaried individuals too have ways, but they are quite different.

Plan your investments wisely to meet your goals and avail tax benefits

plan investment wisely

Saving on your taxes and at the same time growing your wealth is not a hypothetical situation. Investing your money in the right investment avenues can help you in this regard. Before you consider the different tax-saving options available to you, it is important to evaluate your goals.

Savings for tax benefits should be with an investment objective. You should analyse your professional and financial growth in the next 3, 5, 7 or 10 years and plan your investments accordingly. Depending on whether you have short term or long term goals, you can choose the appropriate investment tools.

Here are a few options available to salaried individuals to save on taxes

Step 1: Save taxes through interest payments on your loans (Section 80E and Section 24B)

save taxes through interest payment on loans

Education Loan (Section 80E)

Higher education can be a great way to not just secure your child’s future but also get some immediate tax benefits by way of education loan. Under Section 80E of the Income Tax Act, interest paid by the assessee on the education loan during the previous assessment year is completely deductible for seven subsequent years from the year the assesse started paying the interest.

Home Loan (Section 24B)

Just like education loan can help you avail some income tax benefits, home loans also quality for tax benefits. Besides being a long-term asset for you, your home also makes you eligible for tax deductions. You can claim a deduction under 80C for up to INR 1.5 lakhs for the repayment of the home loan principal.

Apart from this deduction, you can claim deduction for interest payments under Section 24B. If the home loan is a joint loan with your spouse, the tax deductions are available to both you and your spouse, thereby you can get optimum tax benefits as a family

Step 2: Save taxes through investments (Section 80C)

saving taxes under section 80C

Section 80C of the Income Tax Act allows for tax benefits for expenses incurred to the assesse for investing in certain specific investment vehicles. For eligible investment tools, 100% of the amount invested or INR 1,50,000, whichever is less is deducted from the taxable income of the assesse. Here is the list of eligible investment tools for which the deduction is applicable.

• Life insurance premium paid for self or any dependant’s policy.
• Any contributions made towards statutory provident fund, recognized provident fund and the approved superannuation fund.
• Any contribution made towards Public Provident Fund.
• Amount deposited with the Post Office Savings Bank for a period no less than 10 years.
• NSC (VIII Issue) subscriptions.
• Investment with the mutual fund equity linked savings scheme.
• Any fixed deposits with scheduled banks for a period of more than 5 years.

Step 3: Save taxes through investment in your and your family’s health (Section 80D)

save tax through health insurance

Health insurance policy

If you take a qualified health insurance policy, the interest payed thereof is eligible for deductions under Section 80D. This deduction is available to a limit of INR 15,000 for self, spouse and children. An additional deduction up to the limit of INR 20,000 is available for insurance of dependent parents (if senior citizens and INR 15,000 if not senior citizens). The maximum deduction for health can be up to INR 40,000.

Future protection of your family

Life Insurance policies are in a way a form of financial protection that you can offer to your family in case anything happens to you. The premium paid towards life insurance policies is eligible for deductions under Section 80C.

Step 4: Save taxes through donations (Section 80G)

Tax Free

When you make any donations to charitable organizations, you are eligible to claim deductions from your taxable income under the Section 80G. There are various donations that are specified under the act, which are eligible for either 100% or 50% deduction from the taxable income of the assesse.

Step 5: Save taxes through contribution to the New Pension Scheme (Section 80CCE) and National Savings Certificate

Save tax under pension scheme and NSC

Under the regulatory issued by the government agency – PFRDA, salaried employees can avail tax benefits with contributions to the New Pension Scheme. Apart from the tax savings, the returns are linked to the market and thereby the tax paying individual can also grow his wealth.

Salaried individuals can also claim tax benefits of up to INR 1,50,000 through investment in the National Savings Certificate (NSC) scheme. The interest rate of the NSCs is fixed every quarter and is linked to the government security rates. The interest rates also depend on the lock-in period of your investments. While the interest earned on NSCs is fully taxable but the same can be re-invested.

Breaking the shackles

There is a general misconception among people that tax savings can only be availed through insurance policies. However, that is not the only source. A balanced portfolio of health policies, ELSS mutual funds, PPF and the New Pension Scheme can help salaried individuals save taxes as well as grow their wealth systematically.

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How to start saving from a young age?

Whether you believe it or not, you are never too young to start saving. As a matter of fact, the whole idea of getting your child a piggy bank is to instil in him the idea of savings from the very time he starts identifying the need of using money to buy things that he wants.

It is true that savings don’t come naturally to most people because the idea of earning is to be able to spend. However, if from a very young age, an individual learns the importance of savings, there can be nothing that can stop him from enjoying the fruits of his efforts at the time when he loses the physical ability to earn.

Introducing the importance of saving to the youth

It wouldn’t be wrong to state that the youth comprise the majority of the Indian population and that being said, there has been an increasing inclination of the working class to shift towards the youth.

importance of saving to the youth

With more and more young graduates finding their dream jobs too early in their lives, the youth of today is enjoying better earnings in their initial years of career. This has relatively reduced the real value of money in their eyes and typically, an average youngster ends up spending all his earnings as they feel their needs are met.

It is, hence, extremely important to introduce the idea of savings in young minds by inculcating in them the uncertainty of jobs and health.

The youth of today have to understand that people who start saving at a young age have an enormous advantage over others as their life moves on.

How can you start your savings when you are young?

Not every person wants to work till he is reaches the age of 60. Yet, the fact remains that most people continue working hard in their old age simply because they cannot afford to not work.

start saving from young age

While it may seem difficult, the idea of retiring young and leading a happy and peaceful old age isn’t something that is absolutely impossible.

You can follow your dreams of retiring young with some perseverance and with persistence on discipline in leading a balanced life. Here are some feasible, doable steps that you can start immediately if you are in your early 20s so that you enjoy not just now but also your late sixties.

Step 1: Decisions, decisions and decisions

decisions

Saving money for the future is more about some right decisions than just putting money aside. The fact is that your savings should not stagnate, but grow too. This implies you need to figure out a lot about your career graph and your investment tools. Here are some important decisions that will change the course of your investments.

a. How young is really young?

how young is young

Among the various decisions that you will take that will have a big impact on your life’s earnings and savings, the first most important decision is to understand how young is really young on when you want to retire. Here, you need to be very practical with your estimation.

If you are 27 and do not have any net worth to yourself, you cannot imagine you could retire when you are 30. The younger you want to retire, the younger you would need to start your savings because that’s what you are going to rely on when you do stop working.

b. Manage your finances right

Before you start planning your savings and which investment tools are ideal for you, you need to understand how you truly manage your money. There are several people who may have win lotteries, but lead miserably poor lives.

It all goes down to managing your money not how much you earn when you are looking at learning how to start saving young. Work on a budget and be very disciplined with your spending – these are the basic things that you need to incorporate in order to start savings young.

c. Get yourself the right educational qualifications

get right education

Quality education always goes a long way in ensuring that you have a more reliable future ahead. When you have a college degree, you are in a better position to decide your career moves and take positive steps towards creating a brighter future.

Young individuals should consider their education as an investment in their future and work towards utilizing their education in their professional growth. With the right education comes the right decision-making skills that can help young individuals to save their earnings for their brighter future.

d. Save early for a happy and content retirement

Savings

There is a very simple idea behind your investments – the earlier you start; the sooner you can stop working. Inculcate the habit to save and save regularly. Consider easy investment tools such as the SIP mutual funds that encourage regular savings.

When you get in the habit of saving regularly, you will discipline yourself in your financial spending habits and carve for yourself a financially secure future.

Step 2: It is not about saving but saving right!

saving right

While savings as a habit needs to be developed, in order to get the right benefit out of it, you need to learn how to start saving right. Here are some things young savers should keep in mind.

a. Get-rich-quick scams are just that, scams!

scams

Just like there is no shortcut to success, there is no shortcut to a savings plan. Don’t get fooled by easy money scams as there is nothing as easy money. It is for nothing that people refer to their savings as hard-earned money because it is really not an easy task to accumulate a life’s savings. When you start young, you are likely to do much better.

b. Purchase appreciating assets

purchase appreciating assets

The youth are typically driven by their fantasies. The young working professionals start making good money in the initial years of professional life and the next thing you find then doing is buying expensive cars and other such assets that tend to lose their value as time passes.

These are known as depreciating assets. For those who want to start savings at a young age, investment in appreciating assets such as real estate and stocks is a more sensible recommendation.

c. Work at creating a passive income source

create passive income

There is nothing as wonderful as having a passive source of income to cover all your bills. You can invest in a business or have your own blog with advertisements that will generate income. Evaluate your interests and identify options that you can monetize.

When you start young, you will have a long time on hand to grow your passive income and this will eventually contribute to your plan on savings.

Using these measures, you can begin saving from a young age. Remember, it all begins with the piggy bank and continues into early and middle adulthood. Those are the years you should be saving the most so that later in life, you have built a nice little nest egg to retire without worries.

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How to find the best hotels while planning vacation in India?

Like any other country, India has a plethora of choices when it comes down to picking a hotel. Choosing a hotel based on your comfort, location, budget and other factors can be a tricky task. That is why you need to know how to proceed when it comes to picking a place for your brief stay in India.

Picking a hotel for your stay might be something that you will like to postpone to the very end, but there are quite a few things that you have to consider while going for one. So, read along and bear in mind the things that we are about to tell you about the things that you should know about the hotels in India.

Things that need special consideration while picking a hotel in India.

You need a place to stay for a couple of days, so following a few simple steps can help you save time and reduce the frustration that a bad place can bring with it.Location : Are you here on vacation?

Then, you will want to stay in a hotel that is near to all the tourist spots. This will help you to roam around all the places with ease. This saves a lot of time too. But, if you are here on a business trip, then your workplace should be your priority.

Another thing that you have to consider when you are selecting a location is the availability of shops. Pharmacies, malls, railway station, bus stops and airports should be nearby too.

This is going to make your vacation way more sorted.

Location: Are you here on vacation? Then, you will want to stay in a hotel that is near to all the tourist spots. This will help you to roam around all the places with ease. This saves a lot of time too. But, if you are here on a business trip, then your workplace should be your priority.

hotel location

Another thing that you have to consider when you are selecting a location is the availability of shops. Pharmacies, malls, railway station, bus stops and airports should be nearby too.

This is going to make your vacation way more sorted.

Security: You have to be certain about the security of the hotel that you are going to be in. It is always better to be in one that has proper guards and CCTV cameras on each floor. Try to carry your locks rather than using the one that the hotel provides you with.

Hotel - security - CCTV

Your budget: India is a country with way too many choices when it comes down to hotels. You can be in a hotel that offers five-star service and even be in one that hardly charges a couple of bucks on a daily basis. The five-star hotels in India will treat you like a celebrity but more than often it remains beyond the budget. On the other hand, hotels that charge two to three dollars a night are a bit risky.

There can be security problems, bed bugs, hygiene issues and of course mosquitoes. So, do select one that suits your needs and fits in your budget.

Food: Are you planning to be in a hotel that gives out complimentary breakfasts and dinners? Or has similar arrangements? Or are you willing to try different dishes as you visit the tourist spots? This entirely depends on you.

variety of Food at hotel

WiFi: In today’s era, nothing can be accomplished without a proper internet connection. Make sure your hotel has free WiFi, and it is available everywhere in the hotel. It shouldn’t be confined to the lobby or the halls.

Wifi at hotel in every corner

Booking: When are you planning a vacatioono to visit to India? You should book your hotel at least a month before your arrival. If you plan a trip at the last minute, then take care of the hotel booking two days before you arrive.

Look for deals: There is nothing that is better than package deals. Deals or packages can include a lot of things. There can be spa vouchers, complimentary lunch, and other deals. This way you get your money’s worth services.

look for packaged deals

Brands: To stay ahead of every problem and receive the best hospitality from your hotel staff, it is better to pick a brand. Not only are they trustworthy but they will also take care of you like no one else.

Keep your kids in mind: If you are taking your kids along, then look out for hotels that have some exciting options when it comes to their entertainment. A wide range of hotels today have these options.

Some tips that will come handy while picking a hotel.

There is nothing wrong with a myriad of choices, but sometimes these choices can be overwhelming. So, consider the following things when you choose your hotel in India.

Car Parking – Does your hotel have car parking? This is something that you have to look out for.

View from the windows – Depending on your location pick a hotel that comes with a hill facing or sea facing room.

Read Reviews – Almost every hotel today has reviews and ratings on the internet. Make sure the hotel you pick for your stay has good reviews and a minimum of a four-star rating.

Toilets – Although 95% of the hotels in India today have commodes, there is a chance that your hotel has a traditional Indian toilet. These toilets may not be convenient for you, so check this factor out.

Frauds – Never trust a tout who waits outside airports or railway stations. Make sure you don’t go to the hotels they ask you to.

Traffic – We asked you to book a hotel that has proper connectivity to the rest of the city, but your room shouldn’t be facing the streets. India faces the problem of unnecessary honking. If it is possible decide on a room that doesn’t have a window facing the streets.

24 Hour Service – If you are arriving late to a particular destination then you have to remember whether or not your hotel is open at all hours.

Electricity – You have to brace yourself to unexpected load shedding. Your hotel should have a twenty-hour power backup facility.

Water – This might sound a bit strange, but the shortage of water can be a matter of concern. Before checking into a room be sure you ask about their water supply.

Finding a hotel that meets every requirement is a necessity when you are traveling to India. Every problem that a traveler once faced has been now sorted out by the internet. So, do make sure you keep all of these things in mind before you step into a hotel room in India.

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How to disable Android Apps (without Uninstalling & Data Loss) and Enable them later?

Mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives now a days. We have app for everything – Starting from online buying to lose weight. We all love using them around the clock as they are easy to use, suffice the purpose well and saves a lot of time as well.

Android Apps

Instead of searching on the browser, searching for anything in the related app is hassle-free. It saves your data and time.

For example, if you are using an online shopping app, all your payment details, shipping address and correspondence address will be saved in there forever. No need to fill it up each time you place an order. But is not the case with the browser.

That is why we all love apps. Don’t we?

When we install an app on our Android phone, it certainly consumes certain space of our phone’s external or internal storage.

Even if you are not using it frequently, it keeps on running on background and consumes not only space but also make your phone hang a little bit. In that case, you need to uninstall the app. Now uninstalling that app might lead to losing all the data related to that app. Losing data is what we fear the most these days.

When we uninstall any program on Windows, it remembers all the data and auto-filled it when you re-install it again. But this is not the case with Android. The moment you uninstall the app, you lose the data related to that particular app. The reason for this is:

Your app uses two storage spaces to get stored on the phone. They are:-

1. Internal storage memory

2. External storage memory which comes in the form of SD cards and the App database.

In the majority of the cases, your apps will get stored in the App database as it is the most secure place for them.

To ensure the security of the system, the Android remembers the data only if the app is installed on your phone and available for use. Keeping the data of the removed app is not supported by the androids system.

In that case, how can you prevent losing the data of the related app for future reference?

Well, here is a way out.

We would suggest you disable the app rather than un-installing it completely. By making it disabled, you actually clear up a part of your phone storage space and can save the data as well.

If you do so, all the data will be retrieved back once you install the app in future. No need to fill up that data again.

Here are the steps.

1. Go to the “Setting”.

Go to - Settings

2. Go the “Application Manager” or “Apps”.

Application Manager - Apps

3. Open the app which you are not using any longer or what to uninstall.

Open the app no longer usable

4. Now, there will be two options available for you: Force Stop or Disable.

disable app

5. Choose Disable option. By choosing this option, your android system will actually make it disappear from your app lists and keep it stored in the background. All your app data would be saved for future references.

confirm app disable upon popup

This method is going to work only for those apps which come with your phones. The apps which you download from the Android app store won’t show up the Disable option.

It will directly show up the “Uninstall” option. If you have uninstalled an app which belongs to this category then we might fear that restoring the app data would be next to impossible.

However, apps which use your e-mail id and phone numbers to start or launch will be able to restore all your data forever.

For example, if you are using Paytm app which needs your mobile phone and e-mail details for login will be able to restore all your data automatically. So, if you uninstall that app then you are going to get back all the details once you re-install it.

Basically, the apps which need your login details will never lose your data. On the other hand, apps like gaming apps and beauty apps, downloaded from App gallery are hard to restore as they don’t need your login details.

To retrieve data related to that app, you need to take the help of some data restoration software available in the market. You can use this software to recover your app data.

Now, there are times when we need those disables app back suddenly. In that case, you need to follow these steps:

For inbuilt apps.

1. Go to the settings.
2. Open Apps.
3. Go the details of the respective app.
4. Click on “Enable” and you will be able to get back your app with all the data intact.

Enable app the same way you disabled

For downloaded apps.

1. Open Play Store.

2. Type the app name which you want to download and click on “Install “. Once you install the app then those who need your login details will automatically recover your data.

3. For others, you need to buy paid software like dr.fone, Helium Android App Data Back Up (it is a free app) and so on.

4. You can also try using ADB with the command: adb -d shell “pm uninstall -k com.package.name”.

It is a highly versatile commanding tool developed by Android only that allows you to build a communication with your device.

This client-server program helps you to perform some actions like installing and debugging effortlessly.

With the help of these simple and easy steps, you can easily get back your app data. All you need to go is just follow them and implement.

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