11 Apr 2022

Jupiter Pots: an essential tool for the financially organised

I am an organised person. I like it when things are where they belong. I don’t like it when they are scattered around or piled up as a mess. I recently recalled how I have been getting better at financial discipline. Getting better means better organisation, and better organisation means reduced clutter. Unfortunately, most financial products on the market don’t offer much to reduce clutter.

One of the things I have been focusing on in recent years is to reduce the impact of unplanned or unexpected expenses. I have a residential property which earns rental income. I sell mutual funds fairly regularly, which results in capital gain. I need to pay advance tax for these incomes every 3 months. It’s easy to move some money into a separate account (bank account, mutual fund folio, etc) to meet such upcoming expenses. However the real trouble is keeping track of how much money is in that account for what expenses. It’s very easy to forget why we moved money into this account, which causes this account to become an unorganised pile of cash. We can see how much money is kept aside, but it’s hard to tell if we can take, say ₹5,000 from this account to spend on something.

An unorganised pile of cash and coins
Jon Eben Field, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In theory, ICICI’s iWish accounts should fit this bill, and that’s the first thing I tried. But turns out, iWish is way too rigid for my needs. Here’s an example. We buy contact lenses every 3 months, and I wanted to save every month for that. But I couldn’t because iWish has a minimum tenure of 6 months. Often, I just want to keep some money aside without a “goal amount” that I want to save. For example money kept aside for an upcoming repair work or advance income tax payment. iWish does not support simply keeping some money aside either.

This lack of tooling support came up during a conversation with my coworkers. One person suggested that I take a look at Jupiter.money. Jupiter has a feature called Pots that is precisely for people like me. I can create and destroy pots at will; I can keep money aside as long as I give the pot a name (such as “income tax advance” or “floor repair”). No need to define a tenure or specify a goal corpus. The moment rent comes into my bank account, I move some amount to the “advance tax” pot. I have a “contact lens” pot into which I move money every month (and withdraw once every 3 months). At any point in time, I have the clarity of whether I have saved up for a certain expense, and how much.

Jupiter Pots is a good example of how I want my tools to be: simple, flexible, and without arbitrary rules (such as iWish’s 6 months tenure). Give me the basic building blocks and let me compose those blocks in the way I need/want. Tools that pretend to know how they will be used often end up too rigid, similar to iWish. (The flipside is that a tool that lacks a rigid structure is not useful to people who just want readymade solutions. There is room for products like iWish in the market; just that I don’t want those tools in my own tool set.)

Ever since I started using Jupiter Pots, I feel like I have found the missing brick in the castle that I have been building; my safe and organised castle where everything is tidy inside.

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PS: I am not paid by Jupiter to write this post; nor am I affiliated with Jupiter other than as a customer.