Diwali, the festival of lights, is one of the most important festivals in India. Mahalakshmi – the Goddess of wealth, Saraswati – the Goddess of knowledge and Ganesha, the God of new beginnings and the remover of obstacles, are worshipped. However, it is also a time when a lot of expenses are incurred, buying gifts for friends and family and preparing for a great celebration.
You can not only curb expenses during Diwali, but also make wise financial decisions to manage your wealth for the future. Here are a few financial tips to help you plan a great Diwali.
Plan Your Purchases
- A list always helps to curb impulsive purchases. Newspapers, TV, radio, hoardings and even your email will be flooded with advertisements and offers, enticing you to buy everything from electronics to household appliances, jewellery etc. However, do not throw caution to the wind. Ask yourself if you need the product you think you can’t do without. If it is a just a ‘want,’ walk away and thank us later.
- Do not shop with credit cards. Shop only with cash or debit cards. At the time of purchasing, credit cards can cause you to spend more than your budget. Try to shop at exhibition centers or wholesale markets instead of shopping at malls where the prices are usually marked up for the very same brand and product.
- Take advantage of online deals. Online retailers also offer very good deals, discounts and cash back schemes. Check out the offers. Some products, including clothes for the family, household appliances, electronic goods, and other gift items can be bought at better prices.
- Check out travel deals if you plan to travel. If you intend to travel during the festive season, plan ahead to get good discounts on holiday packages offered by travel portals and airlines.
Budget For Your Expenses
- Lights: Electricity bills during the month of Diwali are huge, as people spend a lot on artificial lighting decorations. Lights that consume less power can be used instead. Decorating with flowers are eco-friendly. Light earthen lamps (diyas), turn out the lights for a while and save electricity.
- House: Spending on beautifying your house needs to be considered wisely. Is it really required, or are you doing it just because it is Diwali? Even simple things like painting the walls can be avoided for 3 years if you use good quality materials and paint once, instead of painting each year during Diwali.
- Gifts: Hand-made gifts (such as DIY gifts, candles, cards, paintings, decorative items) show your gratitude and love towards your family and friends more than expensive store-bought ones. However, if you are buying gifts, ensure that you do not exceed your budget.
- Jewellery: Dhanteras is the first day of Diwali, and many believe in buying gold or silver jewellery, as it is considered auspicious. Fix a budget for this expense too, and make sure not to exceed it.
- Sweets: Home-made sweets and snacks are much healthier than buying expensive packaged sweets. Of course, the effort involved is much greater and will definitely be appreciated in the family. You will still need to buy few dry fruits and sweets for giving away, which can also be within a predefined budget.
- Crackers: Children love to play with firecrackers during Diwali. Most families buy crackers to see the joy of their children. However, if you don’t want to watch your money burn, you might as well listen to some sound effects of crackers! Jokes aside, do consider noise as well as air pollution caused by bursting crackers. Be responsible and spend as less as possible on them. Buy better gifts for your children, or even better, spend it towards the good cause of sponsoring a child’s education.
Plan for the Future
Diwali also signifies the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. You can improve your financial knowledge and intelligently plan for future financial security.
- Go through your financial investment portfolio, review under-performing FDs, mutual funds or stocks and invest in better smarter options.
- A good health insurance and term life insurance are a must protection for all.
- Another smart way to invest is in retirement savings and saving towards emergency expenses. Investment in these saving schemes are considered mandatory for a worry-free future.
- Saving towards your children’s education, investing in a home or new property are all good options to consider this Diwali.
- Spend time on tax planning and consult an expert, if required, for better tax savings.
- Invest your Diwali bonus wisely.
So, spend wisely and enjoy the festival season. Here’s MoneyTap wishing you and your family a very Happy Dhanteras and truly prosperous Diwali with these financial tips.