It’s that time of the year again. The festival season is just about beginning. Indian festivals are all about dressing up, decorating one’s home, meeting friends and family and exchanging sweets and gifts. While we prepare for the upcoming festivities and gear up to enjoy all the fun and frolic, it’s important to remember not to overspend.
Here are some ways you can manage your finances wisely during this festive season:
- Set a budget in advance– It is advisable to set a part of the household annual budget for festival expenses. You should have an estimate of your monthly expenses and based on the money left over from your monthly expenses, prepare the festival budget for entertainment, presents, home décor, etc. Once you have a budget you are in control of how much to spend and if need be, can always scale back.
- Prioritize your spending– During the festive season, it is natural to want to buy new things, gifts or things for the home. It is important to prioritize. Make a list of the things you want to buy or do. Depending on your budget then prioritize your expenses. Non-essential purchases can wait. It is important to remember that we cannot always have the best of both worlds. A little bit of adjustment does prove prudent in the long run.
- Look for offers and discounts– Most brands and e-commerce portals have special sales, offers during the festive season. These could be in the form of heavy discounts, cash back offers, zero cost EMI’s etc. While it is a great idea to use these, one must be careful as to not purchase things that one does not need.
- Avoid shopping on credit– It is preferable to avoid shopping on credit. However if you do need to use your credit card, make sure you don’t overspend. Whatever amount you use on your credit card should be available in your bank account before your bill is due. During this period there are a host of personal loan offers available for buying appliances, gadgets and a variety of other things. Like credit card financing, personal loans should be the last resort when making any purchases. Remember, even zero-equated monthly instalment (EMI) purchases need to be paid off in a regular manner, and failure to pay on time could land you in a debt trap.
- Don’t compete/compare– Sometimes as humans we all have a tendency to compare ourselves to our peers. It is important to remember that each family/ person has a different income and priorities. By comparing oneself with others and how they live their life, one is only bound to get in a debt trap and be miserable. Live your life based on what you can afford and not for others.
Festivals are meant to be a joyful time and not one of financial burden. If you do not want to spend the months after the festivities worrying about loans and insufficient bank balance, spend wisely during the festival season. A little bit of financial discipline will go a long way in being stress free.