5 Money Tips For The Festive Season
Here are the five steps can ensure that your financial health doesn’t take a severe hit this season
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For all its associated cheer and joy, it’s a fact that the festive season that begins at this time of the year can - rather unfortunately - wind up becoming a severe money drain for many. As with most things in life, adopting the ‘middle way’ between severe austerities and irresponsible spending will serve you in good stead. Boring as they might seem, following these five steps can ensure that your financial health doesn’t take a severe hit this season.
Avoid the Loan Trap
With the advent of FinTech enabled credit platforms, availing loans has never been quite as easy. Goaded by attractive advertisements and the promise of instant gratification, many people end up overleveraging themselves during the festive season, only to pay the price for many years. However, you’d be wise to avoid the loan trap altogether, preferring instead to spend what you have. Short on cash? No worries. You’ll survive just fine for a year without making expensive purchases.
Don’t Keep up with the Joneses
Your neighbour just bought a flashy new Merc or completed a large-scale renovation of their house to mark the occasion of Diwali, and this has you turning green! In fact, in today’s day and age, social media is full of people flaunting their latest acquisitions – so this phenomenon isn’t just restricted to your neighbours anymore. Not one to be left behind, you go out and blow up some dough yourself. Sounds familiar? Remember this – trying to keep up with the Joneses is going to drive you to the ground eventually. Learn to be content with what you have while striving for more, of course.
Don’t buy things you don’t need
None other than the great Warren Buffett sagely advised us on the perils of buying things we don’t need – the resulting outcome being ‘having to sell things that you need’. With all those rock bottom discounts and online sales happening, this one’s a toughie to guard yourself against. Make sure you don’t stack up on things that have little long-term worth in your life ‘just because they were available cheap’. Exercise your willpower and use your discretion to buy only things that you’d have liked to own even if they weren’t under-priced.
Pause before you head out and spend thousands of Rupees on chocolate boxes and dining sets for people you couldn’t care less about! They will likely be shunted away into some dank corner of their houses, or be ‘re-gifted’ ahead in any case. Instead, re-think your gifting plan – perhaps a simple note, with a customised handwritten message, will end up being appreciated a lot more than cliched gift sets. In fact, the last few years have seen many people moving away from the ‘gifting culture’ altogether, preferring to not accept or give any gifts but to just send across their best wishes instead.
Use your bonus smartly
If at all you come across windfall gains during Diwali, use it wisely. There are plenty of smart things you can do with the money. Use it to pay off a loan that’s been torturing you for some time, or to secure your family future by taking up a term or health insurance plan. At the very least, invest the money into a short-term debt mutual fund for a more significant goal – say, a trip abroad. Whatever you do, don’t fritter it away on things that are unnecessary and not value-creating – you’re bound to suffer from the famed ‘buyers regret’ syndrome later.