Expert advice

Nov 03, 2015,17.01 IST

Diwali: Diyas, Dhanteras and Deals

Lovaii Navlakhi
International Money Matters

In India, the number of festivals we celebrate is probably among the most in the world. We like celebrating, we like the food, the shopping and the colors and lights associated with festivities.

Diwali, in particular is associated with both: spending and saving. There is Dhanteras where one buys gold/ silver which is basically an investment. There is muhurat trading in the stock market, basically so one starts to invest right in the beginning of the new samvat (it is the beginning of the new year for the Hindu calendar)

What we don’t like is the part that festivals could be an expensive affair. How do you ensure that your festivities are taken care of while keeping it light on the pocket?

Here are a few tips to keep to your financial health in order, while for your physical health all we can suggest is, keep the food light and exercise.

1.Diyas: Lighting diyas is just symbolic that there should be light at this time and all year through in our lives, hearts and homes. While you are lighting diyas, ensure you buy the ones made in India- diyas, lights, candles et al.

2.Dhanteras: Investing in gold/ silver on this auspicious day is a tradition most of us follow, what you could do instead is buy ETFs- easier to buy and one doesn’t have to hold them in physical form. This year, why not upgrade the tradition while abiding by it.

3.Deals: While the flipkarts and the amazons of the world are competing against each other and offering mind blowing offers on most of the stuff, why not use it to your advantage and get stuff cheaper.

4.Stick to the list: It is very easy to get carried away and buy all the stuff you can afford to. Rather, prepare a list and stick to it. It will save you a lot of trouble later on. Becoming financially disciplined is all about the small habits.

5.Save first: While you want to go ahead and splurge, first set aside some money for the month for your investments and then spend.

6.Restrict credit card spends: Spending on credit cards is too easy. Only spend the amount that you can pay back fully when the bill comes home. No paying minimum amounts or paying credit card bills as EMIs. It’s almost a sin to do that.

7.Budget cutting for the next month: While you might end up splurging this month, cut down your budget for the next month, so there is some balance brought back to life. Eat out lesser, lesser fine dining, no shopping- these are some of the easier/ bigger ones to follow.

8.Start saving for next Diwali: While you splurge and gift this Diwali, you would also aspire what you’d like to get or gift for next Diwali, start setting aside money in a liquid fund for that from the next month itself, so next time when you want to splurge- you’ve already budgeted for it and it is not a snap decision, but a well thought through one.

Happy Diwali folks and let there be light!
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