7 ways to keep expenses under control this festival season
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- August 18, 2016
We Indians celebrate festivals believing they bring joy & prosperity in our lives. But what about the pocket-crunching expenses they bring along? If you too have been worried about it, check out these money management tips that can keep your spends at bay this festive season.
Off season shopping
Shopping is the major budget eater during festivals. Clothes, jewellery, furniture and the list goes on and on. A smart way to spend less on festive shopping is buying these things a while before the occasion. Hunt a gift for your brother during monsoon sale (which is at least a month prior to Raakhi); traditional dresses and sarees are much cheaper if you buy them two-three months before Diwali.
DIY festival preparations
Festivals are the best time to put together creative hands and heads in your family. DIY preparations go easy on the pocket & making things with your own ideas and efforts doubles the joy of festival. So instead of buying expensive paintings, eco-friendly lamps, and elegant candles why not paint the flowerpots, hang hand-made wall pieces, make lamps & candles using craft material available at house? Similarly, the idea of homemade chocolates and sweets is both cheaper and appreciative than readymade sweets.
Redecorating house coming Dusshera? Try Indian sitting arrangement (baithak)this time. A couple of old mattresses on the floor piled up with colourful bolsters and pillows will give much-needed festive look to your living room, and it certainly costs less than Mahogany sofa set. You can play traditional trick with your outfit too. Instead of splurging money on designer lehangaa, make use of your mother’s kaanchivaram & Mysore silk collection.
Careful with the bonus
A common mistake made during festival is overlooking or splurging away festive bonus received by the employer. The best way to use this lump sum amount is to avoid its immediate use. Put it in a high-return investment vehicle SIP investment and let it grow over a period of time. This will in fact help loosen up your budget for next festive season. Carry this same cycle every year and your festival expenses can gradually come under control.
Advance book the car/gold/TV
In India, bringing home a new thing on festival is considered to be auspicious. And Indians have set the ritual of heading to jewellers, car shops and electronic showrooms on every important festival. Many of us do it in spite of knowing that the prices are at the highest peak during this season. So we say advance book these things a couple of months earlier when prices are reasonable and ask to deliver it on the auspicious festival day. Why not?
Power of recycling
Home-made drapes of beautiful old sarees can be a substitute for brand new curtains, repaint diyas from last Diwali to give them a ‘new’ look, make paper lamps by colouring newspapers, used garlands can make a beautiful flower rangoli for next morning. Take help of your friends, family or Google and pick some innovative recycling ideas that can save your money, yet keep the festival spirit on.
Say no to credit card
Avoid swiping credit cards as much as possible. Going by the experience, festival shopping can be lengthy. Purchase of one thing leads to other and then to another and then you forget why had you entered the shop in the first place. To avoid this splurging, you should either withdraw the required amount or use a debit card. Just say strict no to ‘credit cards’!