How To Manage Your Finances This Diwali
Come Diwali time and it’s difficult to fight the temptation to shop like there is no tomorrow. Decorating the home, organising get togethers and a lot of catching up with your loved ones sums up the essence of the Diwali season.
It is also that time of the year when you are seduced into buying things - that you might not really want - at 'mega bumper sales'. Your expenses can really skyrocket during this period. It’s a happy but also a very expensive month—which you realize later! The shopping for new house decorations, clothes, sweets, entertaining, gadgets (because they are on sale!) —the list is endless.
What do you do? How do you ensure that your Diwali expenditure does not burn a serious hole in your pocket? Here are some tips on how to manage your money this Diwali.
Make A List of Things to Buy
First, sit down and make a list of what you really want. It could be clothes, home renovation, jewelry, a gadget - anything. Also, specify the quantity of each item you want. This way, you will know what to shop for. This one simple step gives you an overall picture of what your expenses is going to look like and you can make changes according to your priorities and preferences.
Don’t Carry Your Credit Card
When you are using plastic, it's all too easy to lose track of your spending and spend far more than you can afford. It is best not to carry a credit card and get carried away while shopping. Carry cash, or your debit card with a preset budget. This way, you will be able to stay within the budget and not overspend. Stick to your list and your expenses should be okay.
Track Your Expenses Carefully
Whether you use cash, a credit card or debit card, review your purchases everyday that you go shopping. It is important to be disciplined about tracking your spending or you can go off the rails with unchecked spending. You can monitor how much you have spent and what’s left to be bought. You will also be able to compare to your list and see if you have stayed within the budget.
Don’t Buy Things Just Because They Are On Sale
Make sure whatever you are buying is what you really want. You can save your hard earned moolah if you plan your shopping well in advance and take advantage of bargains. Do not hurry your shopping trips, don't wait till the last minute or you will be forced into blind, panic shopping at high prices. Most importantly, do not add to the shopping list. This will help you stay within your budget.
If you need to add any expenses, make sure you compensate by cutting down on another area. For instance, if you have to add a gift for a relative you had missed on a list, or have overshot your decorations budget, then make up for the extra expense by skipping the dinner or movie outing with friends.
If you follow these tips, you will find that at the end of the festive season, your pockets are not completely empty! Celebrate this Diwali with your family, friends, near and dear ones without the worry or fear of being sucked into unpayable debt. Happy Diwali!