Money Lessons We Learn from the Festival Season

At the age of 11 when my mother gave me 50 rupees to buy Diwali crackers, I pleaded with the shopkeeper to throw an extra packet of charkhi (Ground Spinner). What seemed ‘pleading’ at that age was my first bargaining experience. I got one important money lesson that year – bargain hard. Festivals teach us to love, care, and share. They also impart valuable money lessons. Look closely and try to imbibe these lessons in your everyday life:

Preparation is the Key for Every Event

money lessons festival season

We plan ahead for the festive season. We decide what we need – new sofa, a 40-inch LED, drapes, gifts for family and friends and we prepare for all the little details. Same is with life in general. To be able to enjoy any event to the fullest, we have to prepare for it. Just like Diwali shopping list, we have to make shopping list for groceries every month. And just like researching for the best online deal for that 40-inch LED, we have to scout online portals for every big purchase. In a nutshell, we have to prepare for the little as well as big events of our life – children’s education, the luxury car on our wish list or retirement.

Budgeting Goes a Long Way to Help Run Things Smoothly

We don’t rush to the market to buy gifts or sweets during the festival season. We budget – Rs. 5000 for gifts, Rs. 3000 for sweets, Rs. 1000 for decoration and another Rs. 1000 for the miscellaneous purchases. We make our Diwali budget at least a month in advance because it ensures we don’t spend too much for one thing and run out of money for another. Budgeting helps us manage things smoothly during the super-chaotic festive season. Budgeting also helps us sail through the entire year without any hiccups. If we set our budget and try to stay within the limits, both our household expenses and life would run smoothly.

Be Ready for Any Contingency or Change of Event

money lessons festival season

My mother always cooks extra servings during the festival season for the unexpected guests. I am sure, most of us buy an extra gift or two for those just-in-case moments. To avoid any unpleasant situation, it’s wise to be ready – whether with an extra serving or with an extra gift. Festivals teach us to make room for contingencies. It’s good to be ready for any change of plan – open a savings account for the rainy day or simply invest it in a mutual fund.

We Can Enjoy with Any Sum of Money, It’s Just About the Right Attitude

money lessons festival season

My best festival memories are from my college days when we contributed 50 rupees each to throw a party. We came up with unique ideas to make the party fun. Catering was replaced by home cooked meals. DIY projects for decorating the venue. Borrowed music system was our very own DJ. We had the maximum fun in the minimum budget. It taught us that money doesn’t guarantee fun. It’s how we use money that decides the outcome. Positive and enthusiastic outlook towards life works the same way – positive people can survive in any amount of money. They have the right attitude which allows them to focus on the good rather than cribbing about the bad part. Lack of money is hardly a hurdle for right spirited individuals.

Bargaining Never Goes Out of Fashion

One thing I learned while doing my Diwali shopping is to bargain hard. This rule applies to every marketplace – local fair, Diwali exhibition, mall, local retailer and even at a high-end luxury store. Some people think bargaining is a cheap tactic. It’s not. Think of it as a simple business principle – there is a buyer and a seller and both have to agree on a mutually beneficial arrangement. So a price that benefits both the parties is a bargained price. And this principle applies everywhere – the whole year round.

Investing in Quality Makes Money Last

Have you thought of buying a cheap product for the festival season? We choose quality products because we know we will use it for years. To make the best use of money, spend it on quality products – a good branded toaster over a local product or quality clothing over the synthetic fabric. Spending money on a cheap and inexpensive product is actually money wasted. If you intend to use an item for a long time, prefer quality over the itch to save a couple of hundred rupees. Spend wisely and also get the satisfaction of owning a quality product.

Festival is a great way to rediscover ourselves. When the thrill of the festivities subsides, we ponder over the good times. In the super-energetic month of October, we can’t sideline our finances. As responsible adults, we have to pay extra heed so the celebrations run smooth and for that keep these lessons in mind throughout the year.

Saru Singhal


A Company Secretary by profession, Saru found her true calling in writing. She blogs at sarusinghal.com which she religiously updates every Monday for the last six years.