Best Money-Saving Tips for the Upcoming Festival Season

The month of August marks the beginning of the season of festivals in India. It starts with  Bakrid, Raksha Bandhan followed by many others like Janmashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi which goes on till Christmas and New Year.

This year does not feel like any other normal year when we could just go out splurging and shopping. We are reeling under the effects of the pandemic that has created so much of havoc in our lives. But, these festivals are a part of our traditions and celebrating them even in a small way may bring in some sense of normalcy in our lives.

So read on more about how you can celebrate all the upcoming festivals with our money-saving tips.

Set a festival budget based on your current financial situation

Yes! It starts with a budget. Unlike the previous years where you could have had a bash around the festivals, the current situation calls for a little restraint. So, though it may sound boring and old school, setting a budget for the festival spending is important.

Taking your current financial situation into account is absolutely essential while setting a budget. If you are having any financial issues, then you may need to cut down your festival expenses to a level that you are comfortable with. 

Ensure, you have a realistic view of how things will pan out for you in the near future. Is your income stable? Is the industry in which you are working poised to withstand the economic shocks? These are some of the questions you should ask yourself before spending.

Spread expenses across the festivals

We have a long line up of festivals coming up. So depending on your current financial situation, you could spread across your expenses across the festivals. Are you wondering how this could be done? We tell you that.

For Ex: If you are in a habit of buying clothes and gifts for everyone in the family during each festival, you could split it across the festivals. You could buy gifts for some during the first festival that comes up, and others could get it during the next one that comes up. 

Similarly, if you are planning to buy a home appliance or a gadget for your home for the festive season, start accumulating funds from now so that you can buy it by Diwali/Christmas. Opting for EMIs on a big-ticket purchase may also be a good way to shop.

It’s all about doing some tweaking and you would be able to do almost everything that you normally did during the festivals earlier. 

Look for online/offline deals

 

The economy has been bad over the last few months. Both online and offline retailers would have surplus stock lying with them from the previous season. There are a lot of clearance sales going on online and offline platforms. 

It would be worthwhile to scout for some good bargains for your festive shopping. When you are buying online,  do a bit of comparison among various sites to bag the best price. Keep an eye for the launch of shopping festivals- Amazon and Flipkart, both are coming out with Big Sales in the month of August.

If you are looking at the offline route, buying from smaller stores may get you better deals as these businesses have suffered the most. They may be ready to offer some discounts to get their businesses back on track. 

Put vouchers or reward points to use

Credit cards/ co-branded debit cards are quite common. These cards give you reward points or discounts when used with their partners. You might have some unused vouchers. It is the time to pull it out and see how well they could fit into your festival shopping budget.

Here, we would like to caution you against spending on something just because you have a discount or is partly paid with a voucher. 

Make it a DIY festival 

Many of our festivals are associated with different objects, like the Rakhis for Rakshabandhan, Ganesha idols for Chathurti, earthen lamps or lanterns for Diwali or Christmas trees and the decoration for Christmas.  

You must have got used to buying all these to celebrate the festival as a matter of convenience. But, how about celebrating the festivals with a little dash of Do It Yourself (DIY)? It won’t be as difficult as you think.

You could model a Ganesha from your garden soil and decorate it with trinkets available at home, paint some earthen lamps using the poster colours, make a paper lantern, use flowers from your garden to make the flower carpet for Onam. These methods will not only give you immense satisfaction but are eco-friendly as well. 

These projects could also be made into lovely weekend projects involving all your family members. You could even go a step further and trying designing your clothes, recycle or upcycle some of your older ones to come up something interesting for the festivities. 

There is no end what you can come up with a little bit of creativity. 

Cook goodies at home 

Festivals and food go hand in hand. Hectic work life and convenience increased the use of store-bought goodies for the festivals. They are expensive and are neither good for your health.

Our focus is now on health, hygiene and immunity, thanks to the COVID 19. So doesn’t it make a good case for reducing your expenses on store-bought goodies and start giving importance to homemade goodies? 

How do you fund the festive expenses?

The future seems unpredictable. So, it is the time to tighten your purse strings and not go overboard on spending. Ideally, you should be spending on the festivals with your savings or the current income. 

A personal loan could also be an option if you are facing a cash crunch. But it is very important that you are sure of paying back and the loan does not create a burden on your monthly budget. 

While you celebrate the festivals, do not forget the basics – Wear a mask when going out, wash your hands often and avoid being in crowded places. Stay Safe and have a joyous celebration. 

 

 

 

Akshatha Sajumon


An ex-officer of the Indian Air Force and a CFA, Akshatha loves writing on personal finance and credit products. When not working, she loves taking road trips to offbeat locations.