5 Ways to Not Go Over Budget in Festive Season

October spells the oncoming festive season. Personally, it’s my favourite time of the year. The cities look pretty with the lights at every corner, there is a festive cheer in the air, delicious food and sweets all around and the gifting. However, it is important to draw the line and take enough measures to not go over budget this festive season especially with Diwali shopping.

Like most things in life, there is a flip side to the season. A lot of us tend to go financially overboard and forget where to draw the line. Brands and their marketing teams are also in the know that this is the best time to get people to open their wallets and spend. That’s why you have all the biggest retailers coming up with their Sales to make the most of the festive emotion in the air.

So how do you walk the fine line? Do you become a miser and put an end to any spending at all or do you go all out to the extent of buying things you can’t afford even if it means getting into a credit card debt? I would say neither. It’s all about planning in advance and some conscious spending decisions to avoid mistakes during festive shopping. That way you can make the most of the festive season without going over budget.

1. Book Festive Travel in Advance

not go over budget festive season

I know that for me Diwali is always meant to be at home and I know my dates of travel to my home town many months prior to the actual travel. It’s a good idea to put in your details and set an alert on an airfare tracker service like Skyscanner atleast five to six months in advance. For instance, I booked my Diwali ticket in June this year. The evening before Diwali is probably the heaviest traffic day of the year. Booking those tickets in advance is bound to save you a few thousands.

2. Visit family instead of expensive locations

not go over budget festive season

Since the festive time comes with more than its fair share of holidays, a lot of us think of indulging in wanderlust at this time. While it might be economical on office leaves, it might leave a much bigger hole in your pocket considering hiked up travel and accommodation rates. This is also the time that foreign tourists start visiting the country with the onset of cooler weather. Visiting family at this time not only ensures saving money on accommodation but also indulging in some much needed social activities.

3. Fix a festive budget and stick to it

not go over budget festive season

Yes, I said the B word. Planning things in advance sets you up for success in almost all aspects of life. Finance is a great example in this regard with budgets being a main weapon in the armoury. Festive season also benefits a great deal from planning in advance and keeping a budget in place. This article is a great start to making that budget. Fixing this budget earlier in the year could also mean that you can put aside some money every month to make it smooth sailing in this period.

4. Think Innovative gifting

not go over budget festive season

Indians have been known to be enamoured and been borrowers of many things and habits from the Western world. Gifting during festive season is no different. What probably started as an exchange of home made sweets and labours of love are getting more and more commercialised and extravagant every year. In some ways, a lot of us look at it as a marker of social status. Most grocery stores also come out with HUGE exotic hampers today to fill in this need of coming up with the most expensive premium gifting solutions. In this race, you could well end up with spending insane amount of money and gifting things that the recipient might not even use. Let’s bring back tradition and go with home made sweets or DIY gifts like painted diyas which most people are bound to appreciate more. I found these simple Diwali ideas very easy to do that anyone could try their hand at.

5. Don’t get fooled by online shopping deals

not go over budget festive season

In our age, Navratri is now signalled by the onset of the Flipkart Big Billion Day and the Amazon Great Indian sale. There would be very few of us who could have missed out all that marketing shouting through the roofs about the awesome deals and the need to forget your budgets in this period. However, not only should you resist such not-so-gentle nudges but also ensure that with these deals you don’t end up buying things you don’t need. Make a list of things you want to buy and stick to it. For any deviations, ensure that the product is something that you will use and that the discount percentage is high enough for you to purchase it right away. I thought this article made some valid points on how to identify a deal worth paying for at a similar time in the US – the Black Friday Sale.

Festive time is a period when we indulge in all things good. However, let’s ensure that those good things do not come at the cost of a financial hit. Wishing all the readers a very happy and prosperous festive season!