BENGALURU: Whether you are a shopaholic or not, enticing offers from the retailers, e-commerce platforms, or even banks, can be irresistible during the festival season. The month long festival period in India is considered especially auspicious by many when it comes to making new purchases-both big and small. Add to this hosting big parties, and gifting to friends and relatives-your finances may take an ill-timed dent, considering the shape of the economy. However, with a little financial planning and precision, one can make the most of the shopping season, without getting into a debt trap.
Here are a few points to consider before you go about splurging this festive season, according to experts from Citibank India, paisabazaar.com and bankbazaar.com:
Plan your shopping budget
The good old advice of planning your expenses in advance should be taken more seriously in current times. Irrespective of the offers you are flooded with, prepare your shopping list at least a month in advance. This should be based on what you need and allot the maximum budget possible under each category. Unless you are missing out on something extraordinary, always stick to this list.
Avail credit/debit card/wallet discounts
As is the case every festive season, retailers, e-commerce platforms, and brands have exclusive partnerships with banks and digital payment platforms which makes it possible to avail discounts. In some cases, one can avail rewards while using credit cards. It is always wise to pay by credit/debit cards, or even wallets, due to the discounts and cashbacks available compared to cash.
Go simple, but creative with gifting or hosting parties
With Covid-19 cases still on a rise, grand parties this Diwali may be out of question. However, for small gatherings and gifting, stick to creative and simple options. Personalised gifts are worth opting for and go easy on your pocket. For example, if you have a creative streak, make a painting or craftwork. Or, if you have a knack for cooking or baking, make some for your friends and gift wrap them, suggests Adhil Shetty, CEO, BankBazaar.com in a recent blogpost.
Save for the rainy day
Whether you are an exceptional employee who has got a new raise or have suffered a wage-cut, it is always advisable to clear your EMIs, credit card payments, and utilities payments before beginning to shop for the festival season. The bonuses or incentives you may get, according to wealth managers, should go into your savings accounts or investments such as mutual funds rather than festive season spending.
5. For big ticket purchases, compare finance options
If owning a house, car or enrolling your children in an overseas institution is on your mind, compare the finance options from various lenders in terms of EMIs, processing fees, down payments, loan tenure, etc. In case of small ticket loans, one can approach digital lenders who are now providing the same services to people with lower risk guarantees.