15 Oct Brighten up this festival season With A Little ‘Twist’ – Part I
The frenzy of India’s festival season is just around the corner, yet this year is going to be much different from the rest. The COVID-19-led humanitarian crisis has not only dulled moods, but a psychology of recession setting in has also left many with the question – Am I really in the frame of mind or can afford to celebrate?
Turns out, while most Indian households don’t expect spending to return to normal until the middle next year, most (~65%) have expressed a ‘positive shopping sentiment’. As per recent reports, Diwali spending is likely to go down ~5.1% this year, but the happiness and fervour of the festival season remain unchanged – regardless of the pandemic.
In fact, many consider this year’s Diwali has all the more reason to celebrate, given the challenges we have seen many undergo due to the pandemic – from pay cuts, business shutdowns, loss of savings, job loss to staying away from family and friends. More importantly as our own research suggests, they are not doing this without caution.
Planning to celebrate a virtual Diwali
Note that financial constraints are still there, and this Diwali will not be the same as previous years. It doesn’t mean that you cannot flip the trend. As one of our own customers responded in the survey:
“This Diwali brings something to celebrate in a year that has not been so great for all of us. I will celebrate it with my family since going out is not an option. Regarding expenses for this Diwali, I will try to minimize my expenses but still try to have maximum enjoyment at the same time.”
This is a great thought! This Diwali is a good time for you to hit a financial reset. A few steps you can follow:
- Avoid physical meeting and be creative about gifting or celebrating via video chat
- Cut back on discretionary/non-essential spending aggressively
- Budget-out your wish list of items to buy, gift, eat etc. and put them in a priority order
- Set a limit on your spending and check the biggest discounts during this festive season
- Create a cash ‘festival fund’ with savings
- If you are falling short, opt for ‘small loans’ from INR 1000 to 50,000, again with a plan of easy monthly pay-outs
Last but not the least, cherish these memories and traditions. Remember your strength even during hardships, and spread some smiles across the faces of your loved ones. They have also been going through the same problems we have, in many different ways. This festival season is not only about the good conquering the evil, but also light and happiness conquering the darkness and sorrows.
In part-2 of this blog, we will dive into the ways you can affordably budget your festive spending. Keep your eyes peeled!