How to stay on track with your Diwali spends this festive season

Diwali is no more restricted to being only the festival of lights. It’s the festival of shopping, gifts and several other indulgences.

Pro tips for things you don't realise you buy just for Diwali

Have you often found that no matter how hard you try to stick to a budget, somehow your expenses always get the better of you? Perhaps, it’s because seasonal expenses like Diwali shopping are your budget’s blind spot.

Not many think about money when they shop for Diwali, after all, it’s all about spending time with your loved ones, sprucing up your home and indulging in delicious food, right? But the thing most people miss out on is the fact that all these things come at a hefty price, and often burn a hole in your pocket.

Here’s a list of 7 things you don’t realise you buy just for Diwali:

1. Gifts 

Diwali is a time to celebrate and it’s no surprise that you’d want to shower your family members, neighbours, and friends with something special, and that’s when you do not realise you’re going way above your budget.

Pro tip: Make a list of everyone you would want to gift during Diwali. Make a rough idea of what you would like to gift each one. Determine a budget for each and make sure you stick to it no matter what. 

2. Clothes 

Buying clothes during Diwali can be called an age-old tradition because wearing new clothes during this festival is considered symbolic. Since most people splurge on new clothes during the festive season, they do not realise how much they are spending. 

Pro tip: Look for deals because festive sales and discounts are everywhere! While you capitalise on them online, also remember to shop from your local sellers because they usually have the best deals.  You can also choose to get an outfit stitched from your local tailor since it will cost lesser.

Related: 9 Items you can save money if you buy them at the right time

3. Gadgets and Appliances 

Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for families to wait for Diwali to buy a new home and kitchen appliances like a refrigerator, washing machine, utensils, etc. Today, Diwali is the time most people buy new phones, laptops, etc. A lot of brands also strategically launch their latest gadgets during the festive season to increase sales. It’s this time of the year that we do not realise and go overboard when it comes to gadgets and appliances. 

Pro tip: If you know you’re waiting to buy a new phone, or any other gadget, during Diwali, save for it in advance so that you don’t dip into your savings or opt for an EMI when Diwali rolls around. 

4. Gold

India is one of the biggest consumers of gold in the world, and there’s a unique spiritual affinity for gold in the country. Since it is a long-held belief that gold is one of the purest forms of money and prosperity. It also symbolises the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi. Hence, it’s understandable if you are wired to buy gold every Diwali.

Pro tip: If you don’t want to buy jewellery or gold coins this Diwali, you can look at gold as a pure investment and consider buying gold ETFs. 

Related: Buying gold this Diwali? Here's your checklist [Video]

5. Decorations 

Without those fairy lights twinkling in your window or without those diyas and rangoli, it wouldn’t really feel like Diwali, right? So of course, this is the time we tend to spend way too much on decorations and diyas without considering the budget. 

Pro tip: Invest in high-end, good quality lights, diyas, lanterns and other Diwali décor which you can reuse for a couple of years. It’s a more sustainable and responsible way to celebrate. Also, in the long run, it will save you more money than you’d realise.  Solar and LED lights, for instance, are not only environmentally friendly but also consume less energy and are cost-efficient. 

Related: How redoing your home impacts your mindset positively

6. Dry Fruits and Chocolates

Dry fruits, chocolates and sweets serve the dual purpose of gifting and letting go of those strict diet plans. During the festive time, everyone wants to eat to their heart’s content. 

Pro tip: Before you gift your friends, relatives and neighbours a box of sweets, dry fruits or chocolates, ask them what they would prefer. Similarly, let them know your preference. This way, passing on gifts would not be necessary, and everyone could actually enjoy what they like. 

7. Firecrackers 

While adults may see firecrackers as literally burning money, for children it is what Diwali is all about. While taking that joy away from them is not ideal, it’s good to educate them about the harmful effects of firecrackers on the environment. 

Pro tip: Get your children interested in other aspects of Diwali, whether it’s the traditional aspect or that of gift-giving and sweets. So that eventually, Diwali goes beyond just bursting firecrackers. When buying firecrackers opt for the newly introduced eco-friendly ones by the government. They are designed to emit 30% lesser gasses and particulate matter as compared to conventional firecrackers. 

Tips to manage your money pre-Diwali 

Decide what’s important 

While for some people buying gold, gadgets and clothes may be important during the festive season, for others spending quality time with the whole family on a vacation may be the focus. Hence, spend accordingly. 

Don’t fall for peer pressure

Whether it’s buying a new car or hosting a grand party, don’t do it because people are doing it or because they expect it out of you. Consider your budget and how much you can spend, rather than following the crowd.  

Do a thorough clean-up 

Before you decide to buy something for yourself, do a thorough check of your belongings; chances are you already have what you need. Festive season sometimes becomes an excuse for mindless shopping. For instance, if you already have a good pair of shoes, there’s no reason to pick up another. All you need to do is clean out your closet to find treasure.

Gift mindfully

Gifting is a pure and joyful thing, but sometimes people can feel stressed or resentful if they spend beyond their means. Remember, it’s the thought that counts. It’s good to set a spending limit with friends and family. For example, you can decide with your relatives that gifts should be bought only for the kids in the family and not the adults. This helps a lot when it comes to spending on gifts during Diwali. You can also opt for the eco-friendly approach of gifting plants. Not only do they form an excellent gift, but they also help you do your part in countering global warming. 

Tips to manage your money post-Diwali

Invest your Diwali money

Whether it’s your Diwali bonus from work or the money you’ve got from elders as a gift. Investing it would provide long term benefits and would also give you the time to decide what you really want to spend that money on. With plenty of investment options today, you can pick from an investment option that works best for you.

Related: How to stay healthy post the festive season

Don’t feel overwhelmed 

In case you end up spending more than you anticipated or did not budget and track your expenses during Diwali, don’t stress. You can always get back on track with budgeting and go low-key for a while with discretionary expenses. Here are a few more tips to handle your expenses post the festive season. 

So, light those diyas, eat those sweets, exchange those gifts and enjoy Diwali without feeling the money burden at all! 


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