The festive season in India usually starts around September end or October with Navratri and extends till Diwali in October end or November. As joyous and exciting festive seasons are, they can also be painfully expensive with multiple purchases, gifts and home renovation costs. With so many incidental expenses at hand, it is quite possible to overspend. So, here we will talk about some smart ways to save money, this festive season.
1. Prepare a Budget
Setting a budget is the first step for any type of spending. When it is about the festive season, different people have different preferences. Some would like to spend more on themselves while others would allocate a better part of their budget in gifting. You can prepare your budget as per your needs. However, you should keep the following things in mind:
- Set a realistic budget. A budget that is too tight may leave you frustrated in the end as adhering to it will be really difficult.
- You should always have room for extras. Do not forget the small things. Set an amount for the unexpected expenses so that if such emergency expenses come up, you don’t end up confused and worried.
No matter how you create your budget, you must always have one so that you have a clear idea as to how much you can spend on the festivities. Whenever you make a big purchase, revisit the budget to see how much room you have left for other expenses.
2. Make a List in Advance
Festive season expenses may come in different forms- your home may need a full-fledged renovation, you may want to buy new home appliances, new clothes and accessories are always on the list and so is giving gifts to your near and dear ones. Hence, the next step is to prioritize your needs.
Make a list of all the items that you need to purchase and other big purchases. If you can afford all of this in the budget set in the above step, then it is a perfect list. For most of us, however, the budget always falls short of what we need. So, now you will need to strike off the unimportant items from the list and focus on the necessary things.
3. Start Shopping Early
Do not wait for the last moment to shop for the festivities. The prices of goods and services will go higher as the festive season nears. So it is best to start shopping for at least one month in advance. This means that preparing a list and the budget should be done even before that.
4. Switch to Online Shopping
Nowadays, online shopping gives you better rates on a lot of items as compared to the stores. You should opt for e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Myntra for your festive season shopping, especially for apparel, footwear, accessories, home décor items, etc. However, when it is about purchasing a big-ticket item like a home appliance, it would be better to pay a visit to your nearby store and compare the online prices. Sometimes, stores may also give you better deals.
If you are looking for services such as putting a fresh coat of paint on your house or deep cleaning of the house, local laborers would give you cheaper deals. There are websites like UrbanClap that would offer such services on discounts. You should compare the prices online and offline and then choose the best.
5. Make Good Use of Festive Season Sale
Just before the festive season, both online shopping websites and retail stores come up with festive season sale. They offer multiple benefits in the form of-
- Direct Discount- You can get discount on your purchases at a certain percentage.
- Cashback- A certain part of the amount you have paid will be returned, either to the original payment source or to a wallet connected to the website or store.
- Free Items- Some websites or stores may also offer free items when you make a purchase of a particular amount.
- Rewards/Loyalty Points- If the store has a loyalty program, during festive season, they may offer you higher loyalty points. They may also offer memberships at discounted rates.
- Vouchers- The seller may also offer you vouchers as a festive season gift which you can use later to make more purchases.
- Other Deals- Stores also offer other amazing deals such as Buy One Get One, etc. which will be very beneficial for your festive season shopping.
You should go around in your local area to learn about such offers and also explore the deals online to grab the best offer on the items you wish to buy.
6. Use your Credit Cards
During festive season, credit card issuing banks and NBFCs offer some exciting deals and discounts when you make a purchase using their credit card. Online shopping websites have also entered into partnerships with different banks to offer cashback, extra reward points or a discount on the purchases. No cost EMI offers are quite popular nowadays which make festive purchases easier on your pocket.
7. Redeem Credit Card Reward Points
Another great way to save on your festive shopping is to use the rewards that you have accumulated over the year. Though the rewards may not carry as much monetary value, you can use them to purchase an item you need. Banks have detailed rewards catalogues that not only contain vouchers from popular brands but also allow you to purchase items directly from their website.
8. Purchase Gift Items in Bulk
Giving gifts to your near and dear ones is a common practice during festive season. If you are not among the people who would pass on last year’s gifts, you need to plan for the festive gifts in advance. If you are planning to gift gourmet boxes, the right time to purchase it would be one week before the gifting period as such items are usually perishable. However, if you are planning a décor item or silver/gold coins, you must purchase them in bulk. Buying such items in bulk would grab you a better deal.
9. Know When to Stop
You should review your list once for the smaller and important things that may have been missed out. Once all items have been ticked and nothing else is pending, you should know that it is time to stop. Going for a superstore visit just to see what they have on offer will only lead to impulsive buying. So, it is best to avoid such trips.
Festive season shopping can be a huge weight on your wallet but with smart planning, you can save much on this. Turn to your local market for items that you can buy cheap instead of spending a bomb on it online or on a branded store. Being thrifty is always a good idea for festive shopping.