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diwali budgeting

Start Smart Diwali

The festive fever is at its peak.  Add more bling to this festival of grandeur, if you play your cards right, and get the best out of the least. All you need is a little out-of-the-box thinking and you can have a great celebration on a shoe-string budget!

Celebrate a grand Diwali this year with just a little tweaking and spend less than before, given that the prices of crackers, sweets, diyas, decorative items, gifts and dresses have skyrocketed. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Ideally, budgeting for Diwali should start when you do your annual home budget. It is necessary because big spends for grand festivals can burn holes in your pockets.
  • Draw up a template comprising different headings which you can modify according to your needs and plans every year.
  • Clothes for the family, your entire home workforce and extended families take a huge bite off your Diwali budget. Ideally, buy and stock up new clothes whenever the trendiest boutiques in town announce sales.
  • Going wholesale for your workforce can help you amass huge savings. The smartest way you can do this is to buy saris, shirts and pants for your domestic helps, drivers, cleaners, postman, security and others from wholesale bazaars and stock up.
  • Kids today will never compromise on the latest fads. Take them to exclusive small boutiques which offer Diwali sales. There may be an added bonanza of freebies too.
  • The best way to be keep your containers overflowing with Diwali goodies is to pool in with your friends. Choose sweets that need less sugar, oil or ghee, which you can buy in bulk, and hire a cook to prepare Diwali delicacies under your supervision. This will cost you much less and you can be assured of quality. Otherwise, buy sweets and savouries wholesale from reputed shops and divide among your friends and families. Buy dry fruits in bulk and pack them in little decorative boxes also bought in bulk.
  • For fire crackers, go to wholesale bazaars and buy in bulk and divide. Instead of buying assorted crackers in one box, go for bulk purchases of each type of cracker and make your own boxes of assorted crackers for your friends and families.
  • The best way to get your diyas and décor items is to pick these up from rural artisans or from little ethnic nooks and crafts bazaars. This way, we are not only supporting rural art and artisans, but enhancing aesthetics with ethnic touches.
  • If you are using candles to light up your homes, collect the melted wax in a container, melt it again and pour it to into empty earthenware diyas in which you have placed a wick in the centre. For your next Diwali, you will have readymade diyas!
  • Don’t get swayed by Diwali discounts for electronic goods, home appliances, cars and even homes on sale! Buy only what you need for your home or what you need to replace.
  • Use only one credit card from a bank account to which you have online access so that you get immediate feedback on your expenses. This way you can keep a tight rein on big spends.

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Swati Amar calls herself ‘the write person’ precisely because she claims her brain starts functioning only when her fingers dance over the computer keyboard. Gripped by an obsessive compulsion to write, her day is incomplete until she has ‘keyed’ in a few lines. Moving from counting money as an erstwhile banker in State Bank of India, Swati has been counting words for more than fifteen years. She has contributed copiously to various print and online publications in English and Tamil, numbering over 15K articles on varied subjects. Swati Amar swears allegiance to the Chennai Press Club and prides on her experience as a media entrepreneur and consultant, never losing a ‘write’ opportunity. Swati’s favorite pastime is to watch News on television, read, revel in melody, doodle and dawdle and follow the footsteps of global chefs when time permits. She believes that a good laugh peps up one’s life! And the write words too…