Festive sights and sounds fill the air. As I peep out of my balcony, decorative lights are going up at most flats. Those bright and colourful lanterns will shine on well past Diwali, sometimes all the way to the New Year. They hang at literally every balcony. Year after year, how we celebrate is a showcase of how much family finances have gotten better for the normal urban household.
Dos and don’ts to manage wealth and plan finances if you come by surplus money or windfall gains
How does one manage their wealth in case of a windfall gain or unexpected surplus? Do you invest it, pay your debts or just fulfil all your lifelong dreams? In this video, we tell you the dos and don’ts to keep in mind if you come by a large sum of money. Based on text by RIju Mehta
Aging authors like me cannot help taking the nostalgia trip. But looking back at the 1970s offers some interesting insights on how far we may have come; and the dangers of trying to go back, completely misinterpreting the ‘Atmanirbhar’ sentiment. In those days, festivals caused a strain on family finances. There was an annual bonus that would be announced closer to Diwali. A lot depended on that payout. Buying clothes was a ritual that involved bargain hunting and pulling out treasures from discounted bins with glee. Waiting at the tailor’s shop anxiously, and being heartbroken at the shoddy finish was normal. Crackers were burst in large friends’ groups, so that everyone enjoyed the fun. We competed for whose front yard featured the highest amount of paper trash. Sweets were made in Dalda, conveniently called ghee. Desi ghee was the name for the pure version. Clay diyas, Navratri fasting regimens, decorating with dolls that were stored and reused each year, and buying that occasional appliance for the household were also common.
So much has changed now. Clothes are bought routinely; no one waits for a festive occasion. Tailors are a disappearing tribe, as ready to wear clothes rule. Dry fruits and nuts are used so much, with little worry for their steep prices. Zero per cent consumer loans are the norm, and everyone buys and replaces appliances with abandon. Elaborate meals that feature festival goodies are made on demand, all through the year, that children do not wait for the festivals to eat them. Nor is the rationing of quantities the norm. We have moved on to more ostentatious expenses on jewellery, décor, and large ticket purchases like property. Every event from Karva Chauth to Chhath Pooja is now national, celebrated in grand detail across communities. Evidence of better …….