Diwali is just 2 days away, one of the biggest festival of India, and you might be on a Diwali shopping spree. This is a time to brighten up homes, lighten up streets, wear bright clothes, distribute sweets, visit relatives, burn firecrackers and buy new things.
India INC too celebrates this occasion on a full swing by distributing sweets, gifts and the most awaited of all – distributing annual employee bonuses around this time. The little lamps are lit in every office, houses, the desks are decorated with Maa Laxmi Idols to celebrate the festival of lights . As we worship Laxmi Maa on Diwali, the Goddess of Wealth and prosperity, this occasion marks the celebration of wealth. It is an apt occasion for some good beginnings on money learning too. To make it crisp and put it to context, I have made a list of five things which you can use to put your Diwali Bonus to good use.
Diwali Bonus, generally a variable income for many, organisations generously share their profits with employees, lucky ones fetch more than a year’s salary some time, some get a month’s salary, few gets a token money. However, receiving money on Diwali is ‘Shagun‘, a token of good luck. Depending on the amount you receive as Diwali Bonus, here are a few things you can consider looking at.
1. Pay-off loans – Many of us literally live on EMIs – Car loans, home loans, credit cards etc. Though these are ultra-convenient tools, it comes with a cost “interest”. Its prudent to pay off some of your loans with the bonus money, to reduce the load on your monthly budget. If you have multiple loans, consider paying off the credit card as it is the costliest loan, followed by personal loan, followed by Car Loans and the Home loans and in that order. For the rest of your EMI years, you will feel lighter on your budget.
2. Invest in Tax saving instruments – Seldom people start planning tax savings during the beginning of the year. Monthly budget many a times doesn’t leave us with much money for tax saving instruments, consider paying insurance premiums/ PPF/ ELSS etc with the money. Your target for tax saving will be taken care of.
3. Annual purchase of furniture/ Television/ Electronic gadgets – People wait for Diwali Bonus for the entire year especially to do Diwali Shopping – buy gifts, home furnishings, decor, electronics etc. If you hate paying EMIs, Diwali bonus can be used for the annual purchases of the Consumer durables/ furnitures you have been longing for. The festivities also brings a lot of discount deals from Retailers and E-tailers.
4. Buying Gold certificates/ Jewellery – Diwali is considered as an auspicious time to buy Gold. If you like Gold Jewelery, Silver Coins etc. do consider using bonus for buying this asset. If you are not into Diwali shopping, you can still consider buying Gold ETFs, Sovereign Gold Bonds (Offer 2.5% interest – payable half-yearly) which has a 8-year maturity period since launch. You may consider buying from secondary market – trading platform, as the SGB is not offering new bonds now.
5. Gift for family and friends – Diwali is a festival of connecting with people. As a custom people visit each other with gifts like Sweets, clothes etc, depending on the relationship you share. Do consider buying gifts for loved ones, the smile on seeing the gifts on their face is priceless!! Isn’t it??
6. Joy of Giving – Last but not the least, there is nothing more joyful than joy of giving. There is a big part of society who are not as privileged as we are. There are kids, Old people, Undernourished and the underprivileged lot. Do consider donating to them, buying them a few clothes or even donating your old ones will make a lot of difference to their lives.
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