There is an unmistakable air of festivities around us once again and people are pruning their garba skills for nine days of Navratri ahead. Fun and revelry is justified given the hard work that you put in all year round, but ignoring your financial health during these festive days may throw your CIBIL score off gear! Here is how.
The festive season has commenced with Navratri ensuing on October 13, 2015. This is the season to be jolly and it is but natural to feel gracious and wanting to indulge yourself this festive season. However, not being aware of your spending patterns or going overboard with your festive season spends on your credit card can land you in serious trouble later. Here are a few tips to keep your spending under control and therefore your CIBIL score in tact even as you enjoy the festival in all its gaiety.
Ticket shopping online
Looking forward to showing off your dandiya skills? Ideally you should have bought yourself a seasonal pass for all Navratri days, but they are all sold out at this stage! But if you haven’t laid your hands on the hottest garba venues yet, do notworry. You will still find some good ticket aggregators selling tickets online in the range of Rs 500-700 for a single day pass that can go up to Rs 1000-1500 on weekends. So get online right away and book those tickets online, instead of spending a fortune on the venue just to get in on the spot.
Gift shopping online
Navratri is the time when all e-commerce portals start offering substantial discounts on the entire gamut of products. If you have a long list of purchases to make for the festive season ahead this is the time to start! If you have a long shopping list of gifts, set a budget for the same and go hunting for the best deal across all shopping portals. In this age of intense competition every e-commerce portal will try to vie for your attention, but do not just go by the flashy advertisements that are on air.
Be wise enough to check out the best deals and discounts across all portals on the same product and select the portal that gives you the sweetest deal. Besides keep a check on the delivery charges.
More often than not, a seller may offer a discount on a product, but the delivery charges go up to Rs 60-100, pretty much ruining the ‘deal’ for you. So even while you are shopping online, put your prudent shopper hat on, and keep a hawk eye on the best deal.
Draw a budget and keep a check on the credit card spend
As we mentioned earlier, it is very important to draw up a shopping budget and stick to it this festive season. Your credit card is what you need to watch out for the most. Most people feel it is ‘all right’ to indulge and get yourself that fancy gadget or the latest in designer wear to show off to their friends and family. But if you are planning to do that, stop right there! It’s all very well to swipe the credit card, but before you know your credit card spend has gotten way out of hand and you are neck deep in debt! What’s more it will bring down your CIBIL score substantially and you will find yourself struggling to get it back to a satisfactory level.
A new set of wheels
Open the newspapers or go online across the metros, and you will find a million deals on two and four wheeler purchases. The deal may seem very sweet upfront, but more often than not there will be many hidden charges that you may not be informed about right away. Once again we urge you to be cautious, and not make an impulse purchase, just because you think that the deal is a good one. Carry out adequate research with all the dealers and bargain hard to pick the best deal on offer. Lastly and most importantly, do not buy the wheels just because you what the swanky set of wheels ‘oh so badly!’
Check out if your finances are in order, and you are in a position to take on an additional loan. Your purchase should not upset your credit behaviour under any circumstance. Also, before you are you making that car or two-wheeler purchase, make sure you have pulled out your CIBIL report and checked out that things are in order. This makes you eligible to get a loan at a competitive rate of interest.
The moot point we are making here is just as you will take care of your physical health this festive season make sure you take care of your financial health too. Keeping control over your credit behaviour will ensure that your CIBIL score remains high and your CIBIL report is without any blemish! What’s more you have ample peace of mind and dance your heart out in the nine days of festivities to follow.
Photograph: Restless mind/Creative Commons
Note: Image used only for representational purpose
The author is a credit expert with 10 years of experience in personal finance and consumer banking industry and another 7 years in credit bureau sector. Rajiv was instrumental in setting up India's first credit bureau, Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). He has also worked with Citibank, Canara Bank, HDFC Bank, IDBI Bank and Experian in various capacities.