|We are barely into the festive season and Amazon and Flipkart combined sales have hit $3.5 billion. And that was 5 days ago. Similarly, in China, Alibaba’s Singles Day shopping frenzy celebrated on Nov 11th breaks records every year. Last year the event clocked more than $30.8bn in sales in 16.5 hours.
Of course, this leads to memes such as 50% off if you open the app and 100% off if you don’t – the implication being why spend at all. While we are all for meaningful and mindful consumption, not buying things you need or want while they are selling at a discount is not smart either. Because trust me, if something is on your mind, you will buy it sooner or later and then repent paying a higher price.
So go ahead and buy a few things you need and a few things you want. Just make sure that you –
1/ Are saving and investing adequately for your goals. Don’t spend on ‘wants’ from your retirement fund or your kid’s education fund – that is just not nice! And if you don’t know how much you should be saving, start a goal plan today.
2/ Are aware of the Diderot effect and don’t end up upgrading your entire living room just because you upgraded your TV. This happens more often than we would accept – a new cycle comes with an upgraded pump, tour-de-France cycling gear and aerodynamic helmet 😉
3/ Are not buying on credit that you cannot afford. This is self-explanatory.
4/ Make a budget and stick to it. If overspending stresses you, do make a budget beforehand. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a simple prioritized list is good enough.
5/ Make your “naughty” or “nice” list. Just like Santa, but for ‘needs’ and ‘wants. Don’t mix the two. Go through the ‘needs’ first and then hit the ‘wants’ with the surplus.
Just like in investing, keep it simple on the consumption side as well. This is a joyous time of celebrating our culture and heritage. Focus on that.