As Indians, the concept of savings and frugality has been deeply ingrained in our culture.
Mindful spending can be an effective tool to manage finances and lead a fulfilling life. Having said that, mindful spending has a different connotation in India, among Indians.
The key principles of mindful spending
One of the key principles of mindful spending is understanding the difference between wants and needs. A need is something that is essential for survival or well-being, such as food, shelter, and clothing. A want, on the other hand, is something that is desirable but not essential, such as a new car or a fancy vacation. Being mindful about your spending means being aware of the difference between wants and needs, and making spending decisions that align with your values and goals.
In Indian culture, saving is not just about putting money away for the future, but also about being mindful of one's present spending habits. This means being aware of unnecessary expenses and cutting back on them, in order to save for important preset goals in life.
"Think about your family"
In the Indian context, the family is considered a crucial unit. The well-being of the family is often prioritised above individual needs. This means that spending decisions are often made with the family's financial stability and future in mind, rather than just individual wants or needs.
Additionally, mindful spending in India also takes into account the cultural and religious significance of certain expenses. For example, many families in India consider it important to make regular donations to religious institutions or charitable causes. Mindful spending in this context means being aware of these cultural and religious obligations and budgeting for them accordingly.
"What about me, then?"
The contemporary Indian youth now has dreams and aspirations that go beyond what is ideal for the family. And many of us struggle with reconciling our aspirations against that of our parents.
Mindful spending in such a context is finding the balance between spending money on what pushes you towards your personal goals and what is expected out of you as a part of your familyunit.
Furthermore, with the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, many Indians are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their spending habits. Mindful spending also means being conscious of the environmental impact of the products we buy and choosing products that are sustainable or eco-friendly.
Giving back to the community
Mindful spending also means being aware of the impact of one's spending on the community. This can include supporting local businesses and the local economy, as well as being mindful of the impact of one's spending on the less fortunate. Many Indians consider it important to give back to the community, and mindful spending can help ensure that this is done in an effective and meaningful way.