Dussehra is the festival that symbolizes the victory of Good over Evil. There are 2 stories behind it, One in which Lord Ram killed ten-headed Demon King Ravana, and the second when Goddess Durga Killed Demon Mahishasura, and in both essence is the same.
I believe that every festival, every story coming from Mythology has a lesson behind it. It is depicted by different characters, written and told to bring wisdom and goodness in us to conduct our lives in a better way.
Good and Evil are both within us. Ram and Ravana both are parts of our life and it is up to us who we want to encourage more to become our first personality and define our character.
Here are 10 bad habits or Vices which I feel is stopping us from wellness and thus needs to be killed:
1. Ignoring your Health:
This is the first and the most important thing that one generally ignores in the struggle of making a living. Health always gets ignored. In the run of improving the standard of life, the quality of life is getting compromised.
Not sure how, but you have to give time to your health. Be it through Walking, Biking, meditation, Yoga…whatever suits you, cutting down on Alcohol, Smoking, Junk food. You have to allocate time to your health, else there is no point in saving or making Investments if you are not going to enjoy the wealth you accumulate.
2. Not upgrading yourself:
Gone are the days, when after joining a job, you leave it only on Retirement. In today’s kind of uncertain scenario, you never know when you would be out of employment. Sometimes it is by choice and many times it is by chance.
To sustain this kind of ever-changing environment, besides performance and experience, Skills are also a must. It is not safe to assume that if you have been working in a company for the last 15-20 years, you have become a permanent employee. You have to keep upgrading yourself with newer technology, skills, certification…or whatever is required.
Nothing is permanent in today’s world. So always be prepared. Remember, Investing in Knowledge pays the best interest.
3. Investing without goals and just for “Good returns”:
You don’t travel without having a destination in mind, you don’t drive just for the sake of enjoying high speed…and even if you do, that is also a Goal i.e. you want to enjoy high speed.
In the Same way, your Investments should also have a clear purpose behind them, and Getting Returns should not be the only goal. Yes, I know you like High returns but I also know that you are afraid of losses.
The goals provide you with the time frame, and the timeline helps in selecting suitable instruments, and a Financial Plan tells you what speed you should have and when to stop.
4. Not spending time with Self and family
I know you have time constraints, I know what you are doing is for your family only and for their better future, I know all this will earn you lot of money and you can achieve all your goals in life, but do you think all this is worth doing?
You may strive to save for your kids’ higher education, but in this struggle, you have compromised with the time which you could spend playing with your Child or help him in his/her studies which will make him/her better human being.
I have seen many couples fighting to decide who will go to their Child’s Parent Teacher Meeting in the school. None of them could take the break from work or wants to leave the opportunity of enjoying the rare break which they have got on Saturdays. Yes, it is easy to blame the school, teachers, peers for your child bad habits, but remember you are equally responsible.
With Money, you may be able to support your Old parents’ health requirements, but what is the point if you do not have enough time to visit them, hold their hands and tell them don’t worry you will be alright soon, I am there.
5. Comparing yourself:
This is the core of all problems. It starts from Childhood when parents keep comparing their children with others’ in the school, in the neighborhood and among the friend circle, that sometimes brings the healthy sense of competition or many times scarcity effect in the mind.
Good rank in school means better than others. A good salary means higher than others. You do not want to get RICH but Richer than others, You do not enjoy in your friend’s well-being but remains envious of them and you are not happy with your Investment returns, but always look at other’s Portfolio or compare the past returns.
Comparisons results into many difficult emotions like Fear, Greed, Superiority/Inferiority complex, Jealousy, Arrogance etc. which doesn’t let you enjoy what you have. So come out of this Comparison Zone to have a better life.
6. Taking loans for consumption:
Technically Loans are meant to fund a Big Ticket expense (Home/Car Loan) or to support business expenses, by funding working capital requirements or to meet some emergencies. But with Increasing consumerism and circulation of money, loans are available for every other purchase you want to make.
Nowadays you can fund your Phone, Furniture, Household goods, electronic items, all through EMIs. This is not all you can make all such purchases through your Phone by downloading a few apps. All this results in Impulsive buying.
When you buy things on loans, you are actually betting on your uncertain future Income, and you drift yourself from Reality. Also, you tend to buy more than what is required which hits your Surplus cash flow which otherwise could have been used to invest for your future.
The festive season is On, Online sales are going on, keep yourself away from this trap, else just decide on your requirement first and then check out the sites.
7. Not knowing where your money is going
This is another Bad habit that I have seen in many financial Lives. You exchange your life energy, your time to earn money, the time that you otherwise could have given to your parents, your Kids, your family, and you are not aware of where your money is going. You are not aware of your spending.
This is another way to show respect for your money. Whether you are using money in the right way or the wrong way, that is the next question, the first thing is that you should be aware of what you are actually doing with it anyway.
We in India have given money the status of “God”, and call it Goddess Lakshmi. If you want her to help you in your life needs, you should give her the respect she deserves.
8. Over-allocation in single Investment
If the stock market is looking good, at least from a recent performance, that doesn’t mean that you should invest a major portion of your money into this. The opposite is also true, no matter how risky or volatile your Equity markets are looking, you should always participate in it and not stay completely into debt there are ways to capture the volatility to your advantage. (Read: Why debt investments are important in an investment portfolio?)
Real estate is one investment where I have seen many people over-allocated into. It may be because this is the only place which they assume as safe and thus prefer paying EMIs rather than doing SIPs.
It is important to understand how different investment asset classes work and decide asset allocation as per the risk profile and the goals targeted. Remember Fear and Greed both are not good for your financial health. (Also read – What is Equity and how it works?)
9. Don’t make decisions on social media
Social media platforms are meant to Interact and share views on different matters, but making decisions based on social media interaction is not a wise thing especially in financial matters.
There cannot be any advice without knowing the in and out of the seeker. There cannot be an adviser-client relationship on social media. This is a confidential thing, where the client shares all his finances and requirements with an adviser, an adviser based on his complete understanding of the client’s profile give his recommendations.
SEBI registered advisers refrain from giving advice on social media, thus whatever you may get is coming from unregistered persons and you are not sure of the Intention of the person and neither is aware of the conflict of interest behind that advice.
Social media is good to network, chit chat, to connect with the world, to share, to read, to learn, to make views on for further research, but not to Act or React
10. Not Involving family members in financial decisionmaking
The Place for holidaying is the joint decision of all the family members. While buying Furniture, Electronics, new car and even a house, we seek out the views of family members, deciding on the school for the child we need the involvement of spouses, then why do we ignore them in Investment and other financial matters.
You buy insurance to secure your family’s financial future, but the family is not aware of it. You have invested money in mutual funds, bonds, stocks, FDs for family, but the family does not know where the documents are lying and whom to contact in case of your absence, you want to ensure that every financial matter should be smoothly handled and your family should use money wisely after you, but you do not write a financial plan and do not involve and explain the family members as to your plans and intentions.
The problem is sometimes not one-sided.
Ask a woman what she wants, the answer comes Financial Independence, but when asked to participate in family money matters the reply comes that my husband/brother/father takes care of this area. Many times they were not asked to, but there are times where I have experienced that women do not take interest in this subject, even if her husband requests them to.
Come what may, it is important that all stakeholders in a family should be part of financial decision-making or at least part of the whole process and have knowledge of what is happening.
It all started with Crossing the Line that Lakshman drew for Sita. You also have to learn to be in the line and work on your bad habits so the Ravana Inside you should not empower you and take away the wellness from you. Remember, your life is your choice.