For many Muslims around the world particularly here in Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eidul Fitri is a much awaited event. The anticipation of the occasion is given such attention that people make preparations way ahead of time. Since we do our best to ensure a great celebration I’m sure we’ve learnt how to avoid falling into the trap of going too overboard when it comes to our spending (or haven’t we?). Here’s some of the most common financial habits we should try to avoid this coming Raya.
1. Splurging on Raya Cookies
How many times have we said to ourselves that ‘next year we’ll order less cookies?’ It never works. As we speak, dozens of samples are being distributed at the office and the moment we see and taste all those fancy looking cookies, we just can’t resist. How can we when our fellow Malaysians just make them taste and look so good. But we must control our desires for what happens next is a hole in our pockets and excessive cookies left in jars that no one eats.
2. Buying New Furniture
As a child we often looked forward to Raya because that meant going shopping with mum to get new curtains or new cushion covers and sometimes new cookie jars! In this day and age we are all in for a bigger challenge what with the uprising popularity of all things sold online. People are selling everything (even raya envelopes!) and it's more convenient now to shop which actually encourages you to spend and spend. But this time, try to control your urges and pay attention to only one area in your house that needs changing - like putting on a fresh coat of paint instead of changing everything.
3. One baju raya is not enough
What is Raya without raya clothes? After all, the ultimate Raya experience for most of us is dressing up and visiting others from house to house. So it’s only natural that we’d not want to be seen in the same outfit twice, right? (unless they’re different people. But still..) All we’re saying is that moderation is key. So go figure. Mixing and matching some new with old items that are already in your wardrobe can result in fresh new looks which don’t require you to spend much on your new Raya clothes.
4. Failing to plan
Because Hari Raya is such a major event for Muslims in Malaysia, it demands proper planning since it obviously involves spending. Failing to prepare a financial budget will only lead to disaster. There’s duit raya to think about, accommodation when you balik kampung, major dishes to prepare like rendang and such and not to forget getting ready for an open house if you’re planning to invite people over. So, learn from past mistakes and get yourselves ready earlier by ensuring you’ll be financially ready to cater for all things Raya.
With any celebration, the goal is to make everyone happy and we believe that it’s justifiable to want to give the best to your loved ones. Yet it won’t harm you if you can teach yourself and your family that less is more. With careful consideration and wisdom, a momentous occasion like Hari Raya can still be special with minimal spending and simple touches here and there. What’s important is that the spirit of Raya comes from your heart and not from your wallet.