Opinion | Discover your relationship with money this Diwali

Very often, when we embark on the journey of financial planning, we can get caught up in the process and forget the purpose. A too-tight focus on money and its care has the potential to leach away the joy that money can bring. And equally on the other side, a too-tight focus on instant gratification has the potential to reduce us to our baser instincts. Diwali is the time when we have the opportunity to reconnect with the deeper meaning of money in our lives, discover our relationship with money and then if we don’t like what we find, to change it to what the aspiration is.

For us to discover our relationship with money, we should be able to wade through all the insecurities, emotions and experiences that having money or not having it have brought into our lives till now. This is not easy to do since the money energy is deeply entwined with every aspect of our lives such that it is difficult to unravel the real reason for doing what we do. It helps to see this through three lenses—how we earn, spend and look after money.

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Those stinky rich people

Stinky rich. Filthy rich. Ever wondered where that phrase came from? When did money become so dirty? A Google search tells me that it came from “filthy lucre” in 16th century English writing, where the idea was to separate legit money from money acquired by dishonest means. I think that’s wrong. The term, I think, came out of middle-class angst at those who managed to get there. I have been a part of many middle-India conversations about money. Most of them about the dirty, filthy, no-morals rich, and us middle-class people and values. It is usually a case of sour grapes rather than any real aversion to the rich life. Given half a chance, most people bemoaning the low-life rich would happily swap their chartered buses for chartered flights.

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