5 Financial Lessons To Learn From Ramayana, This Dussehra!

The festival of Dussehra epitomizes the victory of good over evil. The mythological stories associated with Dussehra teach us to curb our greed and ward off bad intentions that may harm us in the long run. We often draw inferences to conduct our life’s daily routines from our ancient epic saga’s. As you gear up for Dussehra puja this year, we have a suggestion for you! How about taking a new and fresh perspective at your finances in a whole new way? Here we are chalking out a few financial planning lessons that can be acquired from the Ramayana and imbibed for leading a healthy financial life.

1. Destroy the financial evils on your wealth creation journey:

During the Lanka war, Lord Rama along with his army fought with bravery against various hardships to attain victory. Viewing the festival from a finance and investment perspective; the festival imparts a vital lesson of ridding away from all the demons that pose as an obstacle to financial planning and wealth creation journey. Surmounting credit card debts, binge-spending, timing the market, booking losses amongst many other hurdles are the real enemies on our wealth creation journey

2. Lead a disciplined life:
Lord Rama practiced “dharma” meaning one has to be upright, responsible and disciplined in life. The same theory of righteousness can be applied to our finances as well. We must save wisely, spend cautiously and invest smartly to lead a disciplined financial life. It is essential to inculcate good habits like following a financial plan, repayment of EMI’s and bills on time, and many such actions that affect the overall financial health in a crucial way.

3. Protect your hard earned money:
Dussehra teaches us to draw our own “Lakshman Rekha” in order to safeguard our finances. Protecting your money means shunning all the evils that negatively impact your financial well-being. You can always protect your finances by choosing to invest in the right places to save on tax or insure for right cover to protect your family like Lakshman Rekha was there to protect Sita. While you do that, keep a tab of credit scores too as they can paint your financial picture either green or red! CRIF allows you to check your credit score free once a year and what better occasion than Dussehra to do it. Check your FREE credit score now.

4. A life of patience and persistence:
Lord Rama along with Lakshmana and Sita were exiled to the woods for 14 years; he accepted his fate and maintained composure. When the Lanka war broke out; Lord Rama fought with patience and perseverance without giving up or using short-cuts These two incidents in the Ramayana signify the importance of being patient and perseverant in the hardest of times. Irrespective of the ups and lows in the market, as an investor you should be patient enough to let thing start working according to your financial goals.

5. Clean your slate and start fresh:
The Lanka war of 14 days marked the defeat of evil and paved way to newer paths. Undo your bad decisions that you’ve taken in the past related to your finances by making some relevant and good decisions to streamline your financial picture for better money management. The first action you should be taking is improving your credit score as that itself can influence a lot of your decisions. Remember to check your credit score with CRIF, one of the most trusted credit bureau that enables you to keep your financial records straight.

A country, where people know how to spend, will be a country where people will eventually learn to invest intelligently. We are gradually migrating towards financial maturity rather than merely a nation of tight-fisted spenders and savers.

Educating Myself for My Education Loan

What if you wake up one day and no one trusts you? You can no longer buy the swankier car or that beautiful home you dreamt of. Have you ever had such thoughts? I have had, not very long ago. It was the monsoon of 2011 and India was witnessing some of the defining moments of the decade; Euphoria of India winning the Cricket World Cup, Mass mobilization against corruption inspired by Anna Hazare and Mumbai turning into a hot hunting ground for terror. Amidst all these, my heart was racing faster for my achievements of scoring 700+ in GMAT, grant of Scholarship from Wharton School and Said Oxford. I had landed in the kingdom of dreams. A dream of a joining a top 10 global MBA program bloomed.

Maroon 5 was right when they sang “Nothing lasts forever”. Before I could even climb the next ladder for my dreams, they were thrashed like the storyboard that had been tipped and jumbled, disjointing the order and twisting the timeline. Banks had refused to fund my remaining fees of 60 Lakhs for the education. I was being denied an opportunity because no one seemed to trust me.

Begging was the only form of request I hadn’t resorted to when I met Mr. Nelson, who rather than just rejecting my request, gave me a reason for not being able to help me. He told that my credit score was in the 500s, generally considered as a poor credit score, categorized as High-Risk Applicant by the Credit Bureau, and since it is one of the most important factors in the loan approval decision, no bank will consider giving me a loan with such a credit score.

I couldn’t rely on my heritage as both my parents are loan averse and had even discouraged me to apply for one. I realized that this new unknown “credit score” was standing between me and my dream. It was bizarre as I hadn’t heard of any such concept in the years of my preparation, not from any of my peers, not in any online forums, not in the coaching institutes, never. Having worked for top financial institutions and having traded in derivatives and share markets, I used to consider myself among the frontrunners in financial literacy. And, here I was not even aware of what a Credit Bureau was and what a Credit Score was, a part of the financial world which was about to change the course of my life.

On my way back home, I browsed through the internet to understand what a Credit Bureau was and why is the credit score so important. It was a sort of revelation to understand how critical credit scores are to lending and how most people like me aren’t even aware of it. I was of the view that I could find a way around this credit score and convince officials to grant me the loan, but then I knew, the only option left was to work on my credit score and park my dreams for the time being.

850. That was the number printed on my latest CRIF Credit Report. It’s an excellent credit score which is loved by every bank or lender I speak to. Today not only I am credit worthy, but I can ask for preferential interest rates on my loan. How did I get here? To unlock the trick or secret to an excellent credit score, read my next blog How I Raised My Credit Score By 250 Points.

About the Author: Subhankar Mishra works as Service Delivery Manager at CRIF High Mark, the only comprehensive Credit Bureau in India.