But what is Ghost Month? Does it actually affect your finances? Below is everything you need to know about Ghost Month in 2022.
What is Ghost Month?
Also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, Ghost Month is a belief that comes from Chinese Buddhists and Taoists. During this time, hungry ghosts are in the mortal world to bring bad luck and chaos. If you come to think of it, it bears some similarities with Halloween, although the latter has less grim overtones.
You might ask what motivates the ghosts to cause mischief among the living during Ghost Month in 2022. It’s believed that the ghosts emerging from the underworld are spirits who committed crimes and wronged others during their lifetime. They may also be those who died tragically.
And because hungry ghosts have been robbed of joy in the underworld, they become drawn to food, fun, and prayers. They create mischiefs that cause unlucky situations and the like.
During Ghost Month, many people become extra cautious to avoid danger and misfortune. Some may even choose to stay at home and lie low to keep their luck from running out.
When Does Ghost Month in 2022 Start and End in the Philippines?
Traditionally, Ghost Month is observed during the seventh of the Lunar Calendar. Since the Chinese New Year varies every year, the start of Ghost Month also changes.
The start of Ghost Month in 2022 is on July 29 and will end on August 26.
Money Dos and Don’ts in Ghost Month
If you’re observing Ghost Month in 2022, preserving your luck in different aspects of your life should be a priority. And that involves money. With that said, here are the dos and don’ts in Ghost Month that will help you keep your finances safe during this period. Nevertheless, you can use these pointers all year round.
✔️ Do: Invest in Stocks
It’s not all bad during Ghost Month. Big investors and businessmen tend to avoid August because most of them believe it will affect their finances in the long run. This means the stock market is usually down during Ghost Month.
Take this opportunity to buy stocks for cheap, so you can either sell them for a bigger profit once the next month rolls over. Don’t have an active investment yet? Then now would be a good time to get started on stocks.
Read more: Investments for Beginners: How to Find the Right Investment for You
❌ Don’t: Start a New Business
On top of the usual Ghost Month dos and don’ts list out there is this one piece of advice: don’t start a business. During this period, some investors may be taking the time off. For those who are too cool for ghosts, August is usually a slow month for sales. Want your launch to succeed? Do it after Ghost Month.
If you want to make the most of Ghost Month in 2022, you may use the downtime to check your business plan once more. Doing this will help ensure that your opening will be smooth.
✔️ Do: Assess Your Current Venture
When business is slow, there’s no use in whining about it. Roll up your sleeves and take Ghost Month as an opportunity to assess your business and form a better strategy.
Are you not doing enough promotions? How badly has COVID-19 affected your business? Do you have enough manpower to run your operations? Do you need to start cost-cutting to survive? When it comes to investment, ask yourself if you should bulk up your stocks or further diversify your portfolio.
It’s time to ask these hard questions so you can come out of Ghost Month unscathed.
❌ Don’t: Make Big Purchases
Making big purchases during Ghost Month is a big no-no, according to the Chinese. Showing off your new phone, car, or other big purchases might make the ghosts jealous, attracting more bad luck your way. On the upside, you can set aside your money for other important purchases.
If you think that your desire to make that big purchase is about to overcome you, step back and ask yourself some questions. Is it a want or a need? If it’s a need, can you delay it? How do you plan to pay for it? Are there more affordable alternatives? Probing yourself will help you see the big picture.
✔️ Do: Donate or Help Others
You don’t need to wait for a Ghost Month dos and don’ts list to tell you that donating or helping others is a good thing to do. But since it’s Ghost Month, we might as well tie it to Chinese superstition.
It's believed that building good karma is a lot easier during Ghost Month, and helping others is one way to do it. Besides, there are still a lot of families and individuals dealing with struggles, such as poverty and inflation. Other people could really use some financial assistance in these trying times, you know.
❌ Don’t: Move in to a New Place
The Chinese believe that moving to a new place is not a good idea. You might bring bad spirits along and curse your new home in the process. Even if you believe you’re a carrier of positive vibes, this month is probably not a good idea to go move your stuff around. While the pandemic restrictions have been lifted, one has to keep in mind that the virus is still around. You’ll need to be careful even if your vaccinations are updated.
✔️ Do: Avoid Getting New Debts
If you’re running a business, you know that Ghost Month sees slow and low transactions. People aren’t actively engaged in business since they’re being extra careful. And that will have an impact on your income.
Since your business’ cash flow will be affected, it’s wise to postpone taking in unnecessary debts. To steer clear of such obligations, you may limit the use of your credit cards; pay cash instead. If you’re applying for a loan to cover an expense that can actually be delayed, you may want to hold it off and consider going for it when things are looking up.
❌ Don’t: Schedule a Major or Big Construction
Renovating your home? Perhaps, you’re expanding the square footage of your shop? Either way, you may want to reschedule such a project since it’s Ghost Month. Construction means a lot of grinding, pounding, and drilling. All these activities create noise and disturbance that attract hungry ghosts. In case construction has already begun, you’re advised to light incense every day.
The postponement of your construction project may bring in some good things, too. For instance, you can breeze through the plan and look for inconsistencies and missing details. You may also use the time to negotiate the rates with your contractor. Or if you still have no contractor, you can scout for one and do your due diligence.
✔️ Do: Build Your Emergency Fund
You don’t need a Ghost Month to remind you that making impulsive financial decisions can potentially bring bad luck. If your spending is actually inhibited by Ghost Month this 2022, why not put that money somewhere important, like an emergency fund?
Got no emergency fund? Now’s the perfect time to start one. Set aside at least 10% to 20% of your pay consistently and you’re well on your way to building a dependable rainy day fund. This money will help you deal with life’s uncertainties, such as job loss or hospitalization of a loved one. It also keeps you from taking in new debts.
Pro tip: Have a robust emergency fund by putting your money in a high-yield savings account.
❌ Don’t: Throw Lavish Parties at Home
A list of what to avoid in Ghost Month should always include large and lavish parties like weddings and birthdays. Hungry ghosts are attracted to these celebrations because these events make them jealous. As such, these spirits may be motivated to cause some bad luck. As an example, couples who tie the knot during this month may not have their happily ever after.
If a celebration can’t be helped, just keep it simple. After all, it comes with a lot of benefits. For one, you don’t have to invite a lot of people. Also, you don’t have to spend a lot of money. For the latter, you can put the extra cash towards your emergency fund or stock market account.
Read more: Ease Into Investing with Peso Cost Averaging
Don’t think that you can’t do anything fun or daring within the month. While these dos and don’ts for Ghost Month in 2022 may seem restrictive, they are merely guides towards a healthier financial life.
Superstition or not, there’s no reason to ignore any well-intentioned financial tip—especially if these tips can help you improve your personal finance, investments, or business.
Read articles on Stock Investments:
- COL Financial Review and Beginner’s Guide to Stock Investing
- How to Pick the Best Online Stock Trading Platform for You
- Learning Stocks Made Easier: Here’s How to Use Investagrams
-  How to Stay Lucky This Ghost Month (The Philippine Star, 2022)
-  4 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Making a Big Purchase (CNBC, 2022)