ghost month dos and donts

It’s that time of the year again. No, it’s not the lockdown, it’s Ghost Month! From August 8 to September 6, the Chinese will celebrate the Chinese Ghost Festival to commemorate their dearly departed[1]. Just like the usual superstitions we have during November 1, they also have a set of Ghost Month dos and don’ts, especially when it comes to finances.

Whether you subscribe to feng shui and other Chinese ideologies or not, there’s no harm in adapting a tradition or two. After all, beliefs are sometimes rooted to logic and practicality. So take down some notes and find out what you can do to protect your finances during Ghost Month.

Ghost Month Dos and Don’ts on Finances

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 for 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.

Don’t: Start a New Business

ghost month dos and donts

On top of the usual Ghost Month dos and don’ts list out there is this one advice: don’t start a business. It is believed that the Gates of Hell are opened during Ghost Month, allowing spirits to roam the physical world[2]. You’ll probably disturb the peace when you’re building an establishment for your business. 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. 

Do: Assess Your Current Venture

When business is slow, there’s no use in whining about it. Roll up your sleeves and take the Ghost Month as an opportunity to assess your business and form a better strategy. Are you not doing enough promotions? How badly is COVID-19 affecting your business? Do you have enough manpower to run your operations? Do you need to start cost-cutting to survive? It’s time to ask these hard questions so you can come out of Ghost Month unscathed. 

Don’t: Make Big Purchases

ghost month dos and donts

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. It’s also not practical to spend thousands or millions during a pandemic. Don’t you want to have a rainy day fund for medical emergencies? What about other emergencies? The newest bling can wait—time to be more responsible with money. 

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 is Ghost Month, we might as well tie it to a Chinese superstition. It is believed that building good karma is a lot easier during Ghost Month, and helping others is one way to do it. Besides, we’re still in a global health crisis. Other people could really use some financial assistance in these trying times, you know. 

Don’t: Move In to a New Place

ghost month dos and donts

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’s probably not a good idea to go move your stuff around. After all, the threat of the pandemic is still here and everyone is encouraged to stay home for at least one more week. If it can be helped, stay home and delay your move for at least another month. 

Final Thoughts

Don’t think that you can’t do anything fun or daring within the month. While these Ghost Month dos and don’ts 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. 

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This article also appeared in The Manila Times.

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