5 Financial Lessons from My Trip to Bali

In my travels around the world, I’ve learned many life lessons. Of course, as a financial planner, I always view these lessons through the lens of finances. In my recent trip to Bali, I learned 5 financial lessons inspired by the offerings of flowers and incense locals offer on a daily basis:

1. Ritual

In Bali, people start out their day with a ritual. Women put out baskets full of meaningful objects such as flowers, food, and incense as offerings. These ritualistic offerings provide a space for people to plan their day and focus on what they want to achieve. 

Having rituals is important for any discipline, but is essential for healthy finances. On a regular basis, it’s important to focus your mind on what you want your money to do for you. Should it offer security? Transform your community? Build your business?

I invite you to use a daily ritual, just like the Balinese do, to focus on the goals you have for your finances so that you can establish priorities and achieve your goals. 

2. Purpose

Balinese people give purpose to their offerings every day. They plan out offerings for different Gods and to achieve different purposes such as symbolize love or sincerity. This is a lesson in the value of having a goal and purpose for everything you do. 

When it comes to your finances, you also need a clear purpose. Money is energy, and you should direct your money exactly where you want it to go. For example, if you want your money to do good in the world, that’s what it will do. If you want it to pay bills, it will pay bills. Every day, you should give your money a purpose. 

3. Gratitude

In giving daily offerings, the Balinese people focus on gratitude and their blessings. The offerings are a constant reminder to focus on the prosperity and abundance each of us has in our lives. The Balinese remember to be thankful even for life’s basic gifts, such as having a home, running water, and the gifts of nature. 

According to science, showing gratitude as the Balinese do can make you a happier person. Practicing gratitude can also help us be more open to receiving. Just like the Balinese, we should practice being grateful for both our financial and non-financial wealth. Our education, relationships, health, and more, are just a few examples of things to be grateful for. 

4. Generosity

I was especially inspired by the Balinese people and their generous spirits. Everyone is ready to offer a smile and positive energy to others. This plays out in all their interactions.

This aspect of Balinese culture teaches us to give generously as much as we can. Money needs to flow and can’t be left to sit. Instead, it should always be moving. For example, if you have money hidden under your mattress, invest it so that it can grow! If you don’t, the money will depreciate. You can invest using impact investing so that your money also has a clear purpose and supports an effort you believe in.

Being generous with your money also offers benefits that go beyond making an impact on someone else. Giving can also make you happier, studies suggest

5. Balance

Balance in the Balinese culture means harmony in your life and between yourself and others. People achieve this harmony through the rituals they follow such as the daily offerings and in the way they communicate with others.

Our financial lives also require a balance between money’s different purposes which may include: spending, saving, giving, and investing. Without this balance, we can place too much emphasis in one area and create both financial and personal problems. This balance should be communicated clearly to family members so that everyone understands.

These lessons from the beautiful Balinese offerings are full of wisdom that we can use in our everyday lives, especially as related to finances. How will you use these lessons? 

Elaine King, CFP® is an expert in family and money, having worked with over 1200 families to improve their financial well-being. Follow Elaine on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter for regular tips, strategies and best practices for your personal and family finances.