Save during the silly season
As you head off on holidays, don’t forget to pack your finest financial habits along with your swimmers and sunscreen. Here are five ways to help prevent the silly season from ruining the great financial work you’ve done throughout the year.
Have a reality check
How much have you saved and put aside for gifts, holidays and other expenses this Christmas? That amount is the budget you must work within. If you have budgeted throughout the year then a specific amount will be put aside. But if you haven’t, use this as a lesson for next year and begin your budget planning for next Christmas right now. Many believe much of the joy of a holiday is in its anticipation, so give yourself 12 months of joy by saving for and planning next year’s Christmas getaway.
Set limits for gifts
Before you go gift shopping, know how much you’re able to spend on each individual. While you’re at it, set financial limits together with your family and friends so that nobody feels any pressure to over-spend. Or simply organise a Secret Santa and take the pressure, and the price, out of buying for everybody.
Leave the credit cards at home
If you have budgeted for gifts, then take cash when you go shopping. Cash makes the spending experience far more real and is likely to encourage you to stick to your guns when it comes to your budget. Numerous studies have proven that people spend more money when shopping with credit cards than they do when shopping with cash as credit cards make the ‘pain of paying’ far more bearable.
Turn your house into a resort
Would you rather spend tens of thousands of dollars on a fortnight overseas or instead invest it in your house, which should not only increase your home’s value but also increase your enjoyment of being at home year-round? Extensions, bathrooms and kitchens are the big-ticket items, and at the other end of the price spectrum is the simple act of painting rooms and sprucing up the garden. Either way it is likely to result in greater value and long-term enjoyment of your home.
5 Learn to say ‘no’
Whether you’re having a conversation with yourself about buying an expensive gift, enjoying a chat with your partner about upgrading to a king suite at a five-star hotel, or simply being invited to yet another celebratory dinner, always be aware that holidays are a time of great temptation. Holidays are designed for your own relaxation, to spend time with people you really care about or to simply wind down on your own. If you don’t learn to say no then the result will likely be the opposite with less recovery time, less energy and greater financial stress. This will start your new year in the worst possible shape. Saying no to temptation will help your long-term plans to stay achievable, which in itself is a powerful source of stress relief.
Speak to your Financial Adviser at The Money Edge if you would like to understand more about how this information might impact your financial situation.
Important information: The Money Edge is an Authorised Representative of Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. This document has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. ‘Count’ and Count Wealth Accountants® are trading names of Count. Count advisers are authorised representatives of Count. Count is a Professional Partner of the Financial Planning Association of Australia Limited. Information in this document is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document. This document is not advice and provides information only. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.