And while we’re all for “Let’s eat, drink and be merry”, it’s fair to say that too much of a good time now has led to many a sorry head later.
Well the same goes for spending at this time of year. It’s easy to get caught up in the madness, but nobody wants the consequences of that when the New Year rolls around.
So as this year comes racing towards an end, we thought we’d share our 5 best tips to help you finish the year in good financial shape:
1. Keep it simple
Do you find the Christmas season a time when you feel more pressure than ever? Nuts isn’t it.
If that’s the case for you, spend a moment and reflect on what you may be able to pare back. Maybe you don’t need to buy a gift for every cousin, or to come up with a massive banquet or to rush out to the sales.
Stop and think about the best moments in your life. We bet it’s often been the gift of time or companionship that you’ll remember with greater affection than simply more ‘stuff’. Be kind to yourself and don’t add more stress to your life by spending more than you need.
2. Set a budget and stick to it
Once you figure out what’s important to you, the next step is to sort out how much you can comfortably afford to spend on gifts, entertaining and travel – and make a note of it. Then keep track of what you actually spend so you know how you’re travelling.
This is because if you start with just a vague idea – or no idea at all – there’s a very good chance you’ll blow your budget. And worse yet, often you’re left scratching your head trying to remember what it was you spent your money on!
3. Aim to pay off credit card debt in full
If you are using credit cards over the Christmas season, try to use whichever card charges the least interest, and ideally, pay off your total before it’s due. Credit card hangover is not pretty or fun.
4. Think about donating to charity
Lots of charities can use help at this time of year.
So if you are so inclined, think about extending the Christmas cheer to those in need – and hang on to your receipts for tax time!
5. Travel smart
If you’re travelling, think about having travel insurance to help out if things go awry.
It’s also a good idea keep a photocopy of your credit cards and other important travel documents in a secure place with you, and also at home. This means that if any get lost or stolen, it will be easier to cancel and replace them.
So there you have it, 5 quick tips to help you greet the new year with less financial hassles.
We’d also like to remind our wealth management clients that you are free to contact your financial adviser throughout the year to run any ideas or decisions by them. That way you can make sure that any transactions you undertake optimise your financial situation and assist your progress towards your goals.
Finally, we wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and prosperous year ahead!
If you’d like to know more about how we can help you improve how you’re set up financially, please contact us. An initial consultation with one of our wealth management advisers is at no cost or obligation.