Spend in haste and repay at leisure, as the old adage goes, really applies during the festive season. Many financial disasters begin with overspending in the last month of the year, carry over into the heavy obligations of the first month and culminate in debt, either in the form of credit card debt or loans with interest.
Below are tips that have the potential to put one in the red and to avoid or overcome them:
Making no Allowance for Annual Contracts and Major Expenses: Ideally, yearly payments such as those for insurance and investment plans should be factored in, if not possible at once at the beginning of the year, then into smaller payments every month so that they are not overwhelming to pay to pay all at once.
Not Having a Written Plan: Writing our resolutions in the light of the dawn of a new year is one thing but a concrete plan and sticking to it is another thing.
Write down specific financial goals and break them down into monthly and daily activities. If it's spending less, specify on which items and how you'll spend less, such as shopping for household items for less by changing to cheaper brands and less on transport by leaving the car home sometimes, are specific goals and action plans.
Credit Card Debt: This is the first debt one should try to avoid or clear up because it compounds to a lot in a short time.It's essentially tricky to incur and fail to make payments on credit card debt because the following month of January is one with heavy obligations like school requirements for those with families and renewing annual contracts like insurance.
Avoiding situations that would make incurring debt such as shopping without a budget and not factoring in all that is needed if taking a vacation away from home can force one to use their credit card to pay.
Low or Depleted Savings: Overspending will definitely make a dent in one's savings account, which may mean incurring debt later on in the year, especially if there is no emergency fund. Putting away the regular amount into the savings before going out shopping is advisable.
Out of Budget Festive Shopping: Take advantage of offers and bargains to shop in bulk. Apart from the main day. Shop for New Year festivities and January which is a burden month for many and for school boarders. Make a savings on purchases by redeeming supermarket loyalty points. Look for offers and discounts on items like clothes and shoes too.
With all the festivities going on all around, it is not difficult to get swept into it. Celebrating with friends and family is great, but it shouldn't be something that leaves you struggling to regain stability in the coming months.
Ensure when the Christmas lights are turned off and the carol singing is over, you are not nursing financial hangovers but steadily moving forward, still on track and in tune with your goals.