Doesn’t it feel as though this time of year comes around even faster every year now?
Realistically, though it is that extra lap around the sun every time, 365 days. However, it seem to be upon us so much faster.
I remember as a small child, the weeks leading up to the festive season were the most exciting times, your family phoning to see if you had been good. Asking what you hoped to receive, then the day would come, with food like you had never seen before, not even on your birthday when you invited 10 of your mates around. Then you wake up on boxing day knowing you have at wait a whole year again to celebrate this festive and giving day. When you are an adult however it seems to be different.
The weeks leading up to the big event are filled listening to your children, and your nieces and nephews explain to your what they hope for under the tree. Generally, the response is toys, bikes, consoles, board Games, and if you are lucky to have older children it’s earpods, phones, high end branded clothing.
Then comes the food, this year at my Christmas, there will be 47 of us sharing our festive feast. At this age we don’t rue the fact there is 12 months until the Jolly red man in a suit comes again. Now it is the cleanup, getting rid of the family you only invited because you had to.
Nonetheless for others it’s how am I going to pay for this?
2020 saw the explosion of online shopping, mostly forced by lock downs and limitations on where we could shop. However, with the boom in online retail saw the rise of the convenience paying facilities like Zip Pay, Humm and Afterpay.
For those who don’t know much about these paying facilities, they are essentially a credit card where you can pay off your festive frivolities over time, with little to no interest, some up to 12 months. Beware it can lead to a vicious cycle of never getting on top of your bills, in default you could be paying upwards of 20% in interest.
In the movie ‘The Confessions of a Shopaholic’, the main character as you can imagine loved to shop, had to have everything they saw, and they had to have it now. Until of course they ran out of money or had to pay things back. Then it becames difficult for them to live the lifestyle, they had so become accustomed to.
To stop their spending habits, the main character freezes their credit card, by freeze I mean go full Elsa, put it in a cup, put that cup in the freezer. If they saw something they wanted, they couldn’t just buy it, they had to go home, defrost the card and then once the card was defrosted go and purchase the item. The idea of the freeze was that by the time it defrosted the urge to purchase had gone.
Let’s take a step back, to our larger-than-life debt now after we have bought the family gifts, put on a feed that that wouldn’t look out of place at a king’s banquet in then ancient Roman days. How are we going to pay for it, and has it just been added to the endless cycle of bills we see ourselves on.
Like this time of the year and any in our lives we need to have a plan. We know it happens each year at the same time, so why not factor it in to our budget. Better still put a little away each pay to accommodate for that known expense.
Honesty is the key here, be honest with yourself and what you spend and put that amount aside each year.
Wrap it up
All in all, a good financial plan should consider your budget, and a good advisor will work with you to test your budget to ensure you are being honest with yourself when it comes to your spending habits.
Having that money put aside gives you the freedom, to spend that little bit extra or go on that holiday to recover from the stresses of having 46 of your closest relatives over to break bread on that special day.
Written by Jason Fagg