The Christmas holiday season, full of cheer, goodwill, and Christmas carols sung while opening presents. Although, perhaps a little better known as one of the most financially stressful times of year. If you don’t get even a little bit overwhelmed financially when the holidays come around, then maybe you should be writing this article with all your secrets! Or, you’re simply fortunate enough to not have to worry about money. Either way, good on you! But for most of us, this isn’t the case
While we can’t promise that there’s an easy fix to cleaning up your finances and plan them well for the next year, there are a few things you can do that will significantly help them. Here’s a few things you can do that will help you plan your spending, saving, and tidy up your loans over the holiday season.
Start planning for next year
Your secret weapon to being financially secure is being prepared. We know, you’ve probably heard this a million times, but truly the best way to be prepared is to carve out a budget that addresses all of your needs throughout the year. Nothing hurts more than an unplanned for Christmas, especially if you have to buy for quite a few people.
Take even just $5-10 out of your pay each pay cycle, and put it into another account specifically to fund Christmas shopping. Even if you’re just purchasing for a partner, or even yourself, it’s still a good idea to put this money away so you can buy something nice for yourself or your partner each year. Use these ideas for budgeting as well to help make it easier for you.
Also, if you’ve got money set aside earlier in the year, you don’t have to wait until the last minute to start shopping. Take advantage of all those sales throughout the year to lessen the impact on your wallet. You can even look for sales from airlines to buy tickets home if necessary, which will be cheaper to buy sooner rather than later. Use some of these other tips for being frugal with this season.
Beyond little things like your Christmas gifts, think broader in your planning as well. Are you considering opening a business, buying a car, or renovating your house? Meeting with an Auckland business finance broker to look into different types of loans before the close of the year will help you map out your plans. The name of the game is being prepared for whatever life might throw at you over the year, and especially during the holidays.
Revamp your loans
Christmastime may be the last time you’d ever think about your loans, and in fact, you might be ignoring them altogether. But, this is actually a great time to review them. If you’re looking at new car financing in New Zealand, for example, you might find better deals at this time of year than normal. Lenders will be taking advantage of uptick in vehicle sales, and may offer some enticing deals.
Your other loans, like that personal loan you have in Wellington for some home renovations, or even your home loans can also stand to be looked at during this time. Talk with your local mortgage brokers in Hamilton or any other city near you to see if there are any holiday deals to combine loans or refinance. If you’re thinking about buying a new house, this time of year can be especially good for you. It might be worth it to get mortgage pre approval and keep your eye on the market through the season.
Hire a financial advisor
The holiday season is inevitably one of the busiest seasons of the year, with Christmas parties and family gatherings taking up most of your free time. Because of this, your financial planning may start to suffer because you aren’t paying as much attention. To combat this, visit with an Auckland tax advisor or any local financial planner. Planners will use their knowledge, skills and training to help save you time with managing investments or preparing for the upcoming tax season.
If you own property investments or a small business, an Auckland small business accountant can also help you get on track, while still allowing you to relax and take some time off and maybe even enjoy the holiday party.
If hiring a financial advisor or accountant just won’t fit in your budget, remember that you can always educate yourself and learn what you can do to keep yourself in financial safety. Think about going to a financial workshop, and schedule it for just after the holiday season. Workshops can be a great time to not only learn new skills but also network with other professionals and expand your business. You’ll hopefully be relaxed and ready to take on a new year with new spending goals, and will be a perfect time to learn how to effectively save and invest.
Try some of these online resources on for size to start. If you’re ready, consider money management workshops near you. Here’s a list of a few to look into for right now. You should also be able to easily find investment courses if you’re interested in that route, or any other specific subject like home ownership or retirement. If in doubt, ask around to coworkers and friends to see if they’ve attended any local workshops or classes.
While thinking about money is one of the last things you want to do over the holiday season, it’s also one of the most important things to keep in mind. Try and remember that even though it seems like quite a bit of work to be financially sound this season, the payoff will mean that you aren’t struggling to make ends meet afterwards. You’ll also significantly lower your stress levels and feel more in control of your money and ability to give holiday cheer to those around you.