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All I want or need for Christmas?

By Darren Smith
  • October 30 2020
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All I want or need for Christmas?

By Darren Smith
October 30 2020

The lead-up to Christmas and the holiday period, while full of joy, can also have a significant impact on financial and holistic wellness.

All I want or need for Christmas

All I want or need for Christmas?

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By Darren Smith
  • October 30 2020
  • Share

The lead-up to Christmas and the holiday period, while full of joy, can also have a significant impact on financial and holistic wellness.

All I want or need for Christmas

I would like a dollar for every time I have heard “2020 has been a year full of uncertainties and one that we will not forget”. While true, it is a journey we are still navigating. What the extra time has provided is a unique opportunity to reflect on what is important to us and our families. Many of us have even benefited through spending some extra time with our loved ones.

For many during the last six months, we have been restricted to focus on what we need rather than what we want. Less eating out, less time in the shops and less travel just to name a few. Research supports that many Australian households are more financially stressed and have used safety nets to make it through.

The danger for many households over the next couple of months is that with less restrictions, we may begin to overcompensate and reward ourselves with larger wants and thus, overspend. Retailers who are recovering have fine-tuned the nudging of us to purchase now. We continue to be conditioned to spend and there is no shortage of pay later options available which in return only adds to the temptation. Come February/March, there will be a price to pay for this that will cause many hardship.

It is a time where many of us catch up with our friends and family and recharge the batteries which has a positive impact on many elements of our wellness. However, this still has its own costs financially.

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The good news is that it is not too late to manage through this challenging period in terms of spending. As part of the ongoing financial education workshops we deliver in workplaces, it has been evident that with a few basic principles and a little guidance people can achieve significant improvements financially.

While the below steps may sound simple, it does require focus and the ability for individuals and families to understand what is most important to them.

10 tips to improve your financial wellness during the festive period

  1. Focus on time with family and friends, not the materialistic gift itself. Our time is the most valuable gift we can give to others.
  2. Go to your existing bank if you have a loan and ask for a better rate. Better in your pocket than the banks.
  3. Look at group membership discounts you may be entitled. Quite often you can get up to 10 per cent off common gift cards that are purchased for gifts.
  4. When spending time with family and friends, focus on activities/venues where you can have fun but limit the cost. For example, take advantage of the parks and beaches that we are blessed with in Australia.
  5. Have a set budget to limit spending during this period. You can then manage this by tracking your spending.
  6. For the creative spirits – personalise a handmade gift. It has so much meaning when people know you have dedicated time and effort for them.
  7. Consider extending an invitation at your table to someone who may be spending the period alone or make a small charitable donation to ease the burden for someone else.
  8. Pool resources between families and friends by sharing the cost that comes with family events. Work together and agree what each person’s contribution will be.
  9. For the large families – pool resources where there are many family members in terms of gifts. For example, one gift per child rather than each family purchasing individual gifts for everyone. Secret Santa between families is a great way of doing this.
  10. Review what you don’t use or don’t need and sell it to generate some additional cash. 

There are many more practical things that you can do to manage your money and keeping the stress that comes with this time of year to a manageable level. For employers that are focused on wellness programs for their staff, there is a fantastic opportunity for you to incorporate programs into your workplace pre and post-Christmas. 

Author: Darren Smith – Financial Advice Matters

All I want or need for Christmas?
All I want or need for Christmas
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