16 Nov 5-Minute Guide to Efficiently Managing Your Finance This Christmas
It’s the most wonderful time of the year but it’s also that time of the year when you have to be extra cautious and careful where your money’s concerned.
The Christmas season proves to be an expensive time for many of us. It seems to encourage us to embark on the usual Christmas practice of “shopping ‘til we drop.” The festive feeling makes us extra generous and gets us to spend way more than we usually do. However, we have to brace ourselves for the subsequent financial shock when the bills make their way in our mail.
So to help you soften the blow on your next bill by efficiently managing your finance, have a look at this quick 5-minute guide:
Set a budget.
Draw up a budget for your Holiday spending. This way, you will be able to create a limit of how much you are willing to spend. More than just setting a budget, it is important that you stick to it. Don’t deviate from your original set amount. The last thing you want is paying more than what you can actually afford.
Okay, so you are feeling extra generous this Christmas. There’s nothing wrong with that. During this season, there are lenders and non-lenders who offer competitive deals which you can take advantage of. If you have a balance on your credit cards, you can opt to consolidate all your unsecured debts into one loan. This can potentially save you money on interest. Of course, there might be necessary fees and charges so make sure to ask your local broker about it. But this is something you can definitely consider.
Make a list.
You have set your budget and you have your actual budget. Now it’s time to “marry” that into your list. Take note of all the things you need to purchase and the food you need to prepare. Write down the names of the people you’re going to give gifts to. Think of what to buy them and add that to your list of things to buy. To save time, it’s also smart to plan and strategise which stores you need to go to first.
When it comes to looking for great things to buy, you can do so much with research and the good ol’ Mr. Google. Using the list that you made, search for some cheap but quality stores in your area where you can buy the items you wrote down. Make your money worth it by web searching for discount or coupon codes that you can use at the checkout. Sometimes, things are cheaper online than in store but be cautious when shopping online. You can use your research as a gauge when you actually go to the store and purchase these items.
Track your spending.
To avoid deviating from your budget, monitor your spending. There’s an app called TrackMySpend (http://apple.co/1s4DaYs) where it helps you set realistic spending limit and stick to it. It enables you track spending by categories and lets you separate ‘needs’ and ‘wants’ to help identify opportunities to save. The last thing you want is to go over budget so make sure to stay within your set budget by tracking your spending.
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