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Coping With Holiday Financial Pressure

Coping With Holiday Financial Pressure

The holiday season is one of the most financially stressful times of the year, according to financial management company, enableMe.

Director, Hannah McQueen says the common financial pressures faced during this time often lead Kiwis to stress and panic as debt increases.

“On average Kiwis spend $1.15 for every $1 they earn – irrespective of their salary size, so it is no wonder that people have trouble budgeting. Their personal behaviour is a recipe for disaster – especially at such an expensive time of year,” says Hannah.

“There is no time like the present to prepare your funds in advance and put a reign on bad spending habits.”

“The quest for financial freedom is achievable, even at Christmas time, it is just a matter of forward planning and money management, “ she says.

Below are some simple tips from enableMe to reduce financial stress:

The most simple and effective way to manage holiday finances is to put together a budget and stick to it. The reason most people struggle from payday to payday is because they don’t have a budget and don’t understand how much they can afford based on their income.

Identify three things:

  • Monthly bills (phone, power, rent…). Set up a separate bills account, which this amount can be transferred into on payday – as sadly this amount is never going to change.
  • Annual fixed expenses (car registration, WOF, birthday and Christmas presents). When a total figure is calculated, it is then possible to work out how much is needed to set aside each payday to make sure it’s covered.
  • Discretionary spending. This includes all the other expenses required including groceries and petrol.

By finalising a budget, shopping around the holiday season will be made all the simpler as consumers realise that they have a spending limit. Still, it is easy to be tempted – especially in the sales – so to avoid impulse buys, Hannah recommends consumers take heed to the following:

Tips for Holiday Shopping
Write a list of everyone you need to buy for over Christmas
Work out how much you want to spend on each person, and make sure the total is not more than what your budget allows
Decide what you will buy each person on the list before you head out to the shops. You’ll be less likely to overspend and grab impulse buys you don’t need
Don’t buy-in to ‘panic shopping’ on Christmas Eve. If you are well prepared there will be no need to over indulge at the last minute
Make sure you check online for gifts at discounted prices (but be wary of foreign shipping rates)
The New Years sales are usually an anti-climax, so forget the stressful crowds and head to the beach to give your credit card a rest.

“At the end of the day the festive season is all about having fun and spending time with friends and family. By managing your money in advance it will generate peace of mind which can only enhance your holidays.”

For more information on Hannah McQueen and enableMe visit www.enableme.co.nz

ENDS

ENDS

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