With the festive season only weeks away we asked our resident counsellor, Zoe Slater to provide some help and guidance on how to better cope and handle the financial pressure we all come under during the Christmas and New Year holiday season.
Christmas is such a wonderful time of giving and receiving however, learning how to avoid a ‘Financial Hangover’ due to excessive giving and over indulgence is essential if you want to save your lifestyle and relationships from hitting rock bottom in 2019.
What is a Financial Hangover?
A hangover is the ill feeling, the regret of pushing it too hard for too long. It’s the post fall out, the ramification of financial excess or gluttony beyond your means, that can be disastrous.
For some a ‘Financial Hangover’ can happen regularly or be an annual Christmas habit. Like ground hog day the ‘Financial Hangover’ happens repeatedly and you become a whinger that no-one wants to listen to anymore or help. By repeat offending and suffering ongoing ‘Financial Hangovers’ you can ruin relationships, break down bank accounts and trash your credit rating. Don’t go there!
This time help is available if you want to be financially sober and aware.
Make a Pact To Act and turn your Money Stress ‘Financial Hangover’ into Money Success.
Decide now to make this Christmas different. To do that you need to focus on the post-Christmas relief. Take a moment to imagine yourself after Christmas as you exhale and relax, proudly looking back on the ‘Money Success’ planning you did, pre-Christmas.
Let’s do a simple plan now by imagining the future from two angles.
First, imagine 2019, January through to December. Draw a time line with each month, then write in each month the goal of what you want to do and achieve and the costs for that.
Add the cost of the goals and add them to your expenses deduct that from your income. You now have a realistic snap shot at 2019. This brief 2019 plan will assist in creating a realistic budget for this 2018 Christmas.
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “if you Fail to plan, then you have planned to Fail” and potentially planned a financial hangover. And this blog is about avoiding that right so…
Because you are planning you are planning to Succeed. Yeah! You will be starting 2019 enthusiastically, with good planning, no regrets or financial hangovers to slow you down.
Let’s get another snapshot at your finances. Work out your cash flow and expenses between now and 1 January, 2019. Work out how much you have spare each week and create a fun Christmas account or a cash savings jar for Christmas expenses.
If you have a ‘Financial Hangover’ history then cash is often better to use than credit cards. Cash runs out, it’s real and reminds you of the promise you made to have Money in your wallet all the time and to not spend it all.
The second thing you need to do is to work out what’s on the Christmas agenda and your Christmas list.
- Who with and why?
- What do you want to do?
- What’s required?
Here’s how my clients are addressing these 3 questions:
Who with and why?
Socialising and preparing with 2019 in mind is how my clients are undertaking their planning. They’re already imagining a bigger better more affordable profitable year. What else they want to achieve, do and be a part of, which can mean trimming expenses and re-allocating funds to achieve their dreams. They are planning by taking deliberate action now. These deliberate actions mean socialising with the important people. Prioritising the social connections that matter personally and professionally first. The relationships that fill their heart, want the best for them and can help progress their aspirations in some way.
STOP time wasting connections, they can be costly and a distraction, a real waste of money and effort, exhausting and rob time that you will never get back. Sometimes you may even wonder why you bothered or made an effort. Go where your wanted and appreciated.
Socialising Budget. Some of my clients, are excited to socialise but concerned they are heading for ‘Financial Hangovers’ with so many catch ups, late night exhaustion, over indulgence on rich food and alcohol, feeling bloated and full of bad smelling expensive gas.
Here are my tips:
- Stick to your socialising $ allocation.
- Always leave enough $ for an Uber or Taxi.
- Don’t have last drinks, it makes for an expensive porcelain bus and spinning bed.
- When your tipsy, let that fun be enough and recognise the value of still being in control of yourself.
- Drink and eat to socialise and connect not to impress others or pass out and embarrass yourself.
What do you want to do?
Really think about what you want to do. Where would you like to go? What promises have you made yourself?. Will you be a tourist in your own neighbourhood or city. This can also relate to who with and why. Sharing experiences is what makes us human and create bonds that deepen friendships.
- Holiday funds allocation.
- What fun experiences are on the list?
- Research as some might be free and some will require cash
- Some may even have group discounts.
- Collaborate and share equipment and lighten the cash expenses needed.
- If your hosting a party share the work load and costs
This point is about creating a Present Budget within your means. Not wasting your money or trying to impress or keep up with the Jones’s
- List all the important people first.
- Partner, family and pets.
- Best friends.
- Work colleagues.
- Association and interest groups.
- Christmas appeals.
- An honest Christmas takes effort.
The key points are:
- Avoid a Financial Hangover.
- Plan to succeed.
- Stop wasting time and money.
- Cash is real.
- Plan with 2019 in mind.
- Self-pride, turning money stress to money success.
Some extra things to think about
Discuss your plans with your partner and have an alliance for Money Success. If you don’t have a partner share your plans with someone who cares about you and maybe offer to support them too.
MAKE A PACT TO ACT – practice the art of having money success and I assure you, your life will start heading in the right direction.
Zoe is the director of Zoe Slater Counselling and CEO Freedom Choice Academy. She studied at The Australian College of Applied Psychology, Sydney Campus and completed her Diploma of Counselling and Communication at the Brisbane Campus. Zoe is an Associate Member with the Queensland Counsellors Association Inc and a member with Australian Counsellors Association.