As explained in our previous communication, budgeting and spending is sometimes overlooked, especially during the Christmas Season. At the same time, if you have never budgeted your spending, money management is a skill learnt over time and it cannot be mastered from one day to another, though simple steps and simple online research will get you started.
To help become financially capable, the website, intended to be like a reference tool, will offer you building blocks to the acquisition of concepts and skills. Eventually when what we deliver is put into practice, the underlying skills do not end when the units are over but will continue to enhance over time, getting better with practise, just like driving a car!
Our last weeks’ text will today continue to highlight our campaign for the month of December – spend money wisely and think long term – making reference to other useful informative tips, hints and ideas that, if taken seriously, will eventually shape our actions. The first URL address below directs us to Christmas spending in numbers and facts about using credit cards irresponsibly whereas the second website describes the so called quick and easy tips that merge the pleasure brought about by the spirit of the season with careful spending.
The tips and their description as outlined further down on the website are listed in a way to assist you in categorising your thoughts to aid your planning during the festive season and ultimately to guide your spending. Going over your limit due to lack of planning and careful consideration of how much you can actually spend, may mean running out of cash prior your next salary payment, months in distress trying to cope and to add insult to injury, increasing debt with continuous use of credit cards.
Using your credit card like cash and paying off immediately is one thing, adding further debt by using your credit card when you are short of money and paying at a later stage, accumulating interest in the process, is another thing. Remember that anything given with some thought and affection brings happiness both to the donor and the recipient. Do not go beyond your means, do not be extravagant! It does not pay.
Furthermore, our purpose to present such tips goes beyond Christmas. Certain tactics can be blended into our way of thinking and can be incorporated in our way of living. In fact, tip number 9 in website above states: Track your spending. A handy planner to manage money effectively shall not be limited to festive spending. Only a track record – on paper or on computer or whatever you find best to keep a record – compares expenses with cash inflows. Such a comparison can help you to reflect upon your spending, to diminish unnecessary expenses, to foresee future expenses and to plan ahead.
During the festive season and different types of events along the year, it’s far easier to plunge into extravagance than to reduce expenses. No person should be without a budget plan, or at least, if you have not started one, for this Christmas jot down expenses to stay on track. Subsequently at the beginning of the year, take control of your spending with a budget plan. A budget / a plan is one of the most meaningful pieces that we can add to our collage along with the tips, hints and advices given by the Retirement and Financial Capability Group and by informative websites.
There exists a variety of budget applications online, also known as online budget calculators, not to remain online but to be used to help you keep note of income and expenses. Anything — even a personal simple budget calculator on an Excel sheet — which I describe as part a reflection of the past, part an understanding of the present and a visual of the future – is useful. Below are useful budget calculators that you might wish to make use of to record all of your incomings and outgoings. If you are taken aback by tools in GBP and $, just keep in mind that the amounts that you will keying in are in Euros.
Bit by bit one walks far. Daily prudent acts during the festive season, and beyond and a monthly difference will encourage the development of positive self esteem and a sense of I can manage, I can plan, I can do it, I can problem solve, I can critical think, I can save, that lasts for a life time. Our life is a growing luggage of experiences and education, so it’s never too late to learn. Review what you already know based on your experiences and what you have learnt from last week’s content, continue with what you want to find out, keep updated by enhancing your knowledge through reading and conclude by applying your knowledge within different contexts. Never refrain from learning. Do not fall into the usual ‘I already know it’ trap!