Christmas isn’t usually about restraint,  so many of us experience huge amounts of unnecessary stress in the New Year.  Especially when our bank / VISA statements comes through the post, which often leaves us wishing we hadn’t been quite so extravagant!

Fiscal responsible can start at any time of the year.  Here is our quick and simple strategy to stay on top of your finances, stay out of debt and manage your money better in 2019:

1. Set a budget now – be it weekly or monthly.  Just take a clear look at where you are now, what your income is versus your outgoings and start from there. Don’t forget to factor in additional seasonal costs and expenses, and don’t forget to consider putting something aside in your ‘rainy day’ fund 

2. Keep things in proportion, especially when buying gifts – don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or go into debt by living within your means, and don’t worry about competing with siblings and or friends 

3. Don’t let consumerism get on top of you – the media are very clever at parting you from your hard earned cash – don’t fall for it.  ‘Stuff’ does not make you happier, healthier or wealthier, but it does make shareholders of shops happier and wealthier!

4. Use actual cash – keep it real, literally. It’s all too easy to lose the plot, overspend and get carried away when we’re spending on-line and making virtual transactions; parting with paper money helps you keep track of your outgoings

5. Try giving in different ways – it doesn’t have to be all about expensive commercial gifts. “Upcycling” is the fashionable trend that keeps on giving: reusing, recycling and buying from charity shops makes financial sense and just helps you feel better about yourself too. 

In the event you do find yourself way over your head financially, please don’t suffer alone, seek professional help.  Talk to your bank and other support services that are available to help get you out of debt and back on track.

Finance coaches can also help you with revaluating your values, habits and attitude around handling money.  Protect yourself by making sure you work with a properly trained, experienced, insured and accredited practitioner.