Christmas and Your Three C words


The festive holiday period can be both joyful and stressful time of year. Darren Smith, from Financial Advice Matters, offers his tips to improving your financial wellness.

This information has been provided as general advice. Please see the disclaimer for further details.

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This year does feel a little different. For many we are coming through a period where the C words that have dominated and influenced our mindset and behaviours have been COVID, CHALLENGES and CRISIS.

Personally, I would like to change the conversation and bring our focus back to a different set of C words - COMPASSION, CAPACITY and CONTROL, particularly how it relates to managing our money.

The last 18 months has given us time to reflect on what makes us better human beings and what is important. It certainly is not about many of the materialistic things that get paraded in front of us as we approach the festive period. The retail nudge is real.

In most part it should be about the social connections and how we feel and make others feel during this time.

Wants versus needs


There are new pressures lurking this Christmas with the urge to splurge on wants rather than needs. The tension is always there but our internal voice will be a little stronger this year, telling us that ‘we deserve it’ after what we have gone without for the last 2 years.

In terms of the first C word – Compassion, let’s be mindful that some families may be struggling with finances and/or social connection. Making that little bit of extra effort could make a huge difference. Reach out and be mindful.

The second and third C words – Challenges and Crisis are about lifting our awareness around our capacity to take on new commitments and focusing on what we can control. This includes controlling what we do and where we invest our time and money.

Christmas is a time where many of us catch up with our friends and family and recharge the batteries which has a positive impact on our wellbeing.

It is not too late to manage this tempting period in terms of spending by knowing our financial capacity and directing it to what is important and needed. As part of the ongoing financial education workshops we deliver in workplaces, it has been evident that with a few basic principles and a little guidance people can make improvements.

10 tips to improve your financial wellness during the festive period


  1. Focus on time with family and friends - our time is the most valuable gift we can give to others.
  2. Focus on activities and venues where you can have fun while limiting the cost - for example, parks and beaches
  3. Go to your existing bank if you have a loan and ask for a better rate - better in your pocket than the banks.
  4. Look at group membership discounts - you can get 5 - 10% off common gift cards that are purchased for gifts.
  5. Have a set budget – this will limit your spending during the festive period.
  6. Personalise a handmade gift - it has so much meaning when people know you have dedicated the time and effort.
  7. Consider extending an invitation at your table to someone who may be spending the period alone – you may also like to make a small charitable donation to ease the burden for someone else.
  8. Pool resources between families and friends – share the costs, work together and agree what each person’s contribution will be.
  9. Limit gifts - For example, one gift per child rather than each family purchasing individual gifts for everyone (‘Secret Santa’ is a great way of doing this).
  10. Sell what you no longer use or need - generate some additional cash or donate it to a local charity.

Further support


There are many more practical things you can do to manage your money and the stress that comes with this time of year. For employers that are focused on wellness programs for their staff, there is a fantastic opportunity for you to incorporate programs into your workplace. If this is something you would like to learn more about, please contact myself, Darren Smith via LinkedIn, or visit the Financial Wellness Matters website.

Disclaimer


This information has been provided as general advice. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice. You should obtain and consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and seek the assistance of an authorised financial adviser before making any decision regarding any products or strategies mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, it is based on our understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws at the publication date. As these laws are subject to change you should talk to an authorised adviser for the most up-to-date information. No warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Alliance Wealth Pty Ltd not its related entities, employees or representatives accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information.

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