Want to avoid New Year credit card blues? How…….?

December 18, 2009

Pohutukawa - NZ Christmas Tree or Antipodean Holly

Tracking, tracking, tracking!!!

Like most people are you planning not to overspend this holiday season? Have you made elaborate plans to keep the spending within $XX?

Done your shopping? If not the panic may be setting in! Is it? If it is, the problem now is, that if you can’t find the gift you want or can afford, you reach for the credit card and buy something more expensive, and at least now you can cross

Dad/Mum/Granny/mother-in-law-who-has-everything, off the list and get out of the mall! Sound familiar? It’s really compulsive spending but needn’t be a game breaker!

Whilst I don’t advocate using your credit card (spoilsport that I am!) that isn’t where the damage is done…really! It’s when you don’t keep track of what you’ve spent and adjust your plan accordingly.

We’re all getting stressed and slightly frantic, especially here downunder, where not only is it Christmas and year end, but the kids are off school until February (sorry if you didn’t want reminding!) and many of us are going on summer holidays. No wonder we all get frantic. I also forgot to mention that it is summer and hot (well occasionally at least) and not really that suited to shopping, planning and cooking big meals!! So we’re all getting tired and when we are,it is much more likely that we let our plans go out the window and over spend to get it done, get it off the list, or purely and simply to make life easier! Eating out, takeaways etc etc and more alcohol!! All of which can be expensive but again, if we’re keeping track of our spending and adjusting accordingly, not game breakers!

I’m not saying it is simple or easy, but if you make a plan, and then dedicate 10-20 minutes every morning or evening, to work out what you spent, and adjust your plan accordingly, you shouldn’t get one of those sit-down-or-I-might-faint credit card bills come January or February! My colleague and the founder of the Financial RecoverySM Institute, Karen McCall has developed a Holiday Spending plan and offers it free here http://www.financialrecovery.com/products.html.

On my website I also give my Top 10 Tips for not overspending http://www.financialclarity.co.nz

So now that that is done, I hope, all that is left is for you to relax and enjoy! I wish you all that, and a very Happy Christmas, and may 2010 be a happy, healthy and prosperous one for you!

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