2215145_blogTwo weeks today ( here in NZ anyway!) we will probably have eaten or be eating our Christmas dinner and the shopping and hurly burly will be a distant memory….hopefully anyway!

Everything you read at the moment is reflecting on the life and death of Nelson Mandela. He was a wonderful man and one of my personal heroes. I remember having an interview at Bayer for a promotion sometime in the mid 80’s and being asked about someone I admired. I said Nelson Mandela. I was challenged on this because he was in prison and was often called a terrorist. (He was only taken off the US’s list of terrorists in 2008!) I’m not sure what my words were but I can remember my passion in delivering my defense of my choice!

I am a passionate rugby fan but my first ever protest march was in Christchurch in 1981, against the Springbok tour. I didn’t watch rugby at all for several years after that!

I am sad at his passing but very glad and grateful for his life and example. I cannot believe that I would have shown the same spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation if I had been imprisoned for 28 years!

Now  to the 12 shopping days left before Christmas! In my MMM of November 11, I gave you some tips about shopping for Christmas. If you haven’t finished your shopping, and I hope you have, relook at them.

This is a very stressful time and it is important to make plans for what you are going to buy and for whom and, of course, where and when! If you can, try and shop in the morning whilst you are freshest and the day is cooler. It tends to be less busy too. Also the earlier you shop on the 12 days the better. The closer to Christmas, the busier it is, the more tired and stressed you are and therefore more likely to spend more money just to be able to cross that person and gift off the list!

As always, I advise that you shop with cash. Debit or EFTpos cards are good alternative options. The reason for this is that you can only spend the money you have and have to stop when you run out! Not only do credit cards allow you to spend money that you don’t have, but research has shown, as I’ve mentioned before, that you spend 20% more when using a credit card as opposed to debit cards! If your spending plan allows for eg $400 for gifts and you spend 20% more, that is an extra $80. I’m sure, like me, there is a lot you would rather do with that $80.

Also try and keep yourself in the moment ie concentrate on what you are doing rather than thinking about all the other things that are on your list to do. It is safer. Yesterday, I wasn’t doing that and was crossing the road when cars started tooting their horns at me. It wasn’t the buzzer for me to cross but rather the other side one! Could have been messy!

Also by being in the now, you tend to be much more effective and things get completed more quickly!

Have a great week everybody and be kind to yourself! It is stressful and the more you can do to reduce that, the better for everyone. Stressed people can be rather cranky!

 

 

 

Advertisements

5158257_mLast week I entitled my MMM (Monday Money Motivator) – It’s not too late!

In it I gave you some tips on Christmas and holiday spending. I had some very favourable comments so it did seem to strike a chord with you.

 

In some ways “it’s not too late” could be the title for this week’s MMM too!

 

Two recent pieces of news attracted my attention.

  1. That credit card spending was going up … “Actual retail sales on electronic cards were up 7 percent to $6 billion in October from the same month a year earlier.” http://bit.ly/1iXID9F
  2.  There is a prediction that interest rates will rise http://bit.ly/1cgzkzg. Many commentators predict that this could be as high as 2%.

I must state again that I am not a financial advisor, but am talking about this because these two factors together could make huge a huge impact on people’s spending plans.

 

In the second article …“Mortgage broker Geoff Bawden calculates for every $100,000 borrowed, a 1% rise will add $64 to a weekly mortgage payment. “ It also said that the average mortgage in Auckland was $400,00, so for that “average” mortgage that would mean an additional $256 a WEEK that you would have to find. Monthly that would be $1109! That is for an increase of 1% … double that for 2%!! $2218. That is a lot of money to find in most of the spending plans ( budgets) I see.

 

I don’t bring these to your attention to scare you, but rather to persuade you to act now, especially if you are affected by both pieces ie you are using credit cards more than you did last year (especially if you are not able to pay them off every month) and your mortgage repayments may significantly increase next year.

 

Take these steps:-

  1. Stop using your credit cards now!! Revert to cash or debit/eftpos cards. Research shows that your spending on credit cards is likely to be about 20% more than it would on debit cards and that number is even higher when compared to cash! Then work very hard to get them paid off ASAP. If mortgage rates rise you can guarantee that so will the interest rates on credit cards!
  2. Relook at your spending plan for Christmas and the holidays and reduce the spending where possible.
  3. Get help now. Don’t leave it until you are in trouble; do what you can to prevent it happening. Remember that I offer a free chat over coffee. If time and or location make that impossible we can always have a virtual chat by phone of Skype!

Whatever you do, take action now and get yourself better prepared for what could come in the New Year! If the interest rates don’t rise think how much you could pay off your principal instead!!

 

I hope I haven’t put too much of a dampener on your Monday, but just know I am doing it with your best interests in mind! Please don’t bury your head in the sand; it will be that much easier if you act now!! You will feel much better if you are proactive.

If you have  a mortgage are you making any plans on how you might manage the increased interests rates? Is your mortgage on a fixed interest rate? Please share your thoughts below.