I love iPhones and the 1,300 USD IPhone XS has been tempting me for the past few months. It must be a blessing in disguise that I’m broke beyond measure. Otherwise, I would close my eyes and bought this overpriced phone. The guilt I’d feel after the purchase would resonate with me for months, but at least I’d have a new phone right?
You may not be an iPhone fan, but there must be a high-priced item you love that you’d buy the moment you could afford it. The over commercialized nature of this time of the year only makes it more difficult to avoid overspending on these and other items. Your attempts to justify the purchases are inconsequential. For instance, I won’t deny that I need a new phone, but there are other smartphones with even better features than the iPhone that I can purchase.
The Christmas season makes some of us believe that we have the right to spend frivolously. It’s the most wonderful time of the year isn’t it? Before you spend your last dime buying that over-priced item that you’ve wanted all year, keep these personal finance considerations at the forefront of your mind.
What are your long-term goals?
Those who are serious about wealth creation have clear long-term goals. They have dedicated investment accounts to which they religiously deposit funds each month and they keep their eyes open for new investment opportunities. Be one of these people. Your investment account isn’t meant for you to dip into for whimsical purchases; it’s an account you create so that you have money for a future goal. Don’t use that money to purchase things that threaten that long-term goal.
Do you have a spending budget for the holiday season?
Those who buy into the commercialized nature of Christmas will buy gifts for those they love. There’s nothing wrong with that. If you’re one of these people, however, you should set a budget and stick to it.
I work in the public sector and we don’t get Christmas bonuses. We get paid early in December and don’t get paid again until late January. So, the same amount of money must be stretched for a longer period. Imagine if I spend most of my salary on Christmas presents. What would happen in January? A clear budget is imperative so that I don’t spend more than I can actually afford. You should prepare a budget too.
What’re you doing with your holiday bonus?
You may be one of the fortunate people who is paid a holiday bonus at this time of the year. Getting a little extra money may make you feel rich for a few hours. However, you’ll be broke before you know it if you spend that money foolishly.
I saw Victoria Mutual and Jamaica Money Market Brokers advertising gift certificates in Monday’s Gleaner. That’s what you should do with the money….invest it. You don’t even need to buy a gift certificate for yourself. Just visit your local investment broker and find a way to make that money work for you.
Can you postpone that holiday trip?
Planning a holiday trip to spend time with your family is one thing. It’s completely different when you’ve planned a weekend getaway at an all-inclusive hotel for you and your spouse. Hotel rates are high at this time of the year. It may be better for you to plan expensive vacations for times of the year when rates are lower.
Can you still have fun?
Of course! But, you should think carefully before spending. You’ve worked hard all year and deserve to let loose. You’ll, however, be tearing out your hair and crying your eyes out next year when your bank account screams, “I’m empty!” after your expensive splurges. Be responsible with your funds.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. A time of joy and gift-giving… a time when we forget how much money we really have and go wild. Ask yourself the questions outlined in this article before making any holiday purchases. Wealth creation doesn’t happen by following poor spending habits. Click here to get a financial planning worksheet that’ll help you keep on track.