Christmas doesn’t feel like it without gifts. But gifting can sometimes make you feel out of pocket. Here is a financial guide to help cheer up your post-Christmas finances.
Christmas is the time to rejoice with family and friends, and it feels incomplete if you don’t give gifts to your loved ones. But, gifts cost money and if you’ve been negligent with your finances this year, then you might need some help to get your post-Christmas finances on track.
If you are one of those whose bank account looks a little cold season, then this article is for you. We have prepared a financial guide for you. You have time until next Christmas to check all the items under it. Follow this list diligently and, trust us, your account will be as green and loaded as a Christmas tree.
Without further ado, here’s your guide to managing your finances post-Christmas!
Additional Reading: Simple Money Management Hacks
- Hold a post-Christmas yard sale
Christmas is the time to give and share, but all the giving can put a dent in your finances. However, you can give your finances a lift by holding a post-Christmas yard sale. After all, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Pick out things from your house that you don’t need anymore and put them up for sale. It could be clothes, jewellery, decoration items, furniture etc. You can organise a garage sale or sell all the items online. It will help you bag some extra cash and boost your festive finances.
- Start investing
No matter how big your salary, the cost of living might sooner or later cross your earning potential if you don’t invest your money. Investing is a must if you want to grow your money and your purchasing power. So, if you receive cash gifts this Christmas, use the money to start an investment plan for yourself. Believe us, you don’t need a big amount to start investing. You can start with an amount as little as Rs. 500. Mutual Funds are a good option. They are really popular because of the hefty returns they offer in the long run and don’t forget about the tax benefits that you get when you invest in certain Mutual Funds.
Additional Reading: 3 Reasons Why You Should Include ELSS Funds In Tax Planning
- Stem passive spending
Passive spending is made up of all the miniscule expenditures that pass right under your nose as quietly as thieves. Hence, you never know the damage they cause until you sum them up. This Christmas season, resolve to put an end to passive spending. You can begin by checking all the subscriptions that get auto-debited from your Credit Card or bank account. If you are not using a service, stop the subscription.
You could also consider stopping newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Their online counterparts are cheaper and also paperless! Save trees! You can even share the subscription cost with your family or friends who subscribe to the same services.
Other areas where you can stem passive spending is shopping. Buy only what you need. Don’t buy budget-friendly trinkets and goodies if you’ll never use them (even if they are cheap). You can also start cooking at home. This will save you a lot if you are someone who eats out all the time. Reconsider at all the expenses that seem small and miniscule at the time and then try avoiding them. These small savings will go a long way in adding to your wealth.
Additional Reading: 6 Must-Have Money Management Apps To Track Your Expenses
- Get disciplined or get a detox
Plan to work out post the holidays? How about getting your finances into shape too? How do you strengthen your finances? By creating a budget. If you can’t keep a daily budget, then make sure you evaluate your earnings, expenses, savings, and investments at least once a week or twice a month. This will help you keep an eye on your expenses and hold on to your money if it seems to be slipping away too quickly and in large amounts.
If things seem to be getting out of hand, then go for a financial detox. This is just like a physical detox. You cut down your spending. Pick any two months where you spend only minimum, just to cover your basic necessities. You can do a financial detox as often as you like.
- Shop for Credit Cards
Smart savings practices and controlled spending is just one part of good financial management. The other side is smart spending. After all, why do we earn? So that we can fulfil our dreams and live a progressively better life.
Smart spending involves using the right Credit Card. Banks are constantly improving the benefits that you get with Credit Cards and your old Credit Card might not be a match. Gift yourself a new Credit Card this Christmas season -one that is more aligned with your expenses and lifestyle needs. A new Credit Card will also come with a host of new benefits and joining perks. Use them to the fullest for a great start to another year.
Don’t do away with your old card. Keep it to pay utility bills. The older a credit account, more value it adds to your Credit Score.
- Clear your debts
Once you start following the above-mentioned suggestions, you’ll see an improvement in your bank balance. In case you’ve gone overboard this festive season and your debts have piled up, use the excess funds to start clearing your debts. You can take out a Personal Loan to consolidate your debts under the umbrella of one interest rate. Then use your kitty of excess funds and repay your Personal Loan. Regularly paying your loan EMIs will work wonders for your Credit Score. Banks consider your Credit score when evaluating your loan or Credit Card application. A Credit Score of 750+ is generally considered good.
Here’s our Christmas gift to you: You can check your Experian Credit Score for free on our website or mobile app and also get a free detailed analysis of your score.
- Make a donation
Nothing gives as much happiness as doing something for someone without expecting anything in return. This Christmas, share what you have with those in need. You can make a donation, plant a tree or take up a cause. You can even adopt a pet and give them a life of love and care.
Additional Reading: How To Score Maximum Tax Deductions On Charitable Donations
Don’t be forlorn if your finances look weak this Christmas season. Just follow this guide and you’ll be all merry before Santa comes next year. As for financial help, whether it’s a loan, Credit Card or investment options, you can visit BankBazaar.