You’ve probably heard of Ebenezer Scrooge confronting the ghosts of his past, present, and future in Charles Dickens’ famous novel A Christmas Carol. Well, here’s how you can deal with similar spooks of the financial kind.
Christmas is, of course, a time for joyous celebration. Few things beat getting together with your family and friends while drinking copious amounts of eggnog around the Christmas tree.
Keep in mind that Christmas is also a time for giving, so try and loosen those Credit Cards and purse strings a little bit. After all, you wouldn’t want to end up like stingy, old Ebenezer Scrooge, hoarding your money away like a miserly weasel.
In the midst of all this gaiety, it could also do you a world of good if you take some time off during the holidays to reassess your financial situation. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and your Santa hat. It’s time to confront the ghosts of your financial past, present and future.
Let’s get into the ‘spirit’ of things, shall we?
The Ghosts Of Your Financial Past
When it comes to dwelling in the past, especially from a financial point of view, most people tend to have a long list of regrets. How many times have you facepalmed yourself for not investing in Mutual Funds or Insurance at a young age?
Few things can be more excruciating than watching your friends talk about how much money their money has grown over the years, while you’re busy counting the moths in your wallet. Even opening a Fixed Deposit early on in life could have fetched you a tidy sum many years later.
However, most people generally tend to regret not saving enough money during the formative years of their career. We have a general tendency to blow up our income on the most frivolous things when we’re young and hot-blooded, before wondering where all that money went once we hit our 30’s.
There’s nothing you can do about your past since it’s already cast in stone. But you can certainly learn from your mistakes. After all, experience is the wisest of teachers. So, make sure you don’t let the errors of your past haunt you for the rest of your life.
Additional Reading: Financial Mistakes You Will Regret At Age 50
The Ghosts Of Your Financial Present
Dwelling on the past can certainly furrow many an eyebrow. But it’s those niggling financial spooks in the here and now that are responsible for many a soul sitting all glum during a Christmas party.
If you’re currently haunted by crippling Credit Card debt, massive loan repayments or even poor investments, now is the time to bring out the financial ghostbuster in you and do away with them slowly but surely.
Don’t expect Santa to climb down the chimney with a sack full of cash and bail you out of your financial predicament. You need to take stock of your situation. Come up with a plan to reduce your debt burden as soon as possible.
The best way to do this is through budgeting. Keep a track of your expenses and cut down on anything that can be deemed superfluous. Divert your monthly income towards savings, debt repayment, and household expenses.
With a three-pronged budget such as this, you could find yourself climbing out of your financial hole sooner than you know it. All it takes is a little bit of discipline and some Scrooge-like behaviour (when it comes splurging) to get things back on track.
Additional Reading: How Budgeting Can Transform Your Financial Life
The Ghosts Of Your Financial Future
When it comes to our financial futures, we usually tend to dump them somewhere in the back of our sleds because we’re too busy trying to navigate a bunch of reindeer through the financial wreckage of our lives.
If there’s one thing that SHOULD haunt you in the here and now is the possibility that you could be woefully underprepared from a financial standpoint once you hit the age of retirement. You really don’t want to be left out in the cold without a penny to your name once you finally hang up your boots.
This is why making the right investment choices while simultaneously building an emergency fund is absolutely imperative. Sure, making sure your head is above water in the present is important. But it would be equally prudent to keep one eye on your future as well.
Luckily for you, there are a ton of long-term investment options out there that could fetch you a sizeable amount of money once you decide you’ve had enough of slaving behind your desk.
You could open a Public Provident Fund account (PPF) which could see your investment grow consistently over a period of 15 years or more. If you’re looking for higher returns, then investing regular monthly amounts in a Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) could be a great way to grow substantial wealth over time.
Additional Reading: Everything You Need To Know About SIP Investing In Mutual Funds
The best Christmas gift you can give yourself this festive season is the gift of financial stability. Even someone as stubborn as Ebenezer Scrooge eventually came around and saw the error of his ways. So there’s no reason you can’t either.
Remember, don’t let your financial ghosts turn into full-blown financial demons. With a little bit of planning and foresight, you could spirit away all your financial troubles before you know it.
If you’re looking for some fantastic financial products to help you on your way, you’ve come to the right place. So, come on over and get your fill this Christmas. Oh and don’t forget the eggnog!