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Avoid a Financial Hangover this Festive Season

Do you get to January with no money left in the bank? Plan for your cash to last.

Paul Leonard

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The festive season isn’t called the silly season without reason. Many of us lose our sense of control over many things including our wallets and end up with a financial hangover in January.

Many people receive their December cheque half way through the month and will have spent it all before Christmas day. This means that they have nothing to carry them through until the end of January.

Some people wonder when their employers are going to pay that cheque into their account hoping it will be on, say, the 18th or 19th of December already. Does this imply that their November money is already finished?

If they use up their December money before Christmas what are they going to do until the end of January? Probably use their overdraft or credit card and spend the next 11 months paying that off just in time to repeat this exercise next December.

This scenario plays itself out year after year. So here are a few thoughts that may help you avoid the January hangover and still enjoy the festive season.

Making your cash last

Start by creating a simple festive season budget. This doesn’t have to be a complicated thing, a simple list on a sheet of paper, in a note book or the back of your diary will do.

Your December income probably has to last until the end of January so make a list of all of the things that you need to pay for between now and then. This could include:

  • Your normal monthly expenses for December and January
  • Extra new-year expenses such as new school uniforms, sports equipment, stationery, deposits for school/university fees.

Once you have set this money aside you can now allocate money towards gifts and holiday.

Gifts:

Firstly determine the amount that you plan to spend on gifts.

Next identify the people you need to buy gifts for. List all of the people such as mom, dad, children, grandparents, brothers and sisters. Don’t forget other relatives and then work associates and colleagues, staff members and bosses. You may even want to include the hairdresser, teacher, the garbage collectors, gardener, maid, car guard and so on.

Next to each name write how much you would like to spend on each person.

Then think about what each person might like to receive as a gift. If you know them well enough you might ask them for a gift idea or wish list. As you buy the gifts, cross them off of the list and reduce the balance that you still have available for gifts.

You might want to buy gifts for the higher priority people in your life first (like your spouse) just in case you come across something that costs more than you originally budgeted for which means that someone else (like the garbage collector) might get bumped off of the list.

Holiday:

Figure out how much you want to spend on the festive season and then divide that amount by the number of days you are going to spend on holiday. That is the amount that you can spend each day.

You could keep a note book/pad in which you jot down your expenses each day deducting them from your total available cash. Another alternative is to use the simple envelope system where you draw your holiday budget out of your bank as cash and then divide that cash amongst an envelope (or plastic bank packet) for each day.

One benefit of this system is that it is really simple to keep track of your spending, another is that it helps you prevent overspending because you actually part with hard cash and you never spend more than you have – once the envelope is empty it is empty.

Each day you simply put that day’s bank packet into your pocket or purse and you can spend without guilt.  If you have ‘cheap’ day you can save that money for a more expensive day later on (or vice versa).

These are just a couple of suggested ways to control your cash this festive season. Find one that works for you so that you can have fun this festive season without guilt or a financial hangover.

Paul Leonard CFP® is an executive director of Consolidated Financial Planning. He runs the Eastern Cape region and is intimately involved in the Corporate Solutions division of the company. He has become well known throughout the Eastern Cape for his daily personal finance insert called MONEY TALK on Algoa FM, and was the national runner up of the Financial Planner of the Year awards in 2006. Visit www.consolidated.co.za for more information.

Personal Finance

6 Ways To Develop A Millionaire Mindset

Chasing money has remarkably little to do with getting rich.

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If you truly want to have a million dollars, you must first be and think like a millionaire. By doing so, you will attract the necessary resources to you.

So, you want to become a millionaire entrepreneur? You’re not alone. Many dream of leaving their job and becoming their own boss, enjoying the various millionaire lifestyles we watch on TV. But there’s a difference between those who dream of becoming millionaires and those who do. And it begins and ends with mindset. If you don’t develop that mindset, you will continue to spin your wheels, working just as hard, but never going anywhere.

Developing a millionaire mindset requires you to stretch your thinking. Start by developing the following six attributes.

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Personal Finance

4 Ways To Become A Millionaire Even When You Start With Little

It costs nothing to take advantage of the limitless opportunities online.

Timothy Sykes

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The hardest part of becoming successful is getting started to begin with. But despite the challenges ahead of you, there’s a way to become a millionaire when starting with little. I’m going to show you four reasons why you can become a millionaire with just a small investment.

1. First focus on learning, not big gain

Education is your greatest weapon. Focus on learning in the beginning. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on making huge gains in the beginning. Learn everything you can because this is how you build the foundations for long-term gains.

Related: 21 Choices Millionaires Make That You Aren’t Making But Should Be

They say that if a millionaire goes bankrupt they’ll nearly always be able to get it back. And that’s because they might have lost their money, but they have the knowledge of how to get back to where they need to be.

2. You can learn loads about any topic online

online-learning

I’m grateful for the internet. It’s the single biggest library in the world. You’re reading this article right now and you’re acquiring knowledge you wouldn’t have been able to acquire 40 years ago.

Use the internet to its fullest extent, whether that’s through reading books, browsing articles or watching video tutorials. Set some time aside every day to learn something online. It could be a video series or a favorite blog.

When you get into the habit of learning regularly you’ll find that you advance much faster.

3. Focus on the niche you love

These days you can learn about anything and target the niche you’re passionate about.

This is what I was able to do with penny stocks. I found a gap in the market and provided knowledge to people who wouldn’t have otherwise being able to access this sort of information.

You can do that with absolutely any niche. When you find a niche you’re passionate about and you use the reach of the Internet you start to make huge gains.

4. Prove your expertise by creating free content

Your reputation as an authority is the new business card. There’s a reason I created a penny stock guide and made it free for all. You may have already seen ads for it on social media. The way to succeed with little is to create a reputation through your content.

Related: How To Become A Millionaire, Explained In 1 Minute

It’s the gateway to success because through free content you start to build relationships with others who value your work. And from there everyone gets richer.

You can do lots with a little

The days when you needed a huge investment to become successful are long gone. These days you can do so much with just a little. Find what you love, advance your knowledge in that area, and create a product that fulfills a need. Finally, work on building up relationships through portraying yourself as an authority on your subject.

Combine everything together and you can accomplish anything.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.


Related: 13 Habits Of Self-Made Millionaires You Could Adopt Today

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Personal Finance

10 Tips To Become A Millionaire This Year

Becoming a millionaire requires changing your mindset and implementing some changes.

Murray Newlands

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Becoming a millionaire may seem out of your reach, but it’s possible with the right attitude and guidance. The fact of the matter is your income can only grow as quickly as you do, so you need to change your mindset to achieve your goal of becoming a millionaire.

Once you have a millionaire mind, you can’t lose it, no matter what financial or business mistakes you make along the way. To get yourself there, you’re going to need some structure. To help you, I’ve outlined the top ten tips you should follow to become a millionaire this year.

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