Planning the cost of your Christmas


The Christmas and holiday break is a time when most people throw caution to the wind. Credit cards are drawn to their limits, budgets are thrown out the window, and – waist lines are drawn to their limits too! Now, you don’t do that do you?!

In my last few posts, I harped on about the need for Kiwi Families to be setting budgets and tracking their spending. So, I’m sure you’re tired of hearing that from me! Even though this really is the ‘secret weapon’ to financial success, I’m going to set aside the subject of watching your spending over the coming holiday period. I’d love for you to be doing it, but you’re in party mode right now and you don’t want to hear that from me!

“Phew” I hear you saying? Well – I’m not letting you off that lightly!

Here’s what I want you to do (to ensure that next year’s end of year frivolities pack no surprises and you’re well and truly ready for the huge monetary outlays):

When you’re back in the land of the living, the break is over, you’ve had your holiday, you’ve eaten more ham than is legal – I want you to do this one thing: – Look up your bank accounts or credit cards responsible for your Summer and Christmas spending. I want you to just do this very quick and easy exercise: Add up absolutely everything related to Christmas and your holiday. So that’s gifts, gas, accommodation, food, alcohol – you name it! Add it all up!

Every family in New Zealand will come up with different numbers. But, let’s say for example that the total for your family was $2500. Now, write down the date you returned to work and the 2012 slog really began for you. Then write down the date when you think you’ll begin your holiday next summer. Let’s say for example that you’re back at work on 09/01/2012 and your next Summer break begins on 23/12/2012.

Then I want you to go this website:

You’ll see from using the above data that there are 49 weeks until your next break and the silly season begins again. You can see where I’m going with this can’t you?

Divide your Christmas/Holiday spend by the number of weeks until you’re in party mode again. In our example, this is $2500 divided by 49 weeks. This brings us to a total of $51.

Now you know that you need to put aside $51 per week until next years spend-fest! If you want to be pedantic, you could add 3% to that figure to factor for inflation and the rise of the cost of goods. Bringing our figure to $53 per week.

Now – Go and have fun!!! Worry about budgeting next year with the above awesome tip!!

Take care out there!

Planning the cost of your Christmas was written by Daniel Carney. Daniel is an Authorised Financial Adviser at Goodlife Financial Advice. A disclosure statement is available, on request and free of charge by calling 0508 GOODLIFE.

Daniel Carney

This article was written by Daniel Carney. Daniel is an Authorised Financial Adviser at Goodlife Financial Advice* and is also a proud dad to two gorgeous kids. He's fanatical about the need to help kids become financially literate and can't wait until his own kids are old enough to play Monopoly with him. When he's not helping people sort their finances, Daniel plays guitar and drums in a band and enjoys spending time with family and getting lost in a good book.

*A disclosure statement is available, on request and free of charge by calling 0508 GOODLIFE.

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