It can be hard to stop yourself from overspending at Christmas, no matter how strict you are the rest of the year. Many people admit to over spending on their credit card or taking out a high cost to help them pay for their perfect Christmas. Spending on your credit card is no crime, as long as you can pay it back.
With the average UK household spending £500 upwards on Christmas this year, keeping an eye on your costs is important to avoid being caught in a spiral of debt and taking several months to pay off your holiday season.
The key is to be realistic with what you can afford and to save if you want to spend more than you usually would in a month. Preparation is key. So, to help you avoid overspending this festive period, we have put together ways in which you can do so.
As it gets closer to Christmas, families are aware of the massive costs that are coming their way. If you have a big family, you might find that you are going to really struggle to afford all of the presents that you need to buy, especially if you only work part time. The good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can save money for Christmas. This includes things like setting a budget, picking up some extra hours and much more. In this article, we are going to take you through some of the things that you can do. Keep reading if you’d like to find out more about this.
Set A Budget
Our first tip for those who are trying to save money for Christmas is to set a budget. Setting a budget is not as difficult as you may think, you’ll need to think about all of the money that you have coming in and out of your account and write it all down. Once you have done this, you can give yourself a weekly budget that you’ll need to stick to in the lead up to Christmas. Of course, you’ll probably have to keep the cost of Christmas presents out of your budget but make sure to factor this in.
Investing is something that many people would like to get started with, but shy away from due to feelings of nerves. Often, the main off-putting factor is that there’s no guarantee of a good return – and, of course, this is true to some extent. In the world of investing, very few things are ever predictable or guaranteed. However, there are some ways to improve your chances of success. From doing your research and monitoring the market to opting for diversified, balanced portfolio types, you can increase the odds that your investments will work out in your favour.
Diversify your portfolio
The first way to preserve your returns when investing is to diversify your portfolio as much as possible. Diversification essentially means spreading your investment capital around as many different vehicles and asset classes as possible. As an example, you may decide to focus 20% of your portfolio on cryptocurrencies, 50% on equities and the remaining 30% on property. If one of the classes to which you are exposed declines in value while others rise, then you won’t lose everything – and the impact on your return will hopefully be small.
When you’re starting out on a new business venture, it doesn’t matter how experienced you are, how fantastic your idea is; creating a business requires a huge amount of hard work. It can be an exciting process, however, there are lots of things that can go wrong but the potential benefits are huge. Getting your business going and having it succeed is not easy and requires a healthy amount of funding, which must then be spent in the correct way. So, what can you do to get off to the best possible start?
Planning and then planning more is essential, cash is king and if you don’t have a healthy flow throughout the business, it will only end in trouble. Cash is the lifeblood of any business, ensuring that you plan and save, can potentially keep you out of trouble. When it comes to funding and aiding cash flow, there are some effective tasks which you can put into place to ease things along.
Whether you’re starting a new business or are already running one, having a reliable trustworthy accountant can be hugely beneficial for the business. They can offer advice on what sort of organisation your business needs to be (a sole trader, partnership or limited company) and provide good advice about taxation. Accountants can also relieve some of the workload on a business especially if you are a relatively new entity. Your accountant can also do all the necessary book keeping for certain records and tell you the correct places where your company needs to be registered. This can allow business owners to focus on their usual job and day to day running of the business.
Property investment is a lucrative way to save for the future and make the most of your finances. Many people consider property investment and unfortunately many people make mistakes. We’ve highlighted seven common mistakes that property investors can make and how you can avoid them.
Lack of Planning
The Benjamin Franklin quote is something like ‘If you Fail to Plan, You are Planning to Fail’. When it comes to property investment, having a clear plan and strategy is vital. Many short-sighted investors are caught out by a lack of clear goals and a strategic plan. Property investment is a long-term game, with the greatest payoffs often years, even decades after the initial investment. Being methodical, writing down your plan and setting realistic goals and targets are vital skills for property investors.
Unwise investors are often far too emotionally attached to their property. Investment is a strategy to provide financial security for your future and a clear head and analytic mind are essential. Getting emotionally attached to your investments can make it harder to be objective, harder to sell and harder to make decisions about. Being realistic and detached can allow you to make better decisions and avoid this mistake.
You may have heard a lot over the years about share trading, and perhaps even heard a story or two about people who have made a significant amount of money through the stock market. While share trading is hard work, and not to be entered into without doing your preparation, it can be lucrative for those with the right skills and qualities.
Before you take the plunge, it’s a good idea to understand the basics, or to refresh your understanding with this brief beginners guide to shares.
What is a share?
A share is effectively a piece of a company. When you buy a share, you are buying a part of that company, and that share has a monetary value. As a shareholder you also become entitled to a say in how the company is run, through voting at their Annual General Meeting, and you may from time to time receive a payment from the company called a dividend, which is paid out to all shareholders as a form of profit sharing.
The small business sector in the UK has an annual turnover of almost £2tn – yet despite that, it’s almost certain that each and every firm in this industry has had to think about costs at one stage or another. From the price of paying staff to the fees levied on all kinds of business transactions, spending money seems impossible to avoid. Luckily, there are ways out of the cash black hole – and these are just some of them.
Do it yourself
When a small business owner first starts out, the risks can feel so overwhelming that it seems like the right thing to do to outsource lots of new and confusing tasks. Marketing, for example, can seem like a tough nut to crack, especially if you’re not very digitally savvy or keen to use Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms – so it makes sense to pay a professional to do this for you.
However, if you’re looking to cut costs, then this sort of outsourcing is often the first port of call. It’s possible to learn how to do tasks such as marketing yourself, while it’s also easy to pick up skills such as basic repairs in your premises. Perhaps the only “must-have” professional is an accountant, especially if you’re a limited company: the risks involved with getting your tax return or document filing process wrong are too great to ignore.