The Importance of Reining in Spending This Holiday Season

Statera Financial Planners |

With the holiday season upon us many Canadian get very anxious about their finances during this time of year.

A nationwide survey by FP Canada reveals 37% of Canadians report that their bank accounts cannot withstand a financial emergency, and 20% rarely or never pay off their credit card balance each month. That can be an even more uncomfortable experience with the expectations looming throughout the next thirty days.

That doesn't mean that many of us aren't aware of the necessity to be responsible with our money during the holiday shopping season, and professionals like Statera Financial Planners are here to help mitigate those worries with proper cashflow and budget preparation throughout the year!

Here are a few quick tips to help avoid the credit card temptations this December:

  1. Pay your balance in full. If you only pay the minimum amount, interest quickly compounds, adds to your debt and increases the costs of the items you purchased. All the sales you just shopped actually end up costing you much more, and adds no value to your life overall.
  2. Budget. Just because a credit card company keeps giving you a higher credit limit doesn’t mean you can afford to max out your cards. Only put on your card what you can reasonably afford to pay back out of your budget. And make sure a portion of your budget is earmarked for credit card repayments every month.
  3. Have a repayment plan. If you make a major purchase on a credit card, ensure you have a plan to repay it:
    1. Figure out how much you can afford to pay back every month then do slightly more than that if possible.
    2. Determine how much time it will take you to do so and how much it will cost you in interest.
    3. Set up automatic payments from your chequing account to your credit card.
    4. Once you are done with that payment, reduce it by $50 and shift that payment to another debt or start saving it, since you have become used to living without it — trick yourself!
  4. Never use your credit cards to fill any gaps in income. If you lose your job or take a pay cut, adjust your spending and lifestyle to make up for the loss of income. If you can’t seem pay down your balance, you might be living larger than you can afford.
  5. Think before you spend. Leave your credit card at home when shopping so you can use the drive back as a chance to think about whether you really need that new bike or those new sneakers. Chances are you’ll have second thoughts.
  6. Avoid FOMO. Don’t fall victim to the old “fear of missing out” syndrome, known as FOMO. It happens when you start coveting what other people have instead of focusing on what you actually need. Set financial goals based on your true, real needs, not your whims. Save for some single special something that you really desire to guard against FOMO-fueled impulse spending.
  7. If you’re ever struggling, in doubt, or need advice, turn to Statera Financial Planners to help!  


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