It’s that time of the year when planning for Christmas means gifts, family gatherings, holiday breaks – and a big, deep step into cashflow!
Ideally, we would all have a savings “wallet” for the season’s shopping. Remember the 50-20-20-10 rule: 50% towards expenses; 20% to pay off debt; 20% to savings and pension, 10% to savings for fun. This season’s spending would be in the 10% for fun.
If our savings plan did not work, then, a forward looking cash flow helps us manage our budgeting and minimize debt whether overdrawing on a cash account or on our credit cards (both expensive debt).
How to forecast budget:
Make a list of the gifts and party gatherings.
Sum up the total – and have a look at how it impacts the current cash flow, how it stretches into obligations for January 2022.
Then make decisions – what is necessary, what is excessive.
- On gifts – it’s the thought that counts, not the price. Look for gift options that are fun and price optimal.
- On party gatherings – if you are hosting, prepare menus and budget for items that are fresh in your local market. Pre-order for those that may be pricey on last minute orders. If you are a guest at a party, pre-order gifts and wrappings, or make your own (again it’s the thought that counts, not the price).
- For travel – in-country travel could be equal fun and less carbon footprint – and if you are heading abroad, look for interesting destinations that are off the beaten track and the high price list.
- For party wear shopping – shops and boutiques carry stock from previous seasons that are equally glamorous as this year’s – at discounted price. You are the party glam not the dress!
We all know that spontaneous, unplanned overspending for the season’s celebrations digs a hole in our cash flow making it harder to start on a good stead in the new year.
Our forward looking cash flow tool is ready for you to use on our tools page.
There is a positive way to think of saving and planning for Christmas as an exercise of expanding our mind. Esther Perel, the psychotherapist expert on relationships writes in her recent newsletter about the concept of adaptability and resilience.
Given the rising cost of goods and services whilst our income stays the same (inflation), it is important to learn to adapt our habits on spending and build resilience in our savings and cash flow. The festive season and each festive season tempt our spontaneous selves. We leave you with a quote by Esther Perel which we think is worth considering.
“Bending is deeply important to me. Physically, it’s a stretch that awakens the body and expands our edges. It improves our flexibility, agility, and nimbleness. Psychologically, bending is what we’re called to do when we can’t change our circumstances, when we can only change how we react to them. It’s what businesses call “pivoting.” It’s what immigrants have done forever. It’s what I and many others call “adaptability.” And it’s an essential part of resilience”. For more information on Esther Perel, see https://www.estherperel.com/about