Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
End of the year . It already smells like punch and Christmas dinner, the resolutions for the new year begin and for your well-deserved effort, the long-awaited Christmas gift arrives, but do you know what you are going to do with it?
In addition to thinking about buying gifts, and spending it on end-of-year promotions, some decide to pay off debts. According to a study carried out by CONDUSEF: 90% of Mexicans think about using their Christmas bonus to pay their debts but only 35% comply with it and the rest are affected in their finances.
How many times have you said: ‘on Monday I start the diet’ or ‘this year I do save’, ‘now I pay all my debts’? But that Monday never comes.
If you answered affirmatively to these questions, calm down, you are not the only one, you just need a little more structure and that is why I give you these recommendations of what YES to do and what NOT to do when you receive your Christmas bonus:
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO
- Fall into temptation: You will be surrounded by offers, promotions, months without interest. Be careful! Avoid buying things you don’t need – no matter how cheap they are.
- Acquire new debts: If you do not have debts, do not complicate yourself. Start 2020 with healthy finances and forget about those annoying payments.
- Make compulsive purchases: Acquire only what you need, if you did not plan to buy something, do not do it.
- Spend everything on Christmas gifts: Many people will buy gifts as if they were Santa Claus, but don’t worry, you are not. I recommend that ‘if you want to show love to your loved ones you can give them something made for you and that does not affect your finances’.
- Abusing credit cards: If you already had in mind to buy certain things but you realized that you are not enough to buy everything in cash, use your credit card, but the author remembers that we should not abuse them and you have to be special Pay attention to the interest-free months trick.
- Grabbing little by little: If you don’t have in mind what you are going to spend your money on, don’t go grabbing “little by little” generating expenses ant, because as they say: drop by drop the water runs out … and your money too .
- Allocate all the money to a single thing: Unless it is to pay your debts or to invest it, do not use all your Christmas bonus to buy things that you will not need.
- Lending: Many people take advantage of the fact that everyone has money and begin to borrow to be able to spend more. I recommend that you only lend money if you do not need it and that you think that ‘money you lend is money you give away’.
- Spending to spend: If you don’t need it, don’t buy it, not because you have money you have to spend it.
- Make emotional purchases: It is similar to being tempted. Do not get carried away by the flashy offers that make you buy things that you think you need momentarily and later you realize that you only let yourself be carried away by your emotions.
WHAT YOU MUST DO
- Pay debts: Before you get more debt, try to pay what you owe. If you only have one debt, try to pay it off once and for all, if you have more than one, advance payments or reduce your debts. I assure you that this will bring you peace of mind to start the year well.
- Invest: The best thing about having money is that you can make it grow. If you are not an investment expert and one of your New Year’s resolutions is to learn, the author recommends that you start at CETES (and you can do it from $ 100).
- Resume your resolutions: Is the year ending and you did not fulfill any of your resolutions? If you were planning to take a trip, take classes or buy something, but you had not had the opportunity or the money, take advantage of your Christmas bonus and make sure you don’t finish the year without having completed at least one.
- Think ahead: If you do not manage your money well, remember that January is coming and if you do not prevent yourself, your finances can be affected and January can be the most difficult month of the year. So think ahead.
- Separate between needs and wants: Before you go shopping at the end of the year, make a list and order it according to the needs you really have and discard what you “think you need” (but not).
- Have a backup: Include it in your budget, save a little of your Christmas bonus for any unforeseen event that occurs on these dates.
- Compare: In many stores, whenever there is mass shopping season, they take the opportunity to inflate their prices and put some “offers”. Do not buy in the first place you go, better go ahead to compare prices and choose the one that suits you best.
- Make a budget: Separate your Christmas bonus so that you know how much you are going to spend on what, plan your finances for this end of the year and prevent your money from ending up where you least expected it.
- Reward yourself: The bonus is the result of your effort throughout the year, it is worth using part of it to buy whatever you want, but remember, only part.
- Take care of your money: It is your money and nobody is going to take care of it for you. Take responsibility for managing it and having healthy finances.
If in previous years you have done more things that you should NOT do than you DO with your Christmas bonus, it is time to generate the change you need before the end of the year.
And so that it does not happen to you again, I recommend that you assign a destination to each peso that reaches your pocket starting from today.