By Dave Kavanagh
Are there actions you can take to make the festive season less of a financial burden? Of course there are.Firstly, manage expectations: Most people can’t remember what they got 2 years ago, so don’t put yourself under too much pressure for “big” presents. Next, leave the credit card at home: At about 20% interest, adding debt for things you don’t need to overspend on, only starts the new year off in a negative.Be realistic with food shopping: The shops are only closed for 1-2 days, do you really need to stock up so much? In the days/weeks after Christmas, make a list of all the things you bought but didn’t really need or through out, and keep it for next year, so you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Kris Kindle: Talk to family and close friends to agree to pick one person and buy them a present for a set limit, to ease the burden.There are things you can also do all year round that can save you enough to cover the cost of Christmas: Switch utility providers, the savings can be quite substantial. Compare before you shop for larger items: Just because one store has a sign saying the TV you want is reduced from €799 to €699, doesn’t mean that another store that does not have a sale on, isn’t selling the same TV for €649. Take the time to shop around when your car or house insurance renewals come in, it can be well worth the effort. Review premiums that you pay regularly, such as mortgage protection or life cover, especially if they were taken out directly with a bank who could not compare. Finally, go through a few months’ bank statements: we regularly find people paying for things that should have been cancelled years before or that they simply no longer require.
Dave Kavanagh QFA has been advising people financially for over 25 years. For quotes or information (with no cost or obligation) he can be contacted by emailing him on email@example.com or use the contact form on www.financialcompanion.ie or @Davekav_advice on Twitter and Instagram. Combined with his previous role of gym/nutrition adviser, he regularly gives talks and workshops at seminars and events for groups, companies and government departments on financial wellbeing, positivity and motivation. As heard on RTE 2FM , LMFM and TV3.