As the nights get longer and the weather gets colder, there’s no doubt that Christmas is on its way. Christmas may be the a great time of year to catch up with family, friends and Christmas TV, but it’s bad for your wallet; but a new year could mean a new start.
Image courtesy of Librarian by Day from Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/photos/23697075@N03/4080864736/
Chances are you’re committing some of the seven deadly sins of saving, but how is this affecting your bank balance?
The First Sin: Lack of Self-Control
The first of the seven deadly sins is lust, and lusting over items you can’t really afford is a big no-no for healthy finances.
Christmas is a particularly difficult time to practice self-control as the advertising world goes into meltdown tempting you with this year’s must-have gifts. Our lack of control can lead to us spending frivolously in the run up to Christmas, and having to struggle with the effects of our financial lust in January.
Consider setting yourself a budget to limit impulse buys, and help this along by putting a portion of your income into savings each month.
The Second Sin: Laziness
The second of the sins is Sloth. By being too lazy to sort out your personal finances you are leaving yourself open to financial drama later on.
Neglecting your finances through apathy is one of the more inexcusable mistakes you can make in regards to your finances; a single missed payment or banking error due to your inactivity could leave you open to costly interest payments.
Keep on top of your outgoing payments and take the time to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
The Third Sin: Excessive Waste
The third sin is Gluttony and it’s usually viewed as overeating; Gluttony could also be something as trivial as overspending and other wasteful spending mistakes.
Avoiding waste can be difficult with Christmas around the corner, spending too much on food, gifts and other expensive items can lead you into a spiral of finance, but before you pull out the credit card this Christmas, think to yourself “Do I really need this much?”
Celebrating this festive season in moderation could lead to a financial present of your own in the New Year.
The Fourth Sin: Spending With Your Emotions
Wrath is the fourth sin. Wrath in this case means spending with your heart, not your head.
Making difficult financial decisions in a bad mood can lead to some serious consequences, but this also applies to other emotions; purchases made to make yourself feel better or through impatience can trash even the most well-made spending plan.
Try to make sure you’re making all of your important financial decisions with a clear head so you can be sure you’re making the right choice.
The Fifth Sin: Trying to Keep Up With The Joneses
The fifth deadly sin is envy and is characterised by the negative emotions we feel about not getting what we want.
During the festive season it can be difficult to look at the fancy trappings around you and not get a little envious, but balance these wants against the reality of your budget.
if you can’t afford something you shouldn’t be buying it, no matter how much you want it.
The Sixth Sin: Not Admitting Your Problems.
Sin number six is pride. Many people have difficulties with their savings but are too proud to ask for help. This is landing them in difficulties further along.
In the world of personal finance, pride does come before the fall; if you’re having trouble keeping out of the red this Christmas, admit your problems and ask for help. Whether this is an extension from a creditor or talking to friends and family a problem shared is a problem solved.
Rather than being too prideful to ask for help, face up to your problems and work to resolve them.
The Seventh Sin: Being Greedy.
Greed. The final sin needs no introduction, greed is the frugal spenders worst nightmare – the voice in their ear telling them to “spend spend spend”.
The risks to your savings should be apparent; spending more money has the obvious side effect of leaving you with less money, which isn’t a great situation to be in when you’re trying to save.
If you can’t ignore your greed entirely, try ignoring it for a little while – waiting for sales or money off vouchers before you pull out your cash.
Avoiding the Seven Deadly Sins
Avoiding these sins sounds easy enough, but this Christmas try to keep it simple.
– Don’t buy more than you need
– Don’t let yourself be pushed into purchases you don’t really want.
– Don’t avoid your responsibilities. Face up to your financial issues as they appear.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Author Information | Amie is a money saving guru blogger. In her spare time she blogs on a variety of different frugal savings blogs and in her profession she specialises in Fixed Rate Bonds (fairinvestment.co.uk/fixed_rate_bonds)and High Interest Savings Accounts (fairinvestment.co.uk/savings_accounts)