We Don't Talk Anymore
Making the most of this Holiday Season.
Christmas and New Year is a great time of the year (unless you work in retail, I'm told). Christmas parties, winding down of the work year, school holidays, sunshine and pool time. Plus the food. Oh, the food! For me, Christmas is an awesome time in our family. My beautiful mother-in-law Gail quite literally 'decks the halls' with Christmas decorations, outdoor lights and has better packing skills than Amazon, with her ability to fill a fridge/freezer with more food than a small army could eat.
After the Christmas period though I feel a level of regret for another reason. Lost opportunity. When else do you have the time to spend with your family, your friends and relatives and actually talk, plan and set a tone for the New Year? And use the downtime during this holiday period?
This year I want you to join me and use this opportunity to do three important tasks:
- Talk to your loved ones
- Review your finances
- Make a plan
When you're talking to loved ones, recognise that everyone has a unique and valuable perspective on life. Older generations have the benefit of experience and hindsight. Younger generations have the experience of new technology, exuberance and hope.
Ask everyone questions! Even if you think you know the answer, you'll be surprised and sometimes impressed with another's viewpoint and perspective. Everyone leads their own life and has walked a different path, which is valuable. Plus you don't know what you don't know.
For me, I love hearing about investing and experiences. Hearing stories about bad investments, great investments and investments that they wish they had made, it really gives me a kick! It's fulfilling to hear another person light up with excitement as they recount a story of their experiences and it's also a great way to learn.
Reviewing your finances can mean a number of things, depending on where you are in life. It can mean checking your interest rate and fees on your home loan. It can mean reviewing what credit card Balance Transfers are available. It can be getting a comparison quote on your insurance (car/boat/home/life). You have the time, most things are only a few clicks or a phone call away and I remind you: you have the time. There can be some great satisfaction in knowing that you have found a better price (for whatever) via a few smartphone searches, all whilst spending the time on your couch watching whatever miserable TV is on. Another way is to seek professional help by seeing a Mortgage Broker, Insurance Broker or Financial Planner to review your facilities professionally.
Finally, Make a Plan. It can be a total life blueprint, it can be a couple of notes you keep on the fridge. Whatever it looks like, commit some time to think about what is important to you and detail what steps you need to take to achieve it. Remember a goal without a plan is just a dream. And don't get me wrong, dreams are great! I'm the biggest dreamer I know, but no one is going to help you realise your dream. You are going to need to do it yourself.
If you want to have stronger finances, develop a budget, create a savings plan and stick to it. If you want to progress your career/income, identify your strengths and continue to enhance them. Study.
If you want to be healthier, plan your meals and prepare them in advance. Say no to things that do not help you achieve your goal.
Finish this year strong and start your New Year with a Plan.(Originally published DUO Magazine November 2017)