The Old Year is out and the New Year is in so it is a great time of year to take stock of the household finances and begin to plan towards a better financial future.
As I write this article school hasn’t started yet so there is a lull in the annual spending cycle, so use this time to plan for the coming year. You know when the big costs are going to happen… school costs February, Easter in April, sporting activities, Halloween, Christmas etc etc. You could start that Supermarket Christmas Club and put away small amounts over a longer period or even take stock of what’s in the cupboards and drawers at home cleaning out old and unused stuff. The Rotorua Buy Sell and Swap website is a great way to get rid of some of those unused or unwanted clothes and stuff and make a little bit of money or even have a garage sale.
I am sure that many people out there have made New Year Resolutions for themselves but you should also consider the financial implications of those resolutions.
For example, if your resolution is to take a trip overseas later in the year then planning for how you are going to afford everything should be done now.
One of my New Year resolutions is to teach my mokopuna about saving and the future benefits of putting away a little over a long period of time. Their parents have already set up bank accounts so all I really have to do is get them to take an active interest in seeing their bank balance grow. Teaching kids how to save for future benefits by sacrificing their spending today is a skill that doesn’t seem to be on the priority list of important skills for younger generations these days.
As stated in last year’s February article the biggest event in the month for most families in Rotorua is the beginning of the school year and the accompanying costs of school uniforms, text books and stationery. So make the most of seasonal discounts for text books and stationery and look for good quality second hand uniforms still in good order. Consider these costs as an investment in your child’s future but remember to always cover the basics of accommodation, food and power before spending and try to avoid buying on credit. Schools know that many families out there are under financial pressure at the start of a school year so if you have problems then talk to the schools. Don’t ignore the problems hoping they will go away.
Nga mihi o te Tau Hou and I hope it will be a good one for you financially!
(Manager – Rotorua Budget Advisory Service Inc)