New year’s money aims

Central Leader - - NEWS -

The start of the new year brings a fresh chance to do things bet­ter.

And so we make our new year’s res­o­lu­tions and they tend to come down to three things: Strate­gies to end the year richer, to get healthy and to be a kinder, bet­ter per­son.

Only the first re­ally falls un­der my purview and I think of a year be­ing a fi­nan­cial suc­cess if you end it richer and more fi­nan­cially sta­ble than you be­gin it.

To do that, you have to earn more, and/or save more and/or spend less.

You, our read­ers, have shared some of your thoughts on th­ese with me.

Save more: With next year’s Christ­mas sea­son in mind, Zona Whyte out­lined the sys­tem she has de­vised to make the year’s end less of a fi­nan­cial strain.

‘‘I would like to share a suc­cess­ful new year’s money res­o­lu­tion I made two years’ ago with the aim of tak­ing the fi­nan­cial stress out of Christ­mas.

‘‘Think­ing about the old adage ‘pay your­self first’, I de­cided to put $20 a week into a su­per­mar­ket Christ­mas club to cover food and to save $20 a week to­wards the cost of gifts.

‘‘This was so suc­cess­ful the first year that I dou­bled the gift money to $40 this year and have a hefty sum left over for hol­i­day ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘Even with miss­ing a cou­ple of weeks this year when we were over­seas, I man­aged to save $840.’’

Spend less: Reader Ted Jones says: ‘‘Elim­i­nate, or at least sub­stan­tially re­duce, eat­ing and drink­ing out.

‘‘Many peo­ple, es­pe­cially the young, are vul­ner­a­ble to th­ese ex­penses. For some, the habit is so en­trenched as to be nor­mal.

‘‘I am nei­ther a huge cof­fee drinker nor a boozer, nei­ther is my son, but the dif­fer­ence be­tween my son’s ex­pense sheet and mine is ridicu­lous and eat­ing and drink­ing out is prob­a­bly the rea­son.’’

And he warns against the gym­trap.

‘‘I main­tain a high level of fit­ness us­ing a 30-year-old ex­er­cy­cle, a few cheap weights, ex­panders and a bull­worker.

‘‘I use a hand­mower, walk where pos­si­ble and do plenty of man­ual labour in the sec­tion,’’ he says.

Ne­ces­sity led Char­lotte Breb­ner to trim spend­ing show­ing just how much those of us not faced with forced re­duc­tions could achieve.

Ms Breb­ner sold the art on the walls and gold in the jew­ellery box as part of a bid to sell ev­ery­thing that was su­per­flu­ous to daily life, re­al­is­ing cash and low- er­ing the insurance bill. She can­celled the man who cut the hedges and bought a hedge trim­mer with Fly Buys, changed land­line phone plans, re­duced the premi­ums on house insurance by in­creas­ing the ex­cess and now bakes birth­day gifts for friends.

‘‘It just takes some in­ven­tive con­tem­pla­tion, a few phone calls, some re­silience and some will power.

‘‘Life is still hard but with th­ese things in place I know it will be­come eas­ier over the next few months.

‘‘As I of­ten say to my­self – when life throws you lemons, make lemon­ade.’’

Give more: Life’s not all about amass­ing wealth in Jaque­lina Oliviar’s book.

‘‘Many years ago I read a book by a bil­lion­aire.

‘‘He wrote a many things which made an im­pres­sion on me and iron­i­cally how to make money did not stick in my mind but what did was that each year he made a point of giv­ing 10 per cent of what he made to a wor­thy cause.

‘‘Now as I said I am on the smaller end of fi­nan­cial mar­ket but even so the 5 per cent that I give away has not im­pacted on my life in a detri­men­tal way.’’

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