In Summary

This festive season should not leave your wallet empty. But that can only be possible if you take a few precautions on how to spend your money, Annet Katusiime writes.

Christmas bells are ringing both in mind and pockets. Plans are laid up some are SMART... (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and Time-bound) while others plan to pass through the season the way it comes. However, this should be the time when we prepare for 2018 and more years to come.
Let me share with you a few tips on how to have a fruitful season and learn how to prepare for the New Year.

Set goals
Life without goals is like playing a game without a goal post. It does not motivate the player.
End of year gives us a chance to review and set financial goals that will be depicted in our achievements. You can set short, medium and long-term goals to help you rate yourself at the end of every cycle

Save
Yes, it is never too late to start saving. This is a time when some organisations give bonuses or tokens of appreciation especially if you are working in a formal organization. If you’re given this bonus, know that your employer has recognised the value in you added to the business throughout the year. Therefore, add value to your income by saving a bigger percentage and manage the spending with the monthly salary as you develop an investment plan.
And if you are in informal employment and you have made more sales than usual, put aside any extra income to help you increase on your capital base as you start a new year.

Have an emergency fund
All of us have unplanned occurrences in life which cannot be captured in our financial plans. This is the reason we need an emergency fund which caters for eventualities in our homes and our relatives. These may include; death of a relative or family member, chronic illnesses, accidents and others.

Spend wisely
Most of have a high spending appetite during the festive season. It is until we have consumed all the savings that we realise the mistakes we should have avoided in the beginning. This time, please spend more on necessities than luxurious items.

Avoid debts
When spending appetite is high, we sometimes find ourselves borrowing in order to fill the gap. However, this has its consequences that would drag you behind if not well-handled.
For example, if your budget can only accommodate your immediate family while in town, there is no need to travel up country for Christmas because it involves a lot of costs.

Pay yourself
Learn to say No. One must be wondering why No? I have realised in life that people who toil in their daily lives working and looking for money do not enjoy their sweat.
Avoid being the saviour of everyone’s problems, unless you have budgeted for it.
If you had planned and saved for a holiday, take days off, create time to relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul for 2018.
Lastly, try as much as possible to stick to your plans because if you fail, you are to blame.

Ms Annet Katusiime is a certified trainer in financial literacy.