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By the time you read this column chances are that you have spent …and spent…and spent again to cover the cost of your festive season. In fact you may well be trying to recover from a severe financial hangover brought about by all the spending that has been taking place during the Christmas and New Year.
After all even though we live in Asia we are certainly not immune to Christmas. One only has to take a drive past the Santa Claus costumes on sale along the river front in Phnom Penh to be reminded of what time of year it is. And for those travelling regularly throughout the region, Christmas is much more in evidence in the Philippines (where it one of the biggest holidays of the year) as well as Malaysia and Singapore where Christmas decorations and ‘muzak’ abound in almost each and every shopping mall.
According to pollsters Gallup the average American spends about USD $600 at Christmas (USD $638 this year compared to USD $616 in 2008). The average Australian family spends AUD $317 (USD $290) on Christmas, according to the Westpac-Melbourne Institute; and, according to Abbey Savings in the United Kingdom, if you are a Briton you will probably use your savings ‘to the tune of’ GBP 221 (USD $359) to help cover the cost of enjoying your Christmas cheer.
And although there are no official figures for Christmas spending for expats living abroad it stands to reason that if you are if you take part in seasonal festivities you will invariably be spending money – no matter what nationality you are. It could be money that you have put aside or it could be money that you have borrowed on your credit card. Sometimes you will spend – and borrow – more than you should.
If you are one of those people who do overspend at Christmas do not waste time worrying about it. Instead put a plan in place that will help you get back on financial track. Here are a few pointers to help you do that –
So if you have overdone it this holiday season and you are nursing a financial hangover don’t fret it and don’t sweat it. Instead just get on and fix it. Due care and attention might be all that is required to get you back on track.
Happy New Year!
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