I recently came across an article in the Guardian by Michelle McGagh entitled “My year of no spending is over – here’s how I got through it”. The writer is a personal finance journalist and took on the challenge of living on bare essentials for 12 months. She says “Embarrassingly, I have realised how much money I’ve squandered down the pub, in restaurants and through mindless shopping”.
Michelle rode her bike instead of paying for transport, she free camped instead of paying for holidays, she was diligent about the weekly grocery shopping and in the process paid a substantial amount off her mortgage from the savings.
You don’t need to be quite as radical as Michelle but we can all benefit from time to time from re-examining our spending habits. In our experience one of the substantial benefits of going through a formal financial planning process is to develop a plan and set a budget with some disciplines around spending. The impact on savings from this are often much greater than the initial investment returns achieved from financial investments.
The same thing is true in business. Having the financial discipline of monitoring expenditure against a budget means that you have to think and consider carefully before committing to expenditure.
At this time of year it is easy to get caught up in the spending trap and feel the pressure to get on the spending bandwagon. Personally I value a home baked cake more highly than getting something that I don’t really need or I may consume in a flash without a second thought. The popularity of supporting charities instead of buying gifts at Christmas time indicates many people see the benefit of giving gifts that are significant and make a difference in people’s lives.
We have over the years often given some of our clients gifts as a way to say thank you. We do value each and every one of our clients and a small gift is a nice way to express this. But this year we thought we would take a break from this, not because we don’t want to thank our clients but rather so that we can use the funds to make a difference in the lives of other people.
So this year we are going to make a donation to the work of Hohidiai, a medical clinic and community operating in Indonesia providing assistance to people in desperate need. Hohidiai commenced at the initiative of one of our former employees who had the ultimate career change and he and his wife have made a huge impact in the community in which they now live and work. We have for many years committed to the sponsorship of 2 children in their orphanage. Our additional gift will assist other areas.
We pass on our best wishes for an enjoyable, relaxing and refreshing Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We encourage you, as we come to that time of New Year’s resolutions, to consider your current financial and business positions and how you might be able to benefit from a plan or improved disciplines that will bring benefits for many years to come. Once you have given this some thought why not make a time to talk to us and let us help you formalise your plans and strategies for your business or your personal affairs.