We made it to the end of 2014…and what a year it has been!
I recently had another session with my mentor where we reviewed the year just gone, and talked about my achievements – always a great conversation to have – you should try it!
Of course for me, my greatest achievement, career wise, for 2014 was the launch of The Tax Chic!
My greatest personal achievement was probably turning 40…and living to tell the tale!
I really want to thank you all for your encouragement and continued support as I navigate my way around social media and the world of blogging…
The Tax Chic will be taking a break between Christmas and New Year – although the internet is never far away so please get in Contact if you need.
Blogging will return on Monday 5th January, 2015 – until then you can keep an eye on things via:
Again, thankyou for your support and I wish you, your family and friends a Happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year – I look forward to seeing you in 2015, it’s going to be magnificent!
I have always been a fan of having goals…I might not have written them down in the past, but I can now see the importance of doing so…
Everyone should have goals…personal goals, business goals, performance goals or financial goals – a goal is a goal no matter what the desired result relates to.
Have you heard the concept S.M.A.R.T in relation to goal setting? Being S.M.A.R.T about your goals will help you stay focussed and assist in achieve them:
- Specific – be as specific as you can, start by answering the “Who, What, Where, When and Why” in relation to your goal
- Measurable – establish how you will determine your goal has been achieved, quantify or suggest an indicator of progress such as “how much or how many?”
- Attainable – goals should be attainable, but remember that sometimes we need to take smaller steps to achieve them – as you reach your “mini goals” you will likely find yourself developing confidence and your “big goals” will move closer
- Realistic – you must be willing and able to work towards your goals, this requires effort…and only you can control how much effort you are prepared to expend…
- Timely – deciding on a timeframe assists in maintaining motivation and provides a sense of urgency to keep you accountable
The end of the year is a fantastic time to set goals for the coming year…I’m not talking “New Years Resolutions”…I’m talking genuine goals – have a think and let me know how you go!
You should know by now that I’m a planner…I like to think ahead! Now I know that Christmas 2014 is not yet over, but already I’m planning for Christmas 2015!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve held a “Christmas Club” account at the bank – dutifully depositing a set amount each fortnight to alleviate the financial pressure of December…it works well for me as I’m able to cover my present requirements and have some leftover to spend on myself – that’s a win-win situation if ever there was!
My tips for saving are:
1. Review your budget
If you have never saved in advance for Christmas, and feel at your wits end each year as you try to find enough money to buy what you want to buy and do things you want to do – I thoroughly recommend having a look at your current budget and seeing if there is anything you can do to give yourself a few dollars a week to save…doing it “bit by bit” is a lot easier than trying to find a big wad of cash at Christmas!
2. Open a “Christmas Club” or online saver account
Make sure you have a separate bank account to put these funds…and don’t touch it! I have my Christmas Club account at a different financial institution to my normal banking, I don’t have an ATM card and I don’t have internet banking – when I’m ready to withdraw my savings I have to actually go into the bank and fill out a withdrawal slip…it certainly deters me from trying to dip into this money during the year.
3. Consider a “Money Challenge”
You may have seen a version of the 52 week money challenge on social media – this challenge encourages you to save a set amount each week for a full year ($1 in week 1, $2 in week 2 through to $52 in week 52) – on this basis you will have $1,378 at the end of your 52 weeks. This does place pressure in the later weeks of the year which may coincide with Christmas if you start in January – but it’s still less pressure than trying to find $1,378 at one time – you may even consider reversing the weeks if you think that might suit your circumstances.
For 2015 I will be continuing my Christmas Club tradition, I’ve also drawn up a money challenge of my own to save for another goal…I’m excited already!
That’s it for my Christmas 2014 tips – does anyone have anything they’d like to add?
Oh goodness…I hope you weren’t expecting recipes!!
Added to the chore of present buying is catering for the big day…I’ve mentioned that I’m a shopper, but admittedly I’m not much of a cook – I can do enough to get by, but I prefer to have help for Christmas Day!
In our family everyone pitches in and brings something to ease the burden on the host for the day – our system is reasonably fine tuned…but I take this opportunity to remind my family to please RSVP so I can finalise preparations!
Having had the pleasure of hosting Christmas Day a number of times, here are my top tips for catering:
1. Make a list
I love lists – for catering purposes I recommend a list of attendees as well as a list of all the food required, including condiments and any accessories such as napkins, bon bons and extra cutlery or chairs. It may also be prudent to make note of any special dietary requirements.
2. Ask for help
There is absolutely no shame in asking for help, and I think most people understand that if you are attending a Christmas Day function you are expected to contribute! I always ask those coming along what they would like to bring – this way they are more inclined to bring something they like and that they like to prepare – I simply fill in the blanks to complete my list (as per point 1 above…)
3. Don’t over-cater
We are very lucky in our family and I have never known there to be not enough food on Christmas Day (or the days following…), but please remember, the supermarket is only closed for one day…yes, one day! If you are doing your shopping and you pick something up “just in case” – you probably don’t need it, so just put it back…
PS Don’t forget to have something handy to leave out for Santa and the reindeers…
PPS I don’t want to harp on the importance of donations too much…but if you have the capacity and budget to throw a few additional non-perishable items in your shopping trolley, I know there are many who would appreciate it!