Financial expert Max Horne shares his money advice to get you through the festive season in The Money Instruction Book.
Along with nights out, party clothes, taxis and other expenses, the festive season can bring money worries and peer pressure to spend more. When spending increases, the lure of high APR credit cards and pay day loans to cover your expenses can be especially high.
Financial advisor and first time author, Max Horne, has put together his tips on how young people can manage the extra expenses that come with the festive season. The tips are in addition to his book, The Money Instruction Book, an easy to digest guide to money management for 16–22 year olds.
“It’s very easy to get carried away with Christmas time, pressure to buy presents, going out to parties. It all involves money, but it doesn’t need to be a lot,” says Max, who is currently carrying out a series of money tutorials with schools and colleges across Scotland.
His advice is for all young people whatever their situations: from leaving home to attend university; going out into the working world to take on their first proper jobs; or just learning how to save, and manage money better.
“Take party nights for example,” continues Max, “If you can mix and party with fellow students, for example, where you are all in the same boat, there is no pressure to spend lots of money. All you need is a venue.
“If you are in a job, look upon the subsidised ‘works night out’ as being the main event you would go to, as this is probably a much cheaper night out than others.
“There is a great temptation to spend a lot of money on alcohol at this time of year too, but just go easy and avoid overspending.”
Max, whose experience as a financial advisor saw him rise to within the top one per cent of all financial advisors in the world, also addressed the issue of pressure over buying expensive Christmas presents.
“Whether you are in further education or starting work, the pressure to buy Christmas presents for everyone can be intense,” says Max “Some of the best presents I have had from my relatives who have been in further education, or are just starting out to work, are ones that they have just made themselves, such as Christmas cookies or jams, and wrapped them up in an innovative way.
“They have been much better received than expensive, one time only, gifts.”
Max also points out that when young people return from college or university to see their parents at Christmas, they often want to see a lot more of them. He suggests treating your parents to some quality time together and even a home-cooked meal.
“A novel present would actually be to let them get dressed up and you cook them a meal from scratch, to show off your any newfound cooking skills you now have,” suggests Max. “All you need to buy are the ingredients. It’s a way of spending time with your relations, and can easily be extended out to aunts, uncles, and cousins.”
Max is keen to stress that he believes no one expects any young people to buy expensive gifts, as the very last thing they would want for them is to take on credit cards, and wonder where the payments are coming from after 1 January.
“Don’t feel bad about other relations buying you expensive gifts at this time either, when you cannot reciprocate,” stresses Max. “You have a lifetime to do that when you can afford it!”
That is good advice we would take any day.
The Money Instruction Book, is bursting with practical tips and exercises, takes only two hours to read and is available from Amazon now.
For further details on the book, check out the website.