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Financial expert cautions against excessive holiday spending

By Makeida Antonio

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During a season saturated with shopping and festivities, one consultant has urged against putting a significant dent in one’s wallet before confronting the financial goals and challenges of a new year.

Financial management expert Megan Samuel-Fields, of Samuel Fields Consulting, told Observer that she is concerned about the spending habits of some residents.

The money management mogul has expressed that one of her greatest worries is an individual who chooses to splurge for Christmas celebrations using funds that have been designated for other purposes.

“Sometimes persons are doing pretty well, maintaining their financial goals because they are planning for something big. But, it’s Christmas and they take away money from their other financial goals so they can have a great Christmas.

“Although it may be tempting, do not dip into your other budgeted funds,” Samuel-Fields said in an interview.

She has attributed this consumer behaviour to getting carried away by the lavish living that tends to be expected by ourselves and our loved ones during this time of year.

“What I have found over the years is that we get carried away with the glitz and the glamour that surround us during the Christmas time and somehow it causes us to spend more than we make, forgetting that January is around the corner as well as the other months of the year,” Samuel-Fields remarked.

The financial wellness coach encouraged residents to pause and think first about purchases made from habit in order to mitigate unnecessary spending.

“We are normally creatures of habit. We need to stop and consider whether these habits are serving us well. For instance, do we really need to buy new curtains every year? Can’t we recycle curtains from the previous year?” she queried.

Samuel-Fields stressed the importance of budgeting and recommended creating lists and sticking to them to carry over as much money as possible into 2022.

“There’s a Christmas song which says, ‘I’m making a list and I’m checking it twice’. I would pull that phrase out and I would say to you, make a list and check it twice.

“Make your budget and stick to it. Check it twice to make sure there is no unintentional spending happening because it is so easy to add extra to a tight budget,” she added.

Samuel Fields Consulting launched a campaign called ‘20 Likkle Gift Ideas’ which promotes shopping locally among other best financial practices on its website www.samuelfieldsconsulting.com.

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