It's December, the unavoidable Christmas period is here. Some love it, some hate it. It's no secret that Christmas can often be the hardest time of year on your mental health, a time where you feel the most pressure to be merry and carefree, so we're dedicating the whole of December to giving you tips on avoiding and dealing with the problems that this time of the year can bring.
As wonderful as it may be, the Christmas period can often leave your finances in chaos. There's pressure to buy presents for distant family members for fear they might buy something for you. There's pressure go out for drinks with every person you know to avoid being seen as a 'Scrooge'. Pressure to buy a brand new outfit for said drinks. Basically, Christmas is the most pressured time of the year.
Set a budget (and stick to it)
Naturally, you want to give your loved ones everything they want and more. This can put unnecessary stress on you during the holidays. It's important to set a budget for Christmas spending—not just for gifts, but for food, travel, charity & events.
Use cash, not credit
Create a spreadsheet to track your cash & to help you stay on budget. Use cash instead of using credit cards where spending can often get out of hand, leaving you with significant debt.
Avoid making personal purchases
It's easy to think, “I’ve done so much for others – I deserve this!” There is nothing wrong with treating yourself from time to time, but you have to keep your current financial situation in mind. If you truly need whatever it is you are trying to buy, no doubt it will still be there in January. Most likely on sale.
Make a list & check it twice
Planning your shopping out in advance can make you less likely to fall victim to impulse purchases. Make a list of gift recipients, set a spending limit for each, and determine what you’d like to buy. Prioritise your nearest and dearest.
Consider inexpensive gifts you can make at home. Bake something tasty to give to friends and family or create a personalized gift. Despite what you might think, people genuinely adore a hand made gift.
Start planning now for next year. Take note of this year’s spending and start setting money aside in February or March. It can be as simple as saving loose change or adding £10 a week to a savings account. This will help reduce stress next year.
Captain Sharifah Czarena and senior first officers Sariana Nordin and Dk Nadiah Pg Khashiem were behind the controls of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on flight BI081 from Brunei to Jeddah. Czarena trained at the Cabair Flying School at Cranfield, Bedfordshire, and operates a number of the state-owned carrier’s major routes. She was inspired to become a pilot after she sat in the cockpit on a flight as a young girl.
She said: ‘Growing up, I wanted to become a "somebody" and it was my father who instilled confidence and taught me to do my best and be the best that I could be. ‘It was at the age of nine, after an opportunity to sit in the flight deck for a landing into Brunei that the seed was planted; I wanted to become a pilot.’
Given the destination was Saudi Arabia, where women’s rights are severely limited, the story about Royal Brunei’s all-female crew has gone viral on the internet.