Here are his 5 essential tips for the festive season and beyond.
Decide how much you’re going to spend on each person, that’s a key one, then stick to it. And have an overall budget – the total you want to spend. If you haven’t done it this year, then get ready for next year. Make a list of family and friends to whom you want to give gifts and put a figure next to each one.
Add up the figures on your list and divide by 12. Set up a standing order each month to pay into a separate Christmas account. When December comes around next year, the money is ready for you to spend.
We all need to think through what happens when we die. As well as making a will you need to create a file with all the information about your life in it. I call it the ‘Book of Life’. As well as details of your funeral wishes, your heirs will need information about your investments, bank accounts, pension details, life assurance policies, computer passwords and so on. What do you want to happen to your books and possessions? Think very carefully about who you’ll appoint as executors and talk to them about what it involves.
One for health and wellbeing and one for financial affairs. You need someone looking out for you if you become ill and/or lose your cognitive functions. You can stipulate whether you want to be resuscitated or not if in hospital, and you can hand over your financial affairs to someone you trust.
Experiences create memories and they are much more valuable than possessions. If it’s a case of a new car versus an experience with family or friends, I know which one I would choose. Laughing and connecting with family and friends is priceless.
Your most valuable financial asset is not needing to impress anyone.