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January 03 newsletter

Welcome to the first newsletter of 2003. In this issue:

  • We revisit planning - the first building block in the secrets to wealth, and
  • We offer a tip to prepare for the cost of Christmas, which is just 11 months away.

It's that time of the year when we have both the motivation and the time to think about what we want to achieve over the coming year. To help your financial planning, the Shape of Money has rewritten the page "Plan to Save and Save to Plan". To help you get back on financial track in 2003, take a few moments to review the information.

The topic suggests the value of planning; it offers tried and tested suggestions to help make your plan a success, and covers the basic components of a savings plan.

  • Your savings goals: What is it you're actually saving for?
  • What is the timeframe for achieving your goals?
  • How much do you need to save?
  • What actions do you need to implement to achieve those goals?

If you were amazed at the cost of Christmas, you weren't alone. Retail spending continues to help underpin New Zealand economic growth and, of course, we all want the good times at Christmas - if you can't treat yourself at Christmas, when can you?

But if the financial cost of Christmas has been more stressful than joyful, check out our Christmas Cost calculator and tips. A debt-free 2003 Christmas could be as simple as buying a $5 Christmas club voucher with your weekly groceries.

Next month, we expand our secrets to wealth series with the first of several discussions on how debt can prevent you realizing your financial dreams.