Chris Childs

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Give yourself the gift of security this Christmas

What's at the top of your wishlist this Christmas? Jewellery? Electronics? A nice bottle of something? It's this time of year that people like to let loose and indulge in the more fleeting parts of life. After all, it may have been a tough year for many, and this is their chance to relax.

But the reality is that Christmas isn't just a time for cheer, but also an excellent time to re-evaluate what you want out of the coming year. As you rack up the expenses on gifts and food, take a few moments to think about how you can make the next 12 months easier than the last, and the year after that easier still. Financial security might not be at the top of your list at the moment, but we're hoping to convince you it should be.

Here's why you should give yourself the best gift of all this Christmas: Confidence in your finances.

What's on your list this Christmas?What's on your list this Christmas?

How has the last year treated you?

Financial discomfort now could become a persistent problem well into the future.

We said it could have been a tough year for many Australians, and we weren't lying. According to one survey from ME Bank, only one in 10 of us think that our financial comfort level is "high" – the vast majority of us are struggling in some way, and is in fact the lowest level of comfort recorded since 2011.

Meanwhile, from the same survey, 10 per cent of households who currently hold some form of debt expect they won't be able to make the minimum repayments. Again, that's the worst it's been since the inception of the ME Bank household financial comfort survey in 2011. People are finding it tough this year, and financial discomfort now could become a persistent problem well into the future – especially with the spending season of Christmas coming up.

What you can do to secure your future

But it doesn't have to be this way – not with the right assistance. A previous ME Bank survey discovered one of the core factors determining high financial security for older generations was their strength in household investments, primarily in real estate. Now, the younger generations are catching on as well, as Generation Y matches their Baby Boomer parents house-for-house, according to a study from ING Direct.

Everybody is realising that residential property investment can provide for them not just now, but in retirement as well. Don't just make a wish this Christmas, make it happen yourself. Get started by talking with one of the property mentors at Think Money. We don't have a red suit or reindeer, but we can giftwrap the best present you can give yourself this year: Confidence, through property.