With presents to buy, family to visit and time off work for most of us, Christmas can be an expensive time of year.
Here are a few simple tips to help you financially survive the silly season:
- Don’t forget the existing costs – when planning your budget, do not overlook your regular bills such as the mortgage, electricity, rates and phone bills. Plan for these first so you know how much you have to spend.
- Learn from last year – cast your mind back to last year. How long did it take for your finances to recover? Learn from it. Before you go out and spend money on unnecessary items, carefully consider what you really need.
- Make a realistic budget – finding the perfect gift for loved ones is great, however, consider whether it is worthwhile going into debt just to get the ‘gift of a lifetime’. Set a budget for each person and stick to it.
- Make a list – lists are essential in helping you stick to a budget. Work out your list and go online to gauge pricing. You will be able to compare prices when you go shopping and remember do not make impulsive purchases. Check off your list and stick to it.
- Shop early and shop the sales during the year – watch for items that go on sale either online or in-store throughout the year and save them for Christmas.
- Consider DIY – make your own wrapping paper, gift tags and cards. It can be a fun exercise, especially for children.
- Use cash – physically part with your money as it challenges you to think about how much you are spending. Try to avoid credit card purchases as the challenge will then become when are you going to pay for it.
- Plan for next year – save all your decorations and items that were not used that you can use next year. Start a Christmas fund where you put a little away each week for gifts and all the trimmings to make your next Christmas much more manageable.
Remember to enjoy your holidays!
This information is of a general nature only and has been provided without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should consider whether the information is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation and needs.