The countdown is on to Christmas and this time of the year can take a toll on your wallet.
Here are our tips to survive Christmas without breaking the bank.
- 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’.
- Leave your credit cards at home – it is just too tempting to swipe the plastic, however, the easiest method is to stick to the envelope method. Allocate your cash per person and place in an envelope and stick to the limit that you have set. If you have money left over, you can save it or allocate it to another category for a little more spending.
- Make a list – when you go shopping, make sure you have a clear idea of what you will be buying and try not to deviate from the list. There are some great apps that help you create and keep track of your lists.
- Shop the sales throughout the year – shop the sales and watch for items that go on sale either online or in-store throughout the year and save them for Christmas. That way you will be super organised by December and will only need to get a few items.
- Shop early – try to have everything bought by December. Shopping in December becomes frustrating as queues become longer, car parks become non-existent and tempers begin to flare. Don’t fight it out in the shopping mall grabbing whatever is on the shelf at the last minute.
- Get your DIY on – make your own wrapping paper, gift tags and cards. It can be a fun exercise, especially for children. Buy a roll of blank white paper or brown packaging paper, glitter and markers and you are ready to create some fun personalised wrapping paper.
- Organise Secret Santa – when you have a large family and friends, buying presents for everyone can put pressure on your bank account, not to mention all the running around shopping, trying to find parking and waiting in queues. Consider drawing names for your own Secret Santa. That way everyone still gets a gift (normally more thoughtful) and everyone saves a lot of money.
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.