Get ready, there are less than 40 days to Christmas! Before you freak out, know there’s still plenty of time to plan ahead. We show you how to enjoy Christmas without breaking the bank this year.
According to a News Limited report, four million Australians spend an average of $2,700 on their credit cards over Christmas and over half say they can’t repay it within the month.
Here are 5 ways to help you have a great Christmas without a financial hangover in the new year.
1. Planning gifts & get-togethers
The key to ensuring you don’t overspend is planning ahead. When it comes to gifts, create a list of people you need to buy for and set an allocated amount for each. Make sure the total amount is something you can cope with and leave a little extra for someone you might have forgotten who you need to purchase a last minute gift for. We’ve created a very useful workbook for Christmas budgeting which you can download from our resources page; click on Christmas Budgeting Workbook.You might also want to organise a Secret Santa with your friends which can really help save some money for everyone. If you’d like a little more emotion at your get-together, try Stealing Santa (or Dirty Santa), it sure will liven things up.
2. Christmas & New Year Holidays
If you’re planning on taking a holiday during the Christmas/New Year break and haven’t organised it yet, do it now. This is a busy period where travelling costs more than usual, so book your flights, hotel, activities, etc. as soon as possible. Plan ahead and save.
3. Pay for things in cash
Paying for things in cash can be inconvenient but that’s the whole point. You’re less likely to purchase unwanted items using only the cash in your wallet. This is a good way to make more conscious spending decisions and limit credit card debt.
4. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Now is a good time to do a spring clean and sell any unwanted items lying around the house. This can include furniture, clothes, toys, etc. You may want to look up any community events like car boot sales or maybe team up with a few friends and run a stall at the weekend markets. Donate anything you can’t sell to charity or list it on a community Facebook page for free.
And when it comes to wrapping, why not all agree to use newspaper this year? Wrapping paper can be expensive and isn’t the most environmentally friendly option when it will be discarded (hopefully recycled) moments after being unwrapped.
5. Research prices & offers
The early bird gets the worm as they say. And it pays to keep informed on sales and specials as outlets try and grab hold of your sale with extra offers before Christmas kicks in for everyone. Research your prices in stores and online too. If you spot a cheaper price, always ask if they can price match.
You may also be able to take advantage of any installment payment options when you’re weeks ahead of Christmas and be in a position to better budget your spending for the coming weeks.
Being organised and planning ahead will help take the stress out of this busy period and leave you to enjoy it for what it should be – spending quality time with the people important in your life.
If you would like to speak to us about your financial circumstance, please feel free to give us a call on 02 9913 9995. We are located in Narrabeen on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
Disclaimer: This publication has been prepared for general information purposes only. It is not specific advice to any particular person. You should consult an authorised Align Financial adviser before making financial decisions.
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