Christmas is a little over 2 months away and like always it has crept up on us. It’s not too late to start planning. Plan now and save down the track to avoid debt. Following the below suggestions is a great way to ensure you don’t resort to relying on credit cards to fund your Christmas festivities.
Tips to avoid financial stress this Christmas
- Know who you’re buying for
Make a list of those that you wish to purchase gifts for and start looking now. Leaving it to the last minute will make you stressed and you will spend frivolously on thoughtless gifts that the receiver is less likely to appreciate. A gift that you’ve had time to think about and source that is special to your loved one is far more likely to be appreciated.
- Budget and spend within your limits
Be realistic about your ability to spend this Christmas. How much can you comfortably afford to spend on gifts, food, decorations and travel? Knowing this from the outset and making plans accordingly means that you won’t unexpectedly run out of cash and feel pressured to reach for the plastic.
- Review your plans based on your budget
If your budget doesn’t allow for your grand plans, take a look and work out where you can cut costs. Do you really need 3 roast options on a hot summer day? Does your third cousin twice removed really need a present?
Many families recognise the financial pressures that Christmas brings and opt for secret santa among the adults rather than expecting everyone to purchase gifts for all attending the day’s events.
The notion of ‘pitching in’ isn’t limited to gifts either. Many Christmases use ‘bring a plate’ instead of expecting the host to provide all food and drinks, and spend hours in the kitchen away from the fun.
Discuss with those that you usually spend December 25th with about how you can decrease the financial burden and make it easier to stick to your budget.
- Plan all year round
Despite our best efforts, Christmas can get costly. The best way to be financially prepared for the costs that pop up during December is to prepare all year round.
Setting up an online bank account with no or low fees specifically for Christmas savings is one way to easily set money aside to spend on gifts for family and friends and food to fill their bellies. Giving yourself 11 months to prepare as opposed to one is a great way to avoid becoming reliant on high-interest credit cards each year.
If you are struggling to escape debt and gain control of your finances, Life After Debt can help. Get in touch via our contact form or phone us on 1300 237 669.