Ahhh Christmas…. The time of festivities, the time of drinking, the time of eating, the time of gift giving …… and of course, the time of spending.
For many of us, during the festive season, we want to show our generosity to those who matter most to us. And the best way to show how much they mean to you, is to buy them the most expensive present right?
Well unfortunately, the value of a present does not determine the value of a relationship.
If you really valued someone’s friendship you wouldn’t want them getting into financial trouble through a misguided act of showing how much they love you.
Maxing out credit cards, taking out personal loans and burning through your savings is not showing yourself kindness. Don’t you want to give yourself the gift of starting your new year with a strong financial footing rather than worrying about the massive debt you’ve just racked up over the Christmas (also known as ‘Lit-mas’) period?
Well, we are here to help with five simple tips to keep your spending in check during the festive season;
1. Create A Budget And Check It Twice
You may think that love does not have a price. Sorry to say…. but it does. And that price is how much you can afford to spend. So, take the time to sit down and write a list of all the people you would like to buy a present for, and allocate an amount that you believe you can afford to each person. THEN STICK TO IT!
A good tip to remember is, if you’ve allocated a budget of $100 dollars to your mother, and you find that dream crockpot she’s been wanting for only $90. You don’t need to go out and spend another $10 to meet your budget. Pocket the $10 dollars!
2. Don’t Fall For The – Buy Now, Pay Later With Just Four Instalments Offers
Whether you pay for it now, or pay for it in four instalments – you are still paying the same amount. You’ve just delayed it from coming out of your account for longer.
Now arguably, some may say that it is a good ‘cash flow management strategy’, however what has been reported by ASIC as seen in our ‘One In Six Buy Now, Pay Later Users Are Over Committed Says ASIC‘ blog, is that because of these facilities, people are actually purchasing more than they would have, if they had just payed for it upfront.
So, don’t give them the opportunity to tempt you to spend more than your budget.
3. Be Sensible With Your Presents
There is no point wasting your money on presents that are impractical or that you know your friends will never end up using. Sometimes just having a conversation with your family and friends about what they would like for Christmas can be beneficial.
You never know, you might have the best friend who knows exactly what they would like and can even tell you where to get it from.
4. Shop Around For Deals In Store And Online
Did you know there is an App out there called ‘Honey’ which automatically finds and applies any discount code available in the market, to your shopping chart when you shop online. Giving you the opportunity to save anywhere from 5% upwards on a purchase.
Although 5% does not sound like a lot, but at least its 5% more in your pocket than the retailers…. 5%. You beauty!
5. Be Wise With Your Credit Cards
As was said before, this should be the time of giving yourself a strong financial jump start into the new year. It’s not the time to give more than you have.
Be wise with your credit card, and always remember to look at the interest rate on your credit cards. As these are unsecured, they are usually relatively high, and can generally take a while to pay off.
So, during this festive season, give the best gift you can to others – a present which is meaningful, not just valuable. And don’t forget about yourself – give yourself the gift of walking away from the holiday season feeling rested, relaxed, and financially on the right foot.