The festive season tends to bring out the worst of us when it comes to our spending. We have picked our top seven tips to keep you and your finances calm, cool and collected this holiday season.
1. Have a clean up
As the old saying goes, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’. Are you holding on to anything that maybe could make you a dollar or two on Gumtree or at a swap meet? You might be surprised by the value you pick up.
2. Stick to your list
No need to check it twice, your list should be short, sharp and simple. Write yourself of the people you wish you buy gifts for and the present you would like to give them. This way when you go to the shops you won’t be distracted by different options and flashy marketing.
3. Keep track
It is very easy to blow a budget if you don’t have one to start with. Take the time to look at your current finances and what you can afford to spend. This way you can plan for what you want and need to buy and won’t be forced to give your credit cards a workout.
4. Don’t start 2020 in debt
On those pesky credit cards, try your best to keep their use to a minimum, and set yourself up right for the new year. Similarly, don’t get lured into the buy-now-pay-later campaigns that will inevitably flood the market.
5. Embrace your inner scrooge
Look, no one wants to be a scrooge, but for your own benefit, maybe consider being one at Christmas time. With so many options to purchase items and different competing stores, why not take advantage and shop around to find the best deals for what you want.
6. Prepare yourself for shopping
Christmas shopping is, frankly, an absolute nightmare. There are never any parks, thousands of people suddenly flock to the shops, and the number of product choices seem to double. Do yourself and favour and prep before you go, find where you can get most things off your list in one place, try and go in quieter times, set yourself a time limit. All of these tricks can help you get your shopping done more effectively and reduce the chance of you overspending.
7. Think about next Christmas
Are you getting stressed just reading this list? Maybe you should consider setting aside a budgeting plan to get you to next Christmas, $20 a week can make a big impact when you finally hit December.
The most important thing to remember is that the holiday season is about being with loved ones and celebrating together. It is easy to get swept up in the commercial aspect but remember to keep yourself grounded so you don't begin next year behind the eight-ball. Stay within your means and enjoy it.