Tis’ the Season to be “Saving” and Not Debt the Halls.
The time of year has come again, with festivities in the air, and a spring in your step as we get ready to enter the silly season. However, with greater uncertainty of what the New Year will bring, what we can be certain about – is not starting 2021 with new debt. Here are some simple, yet smart ways to keep your spending in check and save more this holiday season.
- Have a budget.
Just as you should have a financial budget, you should also have a Christmas spending budget. No planning is a recipe for disaster. The planning should be detailed with a list of all the people you need to buy for and how much you are going to spend on each person. This way you can minimise the risk of getting carried away. Why not also budget how much you’ll spend on decorations, gift wrapping, food, drinks, and all of the extra expenses that pop up at this time of the year?
- Stay home – don’t holiday.
It may sound boring, but nothing is wrong with a good old fashion barbie with friends and family at home, and it won’t break your budget. Get everyone to bring a plate and make the event BYO.
- Spread the spend.
Plan in advance and spend the budget across several weeks or months rather than a last-minute spend just before Christmas. By spreading the spending, you will smooth out the cash flow and you won’t be hit with a larger bill at the end, which in many cases is exactly the wrong time of the year. This is where people put the spending on the credit card and get themselves into all sorts of trouble.
- Secret Santa with the family.
Why not do a Kris Kringle with the family? We do these in the workplace, it’s lots of fun, everybody gets a gift and you’ll save lots of money buying for one as opposed to buying for every member of the family. This is particularly helpful if you have a large family. In our family, the adults do Secret Santa, whilst the children get gifts as usual. Work out a system that works for you and your family.
- Treating yourself – tread carefully.
Unfortunately, temptation on one’s self is for some of us a disaster and only has one outcome – a blowout on the budget. So, if you can resist buying for yourself, then consider your budget will love you for it. If you must self-indulge a little, then put a budget to it and stick to it.
- Whip out your craft and DIY skills.
Instead of buying gifts from the store, create handmade gifts yourself. Not only are these personal, but your family and friends will also really appreciate the effort that you have shown.
There are ample YouTube videos for endless tips and how-to’s if you are not that creative.
- Buy online and buy during sales.
Buying online is usually cheaper because in most cases the product will come directly from the manufacturer as opposed to coming from a brick-and-mortar store. Without having to pay high fit-out and rental costs for a premium location, online stores can afford to pass on the savings to us. Another benefit of buying online it is that it can be easier to compare all prices and find the best deals that are out there. Plus, if you’re very organized, plan ahead and make your purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday each year (which is just a month before Christmas) – this way you’ll get significant savings ahead of time.
- Buy in bulk.
Okay, this isn’t glamorous, but there are great deals on cases of wine, beer, food, boxes of chocolates, and other gifts that you could buy in bulk. If you need to buy for lots of people, consider bulk purchases to save money.
Christmas is a joyous time but can be financially stressful for some. Think smarter about how you spend your hard-earned dollars this festive season so you’re ready to start the new year with a clean slate and hopefully some extra cash in your pocket.
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General Advice Warning: The information contained herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal advice. You should not act on any recommendation without considering your personal needs, circumstances and objectives. We recommend you obtain professional financial advice specific to your circumstances.