It might seem premature to start talking about Christmas but, for many Queenslanders, the holiday season can be challenging finance-wise. Here are some quick and easy steps to help you enjoy the holiday season without starting the new year in debt.
1. Plan a Christmas budget
There are still nine weeks until Christmas Day, so start saving a little bit each week into a Christmas fund. A great way to determine how much money you will need to comfortably get you through the holidays is to create a budget. Make a list of the people you intend to buy Christmas presents for and how much you plan to spend on each gift. Include all the entertainment supplies you’ll need including food, drinks, decorations, cards and wrapping paper. If you are fortunate enough to travel over the Christmas holidays then factor in travel costs including flights, accommodation, hire car, travel insurance and petrol.
2. Track your spending
Keep track of your Christmas spending by downloading an app, making a list or by tracking expenses through online banking. Consider how much you are spending on delivery fees.
3. Avoid ‘buy now, pay later’ services
If you are guilty of spending too much over the Christmas holidays and have been burned by debt in the past, you should try to avoid paying for presents via ‘buy now, pay later’ services. While it might seem appealing to have your shopping over and done with in one go, you may need to pay instalment or overdue fees. If you are going to use these services, make sure that the repayment amounts fit into your budget.
4. Shop around for the best price
Before hitting the shops, do a web search online to ensure you are getting the best price for the product. You might find it cheaper from somewhere else. Start taking advantage of sales throughout the year and store items away for December. Be sure to compare offers as some stores might match or beat a competitor’s price. It can pay to ask for the best discount available.
5. Share the load
One of the best ways to save money over Christmas is to share the load with family and friends. Even if you are hosting Christmas Day there’s no need to do all of the work yourself. Share the catering so that everyone brings nibbles, drinks, salads, desserts or decorations for the day.
The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person's particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.