Ten tips for financially surviving the holiday period
Here are our top ten tips for financially surviving the holiday period, by financial counsellor Deb Shroot.
Preparing for Christmas
- Set your budget. This helps establish how much you can afford to spend on presents/food/going out over the holiday period. Remember that it’s okay to set spending limits and stick to them.
- Before going shopping (either in person or online), make a list of everything you need to buy. Try not to come home with those extra impulse buys.
- Check prices online at multiple retailers to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Shops will often price match with their competition if you point out that another retailer is selling it cheaper.
- An old fashioned but effective strategy is if you’re shopping in person, withdraw cash and only buy with what’s in your wallet. It’ll keep your budget front of mind.
- Be careful if you’re using Buy Now Pay Later services during the holiday period. If you miss repayments, you’ll incur hefty late fees. All those smaller repayments add up and it’s easy to spend more than you can actually afford.
On the day
- Encourage Kris Kringle, particularly for extended family and friends. It’d be far less hassle and expense to buy one present for Aunty Samantha, rather than her and every single one of her five kids.
- Share Christmas day expenses by asking others to bring a plate or to contribute financially to food and drinks. If you’re hosting, things can get very expensive very quickly. Plus, your guests probably want to help you out!
- If money is tight, you can give the gift of your time. I.e., two hours mowing the lawn, vacuum the house or even babysitting as a gift.
In the New Year
- If you’re a last-minute money manager (like many of us) why not make it your New Year’s resolution to set up a Christmas account where you put away money for next year – every little bit helps.
- If you’re struggling with debt and financial hardship, you can contact us for free and confidential financial counselling. Browse our website, chat online or call 1800 007 007.