Forget financial stress this Christmas. Instead, follow eChoice’s ‘top financial tips’ this festive season and smile your way into the New Year.
Christmas Can Add Financial Pressure
Christmas is an enjoyable time of the year as we often get a break from work and our usually hectic lifestyle and we are able to enjoy the company of family and friends. But, for many of us, it can also be a time of financial pressure, especially if we haven’t set ourselves a budget before the festive season. According to research, Australians spend around $8.5 billion dollars over the festive season, which equates to approximately $500 per person. However, many Australians don’t prepare for Christmas financially, and this can then lead to many spending more than they can afford. Rather than spending within their means, many Australian’s turn to their credit card as an extra source of income over Christmas. At present, Australian’s currently have a $36 billion credit card debt with many cardholders owing $4,000 or more. This adds up to a great deal of interest and can take months, sometimes years, for many card holders to pay off.
How to Avoid Financial Pressure This Christmas
Credit card purchases over the festive season include gifts, decorations, drinks and food. But, you can avoid any financial pressure this Christmas if you follow these tips:
1. Create a budget – Allocate funds to food, drinks and presents. Write down a list of everything you need to buy for Christmas, and allocate an amount you can afford to spend on each. Total up these amounts. If this is affordable, then make these figures your budget and stick to these amounts when buying. If this is not affordable, then revise your figures until they are, then go shopping.
2. Buy within your means – You don’t have to buy big, expensive gifts. Instead, buy something small that shows someone how much you care about them. On most occasions these types of gifts have far greater meaning.
3. Secret Santa – Instead of buying a gift for everyone you know, suggest that family and friends have a secret Santa. This is where you put all of your names into a hat, and then each of you pull a name out of the hat. The name you get is the person that you buy a gift for.
4. Buy affordable gifts – Gift cards, vouchers, fruit and nut baskets, and body care packs make for excellent gifts that are affordable.
5. Buy sales items – Look for bargains. Go shopping when sales are on. This is an excellent way to save and it allows you to buy more expensive items for less.
6. Bargain hunt online – Research the Internet and find the item you want for the best price. Just make sure you buy from a secure site and a reputable company. Remember the golden rule, ‘if the price is too good to be true, then it probably is not true’.
7. Share the cost of Christmas – If Christmas dinner is at your place, then ask family and friends to bring a dish and their own drinks. This way the financial load will be spread between you all.
Save yourself financial stress this Christmas. Follow eChoice’s ‘top financial tips’ and smile your way into the New Year.
Written by eChoice