Christmas is coming and I can now say your savings have been warned! Although it is still two months away, many Australian households fail to prepare for the cost of Christmas.
It’s a time where your personal finances need to be in tip top condition. We find ourselves spending money on excess food, gifts, parties, work functions and more. In fact, we love spending at Christmas so much that we turn to our credit cards as our saviour.
So below you will find some tips to prepare for Christmas this year and if put into place early (now!), both your credit card and new year’s resolutions will feel much better for the fact.
Start paying down debt now as fast as you can
Assuming that it is nearly impossible to not turn to the trusty credit card come Christmas time, try and pay down your debt in the lead up to the silly season. By trying to remove as much of your consumer debt as possible, you will be in a much healthier position come the New Year.
Making lump sum repayments as fast as you can will help you ‘snow ball’ the debt off, each repayment should be seen as a chance to create an even larger buffer between what you owe and what it is you think you will spend at the shops this year.
Look to set a little aside from each pay cheque until Christmas
A rather cliché tip, though an important one none the less. Put aside a fair amount of each pay cheque now and you will quickly have a stash of cash ready to go at Christmas.
By giving yourself nearly 2 months of savings, people are often amazed at how much money they end up having put away come Christmas time. Who knows, it may just pay for your presents in cash or potentially leave you with a lump sum of cash to really dent that credit card or home loan on January 1st.
Limit the amount you go out
Now we all know that Christmas is categorised by the sheer volume of ‘events’ that are held. Last year I personally attended well over 10 so called ‘Christmas get togethers’ and each one of them required me to have a few drinks.
Why not either try and limit the amount of functions you go to this year or perhaps simply say no to any other functions in the two months leading up to Christmas. Your health and finances will thank you.
Look to establish what it is you would actually like for Christmas
By knowing what exactly you want as a Christmas present will limit the amount of gift giving that has potential to miss the mark. Why not state exactly what you want this year and tell family members they can all contribute towards it? It will save you from those horrible Daffy Duck ties for men or baskets of fruity smelling lotions that cause rashes on women the world over.
Set your new year’s goals at the start of December
So why not set your new year’s goals a few months early this year? Think about what you are going to promise yourself on the cusp of midnight on New Year’s Eve and put those goals into place a few months early. It could be the start of a very successful year for you, you will effectively have a two month head start on your plans.
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Alex Wilson is the founder and editor of Savings Guide, Australia’s number one saving money website. For regular money saving tips, visit Savings Guide or follow Savings Guide on Facebook.