Tis’ the season for joy, celebration, time with loved ones, and…SPENDING! Between buying gifts, school holiday fun, entertaining and going to parties, the cost of getting festive really starts to pile up. We’ve rounded up our top budgeting tips to help take the financial pressure off this holiday season.
Set out a gift list and budget and stick to it. How many of us commit to a budget early November only to make it to Christmas realising we’ve gone overboard on the gifts? Take some time to make a list of everyone you’d like to buy for and assign a budget for each gift recipient. Exceeding your budget by $10-$20 a person might not seem like a big deal at the time. But remember, if you’ve got 20+ gifts to buy, you’ll soon find that you’ve spent hundreds of dollars you didn’t budget for.
End of year sales are great but stop and think before you spend. These sales are designed to draw you in and part with cash you otherwise wouldn’t. If you can get Christmas gifts at a discount, great! But avoid buying more simply because something is discounted. Buying online lets you compare prices across different websites and helps discourage impulse buying. Many sites charge a flat rate for shipping, so consolidate your purchases where you can!
There are so many ways to show you’re thinking of someone that don’t involve an expensive gift. The gift of time can mean so much, as can sharing a meal, walk or coffee with someone. Plan a picnic, take a hike or share in an experience with a loved one. Of course, nothing spreads Christmas cheer more than goodies you’ve baked yourself, or a hand-written card. It really is the thought that counts!
Companies like Group Together have made it even easier to share in the cost of Christmas. These sites let you collect money for group gifts so the recipient can spend it on a voucher of their choosing. This is particularly helpful for end-of-year teacher gifts. Everyone can pitch in a small amount, so teachers can choose something extra special at the end!
November is a popular time of year for selling property. Of course, it’s also a time that people are feeling the financial pinch. If you’re selling, why not use the equity in your property to help alleviate some of those financial pressures? With nothing to pay until settlement, Property Credit lets you access funds now over the holiday period to help get you through while your property sells. Current borrowers may even have draw down opportunities already at their disposal — it’s such a simple process!
This article is for general information purposes only and is not intended as financial product advice. Consider seeking independent financial advice that relates to your individual circumstances.