‘Tis the Season to be… Thrifty!

For many, the Christmas holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. Everyone loves to spend quality time with their family and friends but they also love spending money on gifts, vacations, and sumptuous food as a way of celebrating the holidays. It’s easy to get carried away so, it’s important to be conscious of how you spend your money to avoid financial strain after the festive season. Here are some strategies to help you save money next Christmas?banner-why-were-different-new

Learn from Christmas Past

Before anything else, use this time to reflect on how you have dealt with Christmas. Consider what things that you might want to do differently. Did you spend more than you thought you would? Did you feel pressured to create a Christmas beyond your financial means to keep up with society?
Remember the Christmas spirit is all about family and friends – the people who love and accept you for you. Don’t fall into the trap of trying to keep up with the Jones’s.

Plan for the next Christmas

Now Christmas is over, you should start planning ahead for next year. You could start by opening a high interest savings account in January and contribute a small amount to it every pay-day. Also, shop for presents throughout the year, especially during sales. This will spread your costs and make them more manageable.

Make your Christmas List, Check it Twice

Anticipate how much will be your expected income and expenses for the Christmas holidays. Generate a budget that you can use in spending for presents, entertainment and travel. Stick to your budget and avoid unnecessary expenses to make sure that you’re on track with your spending goals.

Keep track of the Plastic

People tend to overspend on credit cards during the Christmas season. In fact, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s latest data, almost $51 billion is currently owed on credit cards, averaging of around $3,135 per card holder.

It is so important to regulate your spending especially, if you have outstanding debts on you card. This is the most expensive form of lending yet most people don’t recognise it as such. A consolidated personal loan or an overdraft facility is a far better option that can save thousands in interest. To help, you can opt to reduce your credit limit or to try to pay for items with cash.

Smooth out your Bills for Christmas

You can minimise your December spending by using lay-by for larger gifts a few months before Christmas. Some department or chain stores offer a lay-by but it means you have to organise your gift ideas earlier in the year. If you can work out what you are buying, you can have the gifts paid off in fortnightly repayments.

Cut Christmas day food costs

If you host Christmas at your house, you can consider keeping the menu simple and less of the usual Christmas trimmings. A simple classic meal can still work wonders especially when shared with your loved ones. Also, you can arrange for everyone to “bring a plate” so all the family pitches in and splits the cost and the effort. Another cost effective tip is to buy pantry items for Christmas lunch in the weeks leading up to Christmas so you don’t have all the costs at once.

Get insured

Along with the festive fun of the Christmas holidays, there are still some risks of unexpected events like theft, lost luggage, or damage to your house or apartment. It is important to make sure that you are fully insured for your travel and your home and contents are protected. This way, you can enjoy the Christmas holidays without having to worry if a problem occurs.

Teach your Children

Christmas holidays are a great time to encourage your children to earn, save money and manage their finances. During the holidays, they can do house chores for you or your neighbours to earn pocket money or if they are old enough, get a part time job. You can consider putting some of their earnings aside or setting up a savings account in their name, to teach them the importance of saving, budgeting and planning for their spending.

This could be the best gift of all that they can take with them for life.