The festive season is a favourite time of year for many of us.
Getting together with family and friends, enjoying summer, extravagant food and the holidays are just some of the reasons why we love the end of the year.
However, it can also be an expensive month or so, with gift-giving adding stress and cost to what should be a relaxing time of year.
If you are dreading the cost of Christmas, you are not alone.
Last year, the average Australian spent $573 on gifts for their family, or $11billion altogether.
If the holiday period leaves you out of pocket and with a feeling you have overspent, then make this year different.
We’ve come up with 7 tips to help you celebrate Christmas without breaking the bank.
Have a Christmas clean-up
The festive season is a great time to look around your house for items you no longer use and make a few extra dollars by selling online.
Your unique item might be the perfect gift someone is looking for. In addition to making money, you might also make someone’s Christmas day extra special.
Plan your list
True in business and in gift buying. If you don’t plan ahead, how can you expect to keep to a budget?
Having a set list of people you plan to buy for and what you plan to buy will help keep your spending on track.
You can even make a list for your entertainment supplies (food and drink) and travel costs; as well as your gift list.
TRACK, TRACK, TRACK YOUR SPENDING
We can’t emphasise this enough.
Knowing how much you have already spent, and how much more you are likely to spend is the absolute best way to avoid going over your budget.
These days you can use an app. However, picking up a pen and paper is just as effective.
Look at conditions of your credit card
Many of us will pay for our holiday expenditures using a credit card and then still be paying it off in March the following year.
If you are strapped for cash and intend on using your credit card be mindful you understand all the charges attached. There’s nothing wrong with using credit. Just be sure the repayments will not affect your financial well-being: Understand how much you will have to pay back and when repayments are due.
Be Scrooge McDuck
When making purchases not every store is equal. Before you make your big-ticket item purchases, look at multiple stores to see where the product is cheapest.
Just because a store has the cheapest electronics, doesn’t mean they have the cheapest sports gear or clothing.
Look around. You might be surprised at what you find.
Be a pro at finding a thoughtful gift, not an expensive one.
Think about who you are buying for and what they will appreciate. Consider buying meaningful and thoughtful gifts rather than those that fit in a price range you think is appropriate.
Think about shared experiences or the person’s aims in the future.
Rather than buying a gift for everyone in the family or your friends. Suggest doing a secret Santa and buy one gift that someone really wants, rather than lots of gifts that are unlikely to see much use.
It’s also a great way to slide in a price limit so you know everyone’s gifts will be of equal value and you won’t blow your budget trying to anticipate how much people will spend on gifts for you.
Need some help?
At Dollars With Sense we are here to help with our $250 Christmas competition. All you need to do to enter is fill out our quick survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CGVDX9S?fbclid=IwAR39wisvMcmx5D2-SK1VhJnP9PjpnzHJuHjMgYw1eN6NEMo4pIpsI-L3Ek0
Who knows?Christmas dinner might be on us this year!