Christmas is traditionally a time of giving and generosity, which can put a strain on those families who can least afford it. It can be very easy to overspend and overindulge and end up paying for it well into the New Year.
Lifeline WA Financial Counsellor, Jenny Cecil, shares her nine simple spending tips to keep your finances on track for the New Year, and out of the red.
- Prepare a budget – and stick to it!
- Make a list (and check it twice) – make a list of who you are buying presents for this Christmas. Decide early how much you want to spend on each person and price the items before you go shopping.
- Shop at odd hours – when the shops are less crowded you can choose carefully and not get caught up with impulse buying.
- Shop around – list the food and drinks you will need, and shop around for big ticket items like ham, fresh seafood, and drinks.
- Share in the festive spirit – even if you are hosting a Christmas party, your family and friends will normally be happy to bring a plate.
- Live in the moment – avoid “buy now, pay later” because there is always a financial cost down the track. These services can make it very easy to accumulate large debts.
- Use your own money – try to pay for expenses in cash, or through a debit card linked to your savings to avoid the January debt hangover.
- Look for deals – if you shop online, look for discounts and coupons.
- Enjoy – sharing the festive season with family and friends is more important than getting into debt.
Good financial planning will help you enjoy not only the festive season’s celebrations, but the New Year too.
If you are in crisis please call 13 11 14, available 24/7, even on Christmas Day.