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Christmas tends to be the ‘spending season,’ so you should consider how you’re going to get through without blowing your savings goals, or putting yourself under unnecessary financial stress.
Christmas is just six weeks away and it’s not called the ‘silly season’ for nothing. Even the most disciplined savers get challenged at this time of year, so it’s important to be prepared if you want to stay on track financially.
Here are five tips to get you through the festive season with your finances in tact!
1. Maybe you can guess that my first piece of advice is going to be (if you haven’t already done so), to set yourself a budget. Know what you can afford to spend, and factor in what you need to spend – especially if you’re planning on taking a holiday.
2. Next, make a list and check it twice.
And then… stick to it! Whether you’re buying gifts or groceries, if you stick to your list, then you’re going to be more successful at staying within your budget limits. I know … it sounds a little tedious, but trust me. You’ll be glad you did. And don’t forget that just as important as how much you spend, is where you spend it, and right now there are some fantastic causes that could do with our help.
For example, this Facebook group called ‘One day closer to rain’ – very talented country women selling their crafts to raise money for farmers. Fantastic Christmas gifts, and this is not the only one, I’m sure.
3. Occasionally, leave the cards at home.
It is oh-so-tempting when you’ve had a few drinks to really feel the ‘festive spirit’ and decide to celebrate by shouting ALL your mates a Christmas cocktail or two. Lovely idea. But expensive! …
So, just be careful. Leaving your cards at home is one of THE BEST tried and true ways not to let your food, drink and entertainment spending (or your gift shopping) get out of control. When you only take cash, you can only spend the amount that’s in your pocket. Just make sure you have a safe plan to get home.
4. Beware of the ‘bargains’.
I hate to break it to you, but snaffling a ‘good deal’ on a product you have no use for is not actually saving.
And around Christmas time there are so many sales it’s possible to get some things at a really great price.
But just remember – if you don’t need the item on sale, then technically you’re not saving, you’re spending.
5. Finally, consider a tracking app.
Many of the bank apps have this feature built-in, but if your bank app doesn’t have it you can get some good ones, which can help you really keep a handle on your finances, because at this time of year, even the most disciplined of us can get slack about our saving… and it’s difficult to know what causes it! …
Maybe it’s the relaxed holiday vibes, or the good cheer, or simply the luxury of time spent catching up with family and friends and loved ones we don’t see often… along with our desire to spoil them and ourselves and create lasting memories.
It’s such a fun time of year, and it’s important that it’s enjoyable. There’s no need to be a miserable miser… just make sure you’ve got some plans in place so you don’t let Christmas crush all the progress you’ve made throughout the year.
Wishing you a merry Christmas and happy, safe, holidays.