Christmas countdown: Be money savvy this silly season
Tools, tech and tips to stay on top of your finances this Christmas
The festive season is just around the corner; don’t get the credit card blues this Christmas.
Here are five simple tips for planning your Christmas so you don’t break the bank.
- Make a list (and check it twice): Put together a budget for all your Christmas spending – from presents to food, entertainment and travel. Evaluate what is a reasonable budget and work out where you can be flexible on festive needs.
- Track your spending: Having a budget is one thing, but keeping track of all expenses and adjusting spending along the way is important so you don’t find yourself in financial difficulty when the Christmas tree comes down and the credit card bills come in. There are some fantastic budgeting apps out there to help with live tracking and monitoring.
- Gifts rule: Consider talking to friends, family and colleagues about limiting present spending. You could even do a Kris Kringle or Bad Santa where you only buy for one person. Homemade gifts can also be a special way to show someone how much you care.
- Shop around: Many stores have sales in the lead up to Christmas. Do some research before hitting the shops, or while shopping online to get the best deal. If you’re shopping online, take a look around for discount codes and check for shipping costs – many retailers have free shipping, but some will add it on when you reach the checkout.
- Pay off credit cards quickly: If you put any Christmas expenses on credit or store cards, make sure you pay them off as soon as you can to avoid excess interest.
For more Christmas money tips, visit ASIC’s 12 money tips for Christmas.