Well here we go again, it is almost Christmas here are our tips to surviving the festive season without a debt hangover in the new year!
- Try the ‘tacky sack challenge’ this year. Each year my partner and I have a Christmas stocking challenge with a set time limit at the Canberra Centre and a set dollar value to get items to a theme we have agreed on. It can be great fun ducking from shop to shop in our 20-minute timeframe and can keep costs of presents low!
- Agree on a maximum expenditure with the people you’re doing presents with.
- Limit the cost of presents by having a ‘Secret Santa’ for your group of friends or your family – My family has done this for the last 5 years and it saves money (buying one bigger present rather than a whole bunch of smaller stuff) and if you had some present switching with the process can add a little more excitement to the day!!
- Give homemade presents, get your baking on in the kitchen or if you have a green thumb maybe get some nice flowers or plant seedlings from the garden. Or even offer the gift of time to help out someone with a project or job you know they need done = be it baby sitting or dog walking or even cleaning or gardening!!
- Be personal with your gifts – such as by putting a photo of you and the recipient inside a picture frame, or filling a cheap mug with the recipient’s favourite chocolates
- Make sure you have (and use) reward cards (Fly buys and Woolworths Points) and other shops and supermarkets you use the most and then use your points to make a special present more affordable.
Rather than buying Christmas cards, make them (or get your children involved) or send e-cards, write a letter or phone people for a catch-up. With the money you save, you could make a donation to a charity – and invite your friends to do the same.
Get organised and purchase your Christmas cards for 2015 in the post Christmas sales where they are 75% off the ‘Christmas season’ price!
The Christmas Feast
- Stock up in advance on food and drinks with long use-by dates (nuts, soft drinks etc) whenever they are on offer, up to the amount you’ll need – this will help to spread costs over the year.
- If you are hosting guests, ask them to contribute a dish – this spreads the workload as well as expense.
- Plan your meals, snacks and drinks beforehand bearing in mind the numbers of people you expect. Then take a list with you to the supermarket – and stick to it!
- Buy supermarkets’ own brands – they’re usually cheaper than main brands and once you have them on a nice platter on one can tell the difference!
Start Planning Now for Christmas 2015
We all know the date of Christmas 2015 (it will be Friday the 25th of December) so get planning today.
Put a little aside every month throughout 2015 to make next Christmas more affordable.
- Buy crackers, decorations, Christmas cards and even presents in this year’s post-Christmas sales – you’ll pay less and be on top of Christmas next year!
- Spread purchases across the year (presents and non-perishable food and drink, especially if they’re discounted) in advance to avoid a big bill next December.
Thanks for reading our Money blog and all the best for New Year! Start your journey to being free around your money and creating wealth with understanding!!
Scott Malcolm (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Director of Money Mechanics (ph: 6257 5557) a fee for service advice firm who are authorised to provide financial advice through PATRON Financial Advice AFSL 307379.
The information provided on this article is of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.