Russell Ward Finance Writer
Christmas might be last thing on your mind right now but with just over a month left until the Christmas season arrives, it’s time to get your finances in order and start preparing for the silly season. To stay in control of your budget, here are six things you can do to save more and stress less at this most wonderful time of the year.
1. Decide how much to spend and create a budget
Making a budget for the Christmas period is a great way to take control of your finances and ensure that you aren’t left with too much of a hole in your savings. A budget based on how much you spent last year plus your goals for this year will let you prioritise your expenses, allocate money and stay on top of your spending without sinking into debt during the season of goodwill. Remember, it’s not always about what you can purchase. Consider alternatives such as cooking, baking or a DIY gift.
2. Set up a savings account for holiday season expenses
To avoid the panic of not having enough funds for your festivities, consider opening a savings account specifically for your Christmas-related outgoings and deposit part of your wage directly into the account each month. There are different types of savings accounts to save regularly throughout the year, which can help you celebrate Christmas using cash instead of credit.
3. Look at ways to earn extra cash
While Christmas is a time for increased expenses, it can also be a great time of year to earn more money through overtime at work or from any number of seasonal jobs. It’s no doubt a busy time for you but it also means there are opportunities to bring in additional income to meet your savings goals if extra hours are available.
4. Shop around for deals now, rather than later
Throughout the year, you’ll discover sales and deals that, with some imagination and forward thinking, could produce a few great Christmas finds for loved ones. Try and keep to a budget but start planning now and be a bit sales savvy.
5. Review your spending and reallocate funds
Have a vice that you could quit or cut back and save money on? Spending too much time out socialising? Now could be a good time of year to cut back on some, if not all, of that extra spending on getaways and goodies to make your Chrissie a less financially stressful time of year. Reallocate some of the funds to your savings account and know that your Christmas will be a lot easier to enjoy as a result.
6. Eliminate the unessential
You don’t have to go overboard when it comes to showing your loved ones you care about them this Christmas. Share an experience, buy something they really need or simply spend time with them.
Christmas might be the last thing on your mind right now but with just over a month left until the Christmas season arrives, it’s time to get your finances in order and start preparing for the silly season. To stay in control of your budget, here are five things you can do to save more and stress less at this most wonderful time of the year.