6 Easy Ways to Avoid a Financial Hangover This Christmas
Christmas can be a time of traditional ‘over spending’ naturally we want to splash out, have fun & show our loved ones we care. However, if we splash out too much, we end up draining the bank balances, becoming financially stressed & paying for it in the New Year.
Perhaps this year you’ve ready to do things differently– to still have fun & memorable moments, but avoid any potential ‘Financial Hangovers’
So where do you start? Take a read below for our 6 easy tips to help you enjoy the silly season this year (minus the unwanted financial stress).
1. HAVE A SPEND LIMIT
This may seem obvious but it’s generally the first thing most people ignore when it comes to Christmas spending.
Setting a spend limit on everything from food to presents can help you avoid getting caught up in the festive frenzy.
Discuss with family and friends a spend limit that works for you all. And if you’ve got a particularly big family you might decide to buy for the kids only or buy a present for the whole family.
The added bonus of discussing a spend limit with others is you can avoid any awkward gift giving moments & it helps you to stick to your budget over the holiday season.
2. PAY WITH CASH
So you’ve set a spend limit & know who you’re buying for.
But we all know how easy it is to become ‘tap happy’ when we’re paying with plastic (or phone), & we simply lose track of what we’ve actual spent.
Deciding to pay in cash is one easy way to keep yourself on budget & know exactly how much you have (or don’t have) to spend.
Maybe you like to keep spending a little more over Christmas but you know your income just won’t stretch quite that far. One thing you can do to increase the cashflow, is to sell on those items that have been gathering dust in your closets, cupboards & garages.
Hand on heart most people have some unwanted items lying around the home. Classified sites like Trademe, Facebook Marketplace & Gumtree, are a great place to find someone to rehome these things to. Or you may even look at having a garage sale.
4. SPEND LOYALTY POINTS
Most of us belong to some sort of loyalty program whether it’s with an airline, credit card company, or supermarket chain. However, research reveals few of us actually redeem our points regularly.
Why not take a moment to review your loyalty memberships & put those points to good use before they expire.
5. REPURPOSE THOSE GIFT CARDS
Apparently one in five of us own an unused gift card or cards about to expire.
Instead of letting that money go to waste, why not put them to work making this year’s silly season a little more merry & bright.
Or, perhaps the card is for a store you rarely visit, maybe there’s a family member, friend or colleague who’d love to buy it off you?
Warning: make sure they aren’t associated with the person who gave you the gift card.
6. PLAN AHEAD WITH GROCERIES
With all the events & get togethers that go on over the Xmas & New Year period, eating out & drinks can definitely start blowing the budget. Even eating in can put a strain on things as inflation impacts our supermarket prices.
Eating seasonally & locally can help ease the grocery bill. Also cooking a little extra on weekends & saving leftovers, can help you resist the weekend takeout cravings.