Published at: 10/27/2016 4:03:33 PM
Santa is onto something. Check out our four tips to manage festive season costs.
It’s that time of the year. The stores are lined with tinsel and the city is ablaze with lights, and a spirit of good cheer can see us come home from the shops with a few mince tarts and an oversized ham when we really only wanted a loaf of bread.
Yes, the silly season is upon us.
Christmas is a lot of fun but it can also see us reaching for our credit card more than usual. In fact, according to our research, if this festive season is anything like last year, one in four Australian credit card holders could still be paying off Christmas purchases in February next year.
The good news is that there is a way to make Christmas extra merry without giving yourself a New Year debt hangover.
1. Make a list…check it twice
Follow Santa’s lead and list everything you need for the festive season. Try a bucket approach by grouping items according to “food and drink”, “gifts”, and “decorations” so nothing is overlooked.
Allocate a cost to each item, and if the total of your festive budget sees you reaching for a stiff egg nog, check the list twice to see where you could cut back.
2. Don’t wait til it’s too late
The big man in red has 364 days to prepare for Christmas. You can do it in far less time. Just don’t leave things to the last minute when all the affordable items have sold out. Paying more than you planned can see a festive budget expand faster than a Christmas waistline.
Use your festive shopping list to avoid impulse buys. And heck, if it turns out you have cash leftover, go ahead and treat yourself to those faux fur Santa slippers with the flashing lights.
3. Share the love and the cost
One way to trim the festive bill without coming across as the Grinch, is by sharing. Think about chipping in with family members to buy shared gifts. Ask your lunch guests to bring something along – make a list of who’ll bring a salad, a dessert or maybe some bubbly. After all, sharing is at the heart of Christmas.
4. Have the right credit card for the job
A good credit card is like a financial best friend at Christmas. But look for a card with a generous serve of interest-free days. It means more time to pay off festive purchases before interest applies.