Last year, the Australian Retailers Association said that about $45 billion was spent in the period leading up to Christmas. That’s an average of $2,500 each spent by those aged over 14! It can be a real challenge for families not to go into debt in the lead up to and during the holiday season, so here are 3 simple things you can do to keep your finances intact:
1) Budget, Budget, Budget
In order to remain debt free you need to work out how much you want to spend in advance, set a limit and stick to it. Spend within your means and don’t blow your budget! ASIC’s Money Smart website has some great budgeting tools including a Budget Planner and the TrackMySPEND Application that can help you keep track of your spending whilst you’re out and about.
2) Make a List, and stick to it!
Once you’ve completed your budget, put together a list of people you would like to buy gifts for and if possible, think about how much money you would like to allocate to each gift. By having an idea on how much you may spend it can be easier to take advantage of a good deal when you see it and as always, shop around and compare prices. We love a bargain!
3) Be wise with your plastic
A well-known proverb says, “The borrower is servant to the man doing the lending.” If possible, put aside savings throughout the year even if it’s a small amount from each pay and use those savings for purchases instead of relying on a credit card. If you do choose to use a credit card, make sure that it provides an interest free period and calculate your spend to make sure you pay off the full balance before the interest kicks in.
CONTENT CREDIT- Thrive Financial Services