Christmas is just around the corner, and if you’re already feeling the pinch of festive spending to come, there’s no better time to get planning. Holiday gift-giving and entertaining can be a real drain on the wallet and your mental health so it’s vital you plan ahead with a solid budget that’s realistic and attainable. We’ve put together a list of ideas to help you celebrate Christmas while staying within your limit.
1. Write a budget and stick to it
It’s easy to go overboard when you’re not tracking your spending. To avoid spending more than you should, write a list of all your Christmas expenses – gifts, travel, decorations, entertainment, food – and then set a dollar value against each item.
When you’re out shopping, keep your list handy and refer back to it often to help you stay on track. Use a budget tracker app on your phone that links to your bank account so all expenses are captured in real-time and you know exactly how much you’ve spent and how much is left.
2. Look for extra savings
If you haven’t managed to stash any savings for Christmas throughout the year, try some of these Christmas shopping hacks:
• Use online discount codes to grab a deal, a cash-back offer, or a gift with purchase offer on any online purchases you make.
• Sign up for a store’s email newsletter to take advantage of a discount for new subscribers.
• Use any points you may have accumulated during the year – like air points or Fly Buy points – to buy gifts or vouchers.
• Shop online for deals, compare prices and save on the cost of postage for overseas family and friends with free delivery offers.
If you have a talent (and if you haven’t!) try making your own gifts, wrapping and cards – get creative and save money at the same time. Home baking, vouchers for babysitting or car washing, and homemade gifts don’t cost much more than your time.
3. Get your family and friends on board
Stressing about the holidays can leave you feeling resentful, so if you simply can’t afford to spend much at Christmas this year, talk to your family and friends. Discuss setting a maximum dollar amount for each gift, do a pot luck dinner instead of one person hosting Christmas lunch, or draw names out of a hat and buy one gift each instead of a gift for each person.
Talk to our team about a financial solution
Surviving the festive season financially does take a little planning, but it’s not too late to get started. With a little help from our team of advisers and some careful planning, you can still create a fun, memory-filled holiday without blowing your budget.
If you’d like advice about consolidating your debt this Christmas or refinancing your home to tap into your property’s equity and free up a little extra cash for those holiday expenses, get in touch with a Mortgage Express adviser and we’ll outline some options to fit your needs.
While all care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of the information and no responsibility is taken by Mortgage Express Limited for any errors or omissions. This publication does not constitute personalised financial advice. It may not be relevant to individual circumstances. Nothing in this publication is, or should be taken as, an offer, invitation, or recommendation to buy, sell, or retain any investment in or make any deposit with any person. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt within this publication.
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