If you haven’t already started, it is probably about time you started looking forward to (or dreading) sourcing christmas gifts for the family & friends. If you are anything like me, it is around this time of year that life starts to go into overdrive, and we are yet again confronted with numerous breakfasts, brunches, christmas parties, dinners and end of year events. Usually a lot of fun, and a great time for seeing those we couldn’t during the year. However unless you forgot over the past 12 months, this is easily the most expensive time of year, it is time to start spending and saving smarter!

Thankfully with a bit of smart planning and extra consideration; you can sail through this festive season and into the New Year – while everyone else licks their financial wounds.

 

Here’s our 5 Top Tips for Saving Smarter this Christmas:

 

Budget:

 

Budgeting might sound like a lot of extra work, but it’s not that hard. Once you have one written down and in place; you’ll be more inclined to stick to it. Your budget should include everything from social events, to presents, food and alcohol, and everything else in between. A couple of dinners here, a gift or two there, and all of a sudden you have spent far more than you expected. It doesn’t take much to have a massive impact, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t be social this year but be mindful of your expenses. Think of setting a budget as swimming between the flags; you can still enjoy the surf, but don’t end up in over your head.

 

Don’t touch that plastic – pay cash

 

Try to pay cash where possible this year. This might sound like an old school way to save, but there is a reason for that; it works. If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it right? This might sound like a psychological ploy, but we are psychological beings, and in a world of paywave and afterpay, it is even easier to wave that card before even having a chance to think. To be really savvy, try putting a small amount into a savings account every week. If your aim over christmas is to save rather than spend, you would be surprised how well you can do. You’ll thank yourself for the little bonus come New Years!

 

Look for bargains, enjoy the hunt

 

This takes a little bit of research and forward planning. Retailers know that business booms from late October through until December, depending on how early you like to get things done. So there are more people coming through the doors, but there is also more competition to hit their holiday targets . A savvy shopper can take advantage of this retail period, by planning what they need to buy, and checking who has the best price. It might be tempting to just get down to your local westfield and power through your entire christmas list on a Saturday, but you will more than likely end up paying more. Start your bargain hunt as early as possible and use online retailers and deal sites to get the best results.

 

Pay off credit cards asap

 

If you do pay by credit card this holiday season, make sure you pay it off as quickly as possible. Credit cards come with high interest rates, so the longer you take to pay it back the more it will cost you. Only spend what you can pay back within the next billing cycle. This golden rule should be adhered to all year, but especially at christmas. Don’t forget, it might be tempting to shout another round courtesy of the credit card at Christmas drinks, but it will be you working the extra hours to pay it back come January.

 

Keep track of your spending

 

If you have set your budgeting goals, planned your gifts in advance, and monitored your spending at social events, you should be well in the clear to getting the most out of the holidays without going overboard. Be conscious to check exactly just how much you are spending week to week by logging all purchases in a spreadsheet or an app, so you can see where your money is going.

Happy Holidays!

Nitshcke Nancarrow offer all kinds of financial planning solutions, to see how we can help you manage your finances, contact us today

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