Spend Smart this Christmas

The official spending season for Christmas starts on 1 December and Australians are expected to spend on average around $500 for their gifts. It is all too easy to get caught up in the urgency at Christmas to buy the perfect present and exacerbated if we leave our shopping to Christmas week.

Here are the top 5 tips for keeping your Christmas spending under control so that you can avoid any New Year financial headaches

  1. Don’t impulse shop

Before you even walk in to a shop, make a list of what you need and who for. Allow plenty of time to do your Christmas shopping to avoid last minute expensive purchases. Next year why not resolve to avoid the Christmas rush altogether by grabbing gifts for people as you see them throughout the year and storing them away. It’s a fact that the best time to begin Christmas shopping is the day after Christmas!

  1. Work to a budget

Take a look at what you spent last year and plan your party, gift-giving and post Christmas sales shopping accordingly. It is also worth setting aside the money to pay bills and credit cards in January to start the new year off right.

  1. Set a limit

An important part of budgeting is to set spending limits. If you’re having a night out or buying a gift, put a dollar limit on your spending. Why not be creative and create some handmade gifts for half of your shopping list. Family and friends should appreciate the effort you made to create a unique gift just for them.

  1. Limit credit spending

Have the cash on you before you make a purchase to limit your credit spending. Paying in cash or even to lay-by your gifts helps to keep a tighter hold on where your money is being spent. If you do need to use credit, limit yourself to one card and load up the card with money you already have put aside for gift giving.

  1. Avoid those store cards

The stores know that we get caught up in the spirit of Christmas and the festive season. They offer store cards that are convenient and may even offer exclusive discounts but they don’t come cheap. Interest rates can be higher than credit cards so it takes discipline to use store cards.  If you know spending is your weakness then avoid the impulse.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about budgeting and smart money choices please contact me rose@rbgprivate.com

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