Christmas is a time for kicking back and enjoying the festivities that come along with it. But it can also be a stressful time for homeowners juggling repayments with the additional costs of Christmas and family holidays.
Luckily you do not have to spend big to enjoy! There are many ways to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank. The ASIC money smart website (Australian Government funded, highly recommended) has a list of 12 money tips for Christmas. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Make a list and check it twice
Having lists will help you plan your spending and keep you on track, for presents, entertainment supplies and travel. Plan early (now). Look for specials, the competition amongst the retail sector for your dollar is fierce.
Skip the credit card
Those bargain gifts quickly become expensive when you’re left paying 16% interest on them. Try and pay cash as much as possible. The ‘new credit card you have when you do not have a credit card’ (buy now, pay later services) are even more dangerous. If you can not afford to pay for something now, can you really afford to buy it?
Support the local community
Holiday and entertainment does not need to be far away. Attend your local community Christmas activities, your local traders and clubs will appreciate the support. Holiday in the car, in your home State. How long is it since you played tourist in your local area? Staying local saves you money, and re-invests your spending back into the local economy.
Give to those less fortunate
Spread the Christmas cheer by giving to those who are doing it tough. This does not need to be a large monetary gift, it may be household items, or your time. Such giving can lift another’s spirits as well as your own and can be a family activity.
Allocate some time to your own finances
Most of us are guilty of busy lives and look forward to this time of year for some ‘me time’. Consider using some of that time to review your household accounts including energy and mortgage. We recently saved a client $10,000 per annum with a simple loan restructure! Could we do that for you? Our office offers free credit advice, what do you have to lose? Perhaps the best Christmas gift for you would be to allocate some time to saving money on your bills?
Integrity Finance Australia– Changing Lives