Christmas, a time to be merry or experience financial stressChristmas, a time to be merry, a time to catch up with loved ones, a time to experience financial stress

Christmas time is about spending time with family, relaxing after a busy year and celebrating life. However, it has become more about buying expensive gifts, the fanciest holidays or the finest foods. Quite frankly Christmas has become a time of great financial stress.

So often these days Christmas has become a time of stress, especially unwarranted financial stress. According to estimates from Roy Morgan, Australians are expected to spend in excess of $52.7 billion this festive season.

Here’s some tips on how to avoid the financial stress of Christmas:-

Shop cleverly: There’s no need to join the Christmas shopping rush. Do a little at a time, snap up bargains throughout the year, compare prices online. There are bargains at the end of the financial year in June and recently on the Black Friday weekend in November.

Prioritise gift giving: The old adage, ‘it’s the thought that counts’ is true. Don’t waste money on a fad the kids will grow out of in a few weeks’ time. Don’t be forced into competing with other parents. Often, it’s the simplest gifts that give the most pleasure. A card with a hand-written message, a hand-me-down with a story attached. And don’t worry about giving presents to adults. If that’s all they care about, they are pretty sad.

Make a budget: You are not going to have a very merry Christmas if all you can think about is how much money you’ve spent. A happy smile and a warm heart is the best present a parent can give. Say no to children that ask for gifts you can’t afford. That’s a far better lesson to give a child than letting them think they can get anything they want. For more information on budgeting and debt reduction contact us.

Be creative: Handmade gifts are from the heart. They will be cherished more than any impersonal gift you buy in a shop.

Share the load: You don’t have to do everything yourself. Spread the workload, encourage family members to participate in organising Christmas festivities, don’t be too proud to ask guests to ‘bring a plate.’ It’ll save you money, you’ll be more relaxed, everyone will feel involved. It’s a win-win.

Don’t forget charity: Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? A donation made out to a child’s favourite charity may be the best present you can give your child.

New Year’s resolution: Make debt consolidation one of your resolutions for the upcoming year.

Have a happy festive season. See you in the New Year.