Possibly one of the most expensive times of the year! It’s easy to get caught up in the festivities of the holiday season, spending tons of money buying gifts, decorations, wrapping supplies, food, alcohol, and we cannot forget a new outfit for every social event!
This leaves us kicking off the new year with empty bank accounts and the dreaded credit card bill or Afterpay reminders!
By planning ahead, budgeting and making a list, the Christmas spending hangover can be easily avoided. Keep reading to find out how!
To avoid getting to the end of the year and having to find money to pay for gifts, food, alcohol etc we recommend allocating a portion of your weekly salary into a Christmas saving account.
For example, by allocating $50 per week by December you will have a total of $2,400. Not only will this mean you’re not digging into your savings to pay for everything, but it also allows you to create a budget that you can easily stick to over the festive season.
With the money you have saved for Christmas throughout the year you can now use that total figure to create a budget. By allocating so much money to each category this will prevent you from going crazy when you start to do your shopping.
For example, out of the $2,400 you can allocate $1,500 to presents, $500 to food, $300 to alcohol and $100 to decorations.
Make a list!
Now that you’ve set your budget for each category, its time to make your lists before heading out to the shops! We suggest creating a list for each category, so think a list for gifts, food, alcohol, decorations etc.
Firstly list everyone you need to buy presents for. From this list you can then divide up the total budget for gifts amongst everyone.
For example, maybe you just want to spend $25 each of your nieces and nephews.
You may already create a grocery list each week, so this will be no different. Initially write down all the ingredients you will need to make your Christmas dishes. Then check your pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what you’ve already got – we like to call this shopping from the kitchen. Finally, whatever remains on your list is what you will need to either order online or go instore and purchase.
Another top tip for groceries around this time of year, keep an eye out for when things are on special to save yourself a few dollars here and there.
Like groceries, check out what alcohol you may already have that will get you through the silly season and from there create your list of what else you need to grab. It’s always best to keep track of the specials to save yourself a few dollars on that carton of beer or bottle of scotch.
You may not need new decorations this year and you can allocate that $100 to somewhere else but it’s always nice to have a little bit of money set aside in case the lights have blown, or maybe the inflatable Santa has a hole in it, you can easily replace things with this little bit of cash set aside.
By budgeting and planning for the festive season in advance, we can assure that your festive season will bring on plenty more joy and memories for a lifetime, without the anxiety of money in the back of your head.