With the average Australian credit card holder racking up well over a thousand dollars in debt over the festive season, it’s little wonder that we’re still paying it off when the Easter Bunny hops around. If you’re keen to survive the rush without being left with a stocking full of debt, check out our top tips below.
1. Set your budget
Take the time to list exactly who you still need to buy presents for (don’t forget to check it twice!) and decide how much you’re willing to spend. Stick to it like glue.
2. Set expectations
If your kids are expecting 30 presents under the tree… not including Santa’s haul… then you need to set them straight. Tell them they have a $100 budget (for example) and ask them to come up with some options that fit within that budget. It’s a great way to teach them about value and trade-off’s!
3. Try using cash
If you can, use cash. When you physically have to hand over cash, and you see those $20 notes dwindling away, you’re less likely to splurge. It’s a great visual reminder to watch your spending!
Whilst we can’t all claim to have Donna Hay’s magic touch in the kitchen, if you’ve ever attempted to make gingerbread men you’ll know they’re actually super easy to make. And you don’t even need to shape them… gingerbread cookies work just as well! A quick search uncovers hundreds of easy and fun ideas for DIY Christmas gifts. Stick your rum balls / fudge slice / shortbread on a pretty plate (thank you Kmart), wrap with cellophane and voila!
5. Shop online
Shopping online is a great way to stick to the script, avoiding those pesky impulse purchases. It’s also ridiculously easy to compare prices with sites like Google Shopping or GetPrice, allowing you to grab the biggest bargains (most with free shipping). Always search for discount codes on sites like Ozvouchers and don’t forget to check the Sales sections. And shopping online doesn’t necessarily mean using credit – most sites offer PayPal which you can link to your bank account of choice.
6. Sell online
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! If you’ve got some decent stuff lying around gathering cobwebs (think clothes, books, furniture, sporting equipment), try listing it on eBay or Gumtree. The extra cash will help offset the festive splurge.
7. Give mindfully
Ever developed a sentimental attachment to a cheese knife? Or wondered at the incredible craftsmanship of your new pool toy? No. Gifts from the heart have true value, and don’t need to be expensive. Think about creating some vouchers for babysitting or home-made dinners. Really consider the person you’re buying for… if your intended is about to head overseas, local currency is practical and thoughtful, as are museum tickets for a history buff.
There are also plenty of gifts with ‘conscience’ that won’t blow your budget. Check out Secret Book Stuff – send a secret book to a friend anywhere in Australia, handpicked based on your input, and one book will also be donated to a local charity. Each book is lovingly wrapped in eco materials with a personalised note. All for just $22.
If all else fails and you find your credit card balance as bloated as your Christmas belly, email us or call us on 9887 8751 and we’ll help you put a plan in place to get back on track.