OK, it is only October, but before you know it, the rush of Christmas is going to be upon you.
Most of us tend to leave our Christmas shopping to the last minute.
According to The Register, in 2016 Kiwis spent about $6 billion in December alone.
The busiest day is December 23.
That means most of us do the bulk of our spending at the last minute, often paying premium prices to get our hands on the gifts we want right before Christmas Eve.
In other words, chances are you’ll be approaching Christmas this year in a mad last-minute rush.
That might mean you spend more than you planned and end up letting the pressures of the festive season put you or your family under unnecessary financial stress.
So, well ahead of time, we’ve prepared a brief post to help you ace your financial preparation for Christmas 2019.
Christmas Money Tip #1: Start With What You Can Afford — Not What You Want
We’ve all been there.
Christmas sneaks up on us and all of a sudden it’s Christmas Eve and we’re at the mall scrambling to buy gifts using our credit card without a second thought.
Then, by the time the holiday season has ended, we’re left looking at a hefty credit card bill and find ourselves starting the new year financially on the back foot.
There’s an easy way to avoid this.
Forget about what you want to get your family and friends this year…
And instead start with what you can afford.
Set a budget now and then keep careful track of your spending as you do your shopping, making sure you don’t excess the level you’ve set.
Of course, this will be much easier to achieve if you don’t leave it till the 11th hour to get your shopping done this year ☺
Christmas Money Tip #2: Recycle Last Year’s Unloved And Unused Gifts
Books, toys, gadgets, clothes — whatever you bought last year, chances are those you gave gifts aren’t still using all of them 10 months later.
(Perhaps you also received a few things you no longer use.)
If this is the case, a great way to quickly create some extra cash for your Christmas budget is to sell your unused gifts from last year online.
You’d be amazed how quickly you can turn unloved items into hundreds of dollars of extra cash — helping you avoid getting into money trouble this year.
And speaking of money trouble…
Christmas Money Tip #3: Get Your Finances And Existing Debts In Order Before The Christmas Rush
As personal finance and loan service experts, we know that a sound, realistic financial plan is key to making sure you don’t let unexpected events — like last-minute Christmas shopping — damage your financial position.
So if, like many Kiwis, you have existing debt you’re paying off, it could be a smart idea to analyze those debts with one of our debt consolidation consultants.
They may be able to help you lower your repayments by restructuring your existing debt.
This, in turn, may help free up some extra cash flow and stop you getting further into debt this festive season.
If you have any questions about obtaining fast, fair finance, we’re always happy to help.
Get in touch with us on 0800 461 228 or email us directly at [email protected].