Lifestyle

Cut Christmas stress by sticking to silly season budget

Home-made presents are often appreciated at Christmas.
Home-made presents are often appreciated at Christmas.

WHILE Christmas is one of the happiest times of the year, it can also be one of the most stressful when it comes to money.

AMP financial planner Duane Potter said with so many additional expenses to account for such as the cost of presents, Christmas food shopping and holiday outings, careful budgeting was essential.

There's no need to be a scrooge, but there are many simple tips to follow to ensure you enjoy the festive season without risking a financial hangover in the New Year.

Tips for controlling silly season spending:

 

1. Get everyone to bring a plate

Hosting Christmas lunch is expensive but you can spread the cost by asking everyone to bring a dish. Your family and friends won't mind being asked to bring a salad or dessert.

 

2. Be a savvy shopper

Set a budget for presents and stick to it. Instead of buying for everyone why not organise a "Secret Santa".

Also use catalogues and shop online to find the best deals.

Vouchers are a great gift idea because you can use them in the post-Christmas sales and get more bang for your buck.

Don't forget many toy shops offer no deposit lay-bys right up until Christmas.

 

3. Go easy on the credit

While credit cards are convenient, they can be addictive over the Christmas period and undo a well-planned budget.

Avoid buying gifts with credit, unless you are going to be able to pay off your card before interest is charged.

You don't want to be still paying off Christmas well into the New Year.

 

4. Start paying off your holiday now

If you're going away over the Christmas break, try to pay off your accommodation costs in instalments before you leave.

Make sure you holiday within your budget and avoid paying for expensive overseas travel on your credit card if you won't be able to pay it off quickly.

 

5. Bake it or make it

If you have a talent for craft or baking you can create inexpensive presents such as home-made fruit cakes, rocky road, jams and relishes.

If you can sew, knit or have some other skill, a personalised gift will be even more special.

 

6. Budget for New Year expenses

When doing your Christmas budget, don't forget to factor in some of the big expenses you'll be facing in the New Year.

If you've got children, be mindful that all those back to school costs are just around the corner.

You'll also have a new round of bills starting to roll in, such as rates, electricity and phone bills.

So with a little thought and planning now, it is possible to have a jolly festive season without blowing a hole in the budget.

Once the fun of Christmas is over and the summer holidays are a distant memory, you can then look forward to getting off to a flying financial start for next year.

 

>> To read more lifestyle stories

Topics:  budget christmas credit card editors picks finance gift gifts



COMMENT: OPs not the be all and end all

There's many ways to get around an OP score

Five things to do in Ipswich this weekend

Kyle Breese as John Wilkes Booth and Alex Andujar as Charles Giteau will be in the Assasins theatre show.

Check out what's on around the region

Dinosaurs, unicorns and fairies coming to Ipswich park

The augmented reality event will transform the Collingwood Park venue from 4 March to 20 March.

Interactive, augmented reality event for Goupong Park

Local Partners

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

GET a sneak peek at Green Day's American Idiot The Musical as we go behind the scenes to meet the stars at a QPAC rehearsal.

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

Live performance of Sci-fi classic to open Science Festival

Qld Symphony Orchestra perform live to 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Festival will host A Live Presentation of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Former Family Matters stare accused of child abuse

Reginald VelJohnson, left, and Darius McCrary arrive at the TV Land Awards on Sunday, April 19, 2009 in Universal City, Calif.

Darius McCrary has been accused of child abuse

Bindi Irwin's birthday tribute to her dad

Bindi Irwin

Bindi Irwin has paid tribute to her dad on his 55th birthday

Reality TV show gives Maryborough a boost

*WARNING EMBARGOED until 9.15pm Monday January 30* Sean Hollands and Susan Rawlings pictured after their wedding on the TV series Married At First Sight. Supplied by Channel 9.

Maryborough looks good on reality TV show.

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Airlie Beach Festival of Music 2016 / Andrew Pattinson / Vampp Photography

Check out the city's live music scene here

WARNING: 'Sardine city' is on Ipswich's horizon

CONCERNED: The implications of the State's move to denser housing developments has Cr David Pahlke up in arms.

But Antoniolli says council can manage State's denser housing edict

Grand re-launch for new Nolan's Corner

GRAND PARTY: Wayne Kemp and Angela Love from Poison Arrow, Eliza Woodruffe from Limestone Emporium, Tess Claris from Voice Hair and Beauty and Kim Schubel from Schudio will all be at the grand launch party.

A feat worth celebrating

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

The suburb where house, land prices are spiking

ON THE RISE: 13 Kallatina Terrace, Karalee will go to auction on March 31. Karalee house prices went up 9.9% in the past year.

"It has good hospitals, universities and schools."

$1b Springfield development deadline brought forward

Aveo's Springfield development is running ahead of schedule.

The majority of interest has come from local buyers

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!