How to Have a Financially Stress Free Christmas

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“Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way.”

Oh how I miss Christmas in the Philippines! Its that time of the year again when we find ourselves spending way more than we had planned.  It’s so easy to get into the festive mood with so many parties with family and friends before the big day and purchasing a new outfit or two for those office Christmas parties.  When it comes to presents, we also tend to be generous.  What you don’t want to happen is to get that huge debt next month and figuring out how you will pay for it. Below are ways to avoid getting into any sort of debt which may be a financial trap in the future. 

Avoid using credit card by paying cash

Pay for those presents in cash or with your debit card and spend within your means.  You don’t want to be surprised with a huge credit card bill at the beginning of 2019.

  • Try as much as possible to avoid the buy now, pay later services

    (e.g. Afterpay) and if you do, make sure you understand what the terms and conditions are, what your repayments will be and when they are due.  If you can’t affordto pay for it in cash, then don’t buy it.

Avoid Payday Loans

Plan your menu and shop early.  Write a list of ingredients you need and make sure you stick to your budget.   Food does not have to be extravagant and overflowing. If you are hosting a gathering, consider doing pot luck and request guests to bring their favourite dish, drinks or alcohol to help reduce the cost of the big day.  You not only save money, but you also save yourself from the stress of preparing all those food

Choose to Holiday in Australia

Instead of flying to the Philippines for a holiday which most Australian Filipinos do during this holiday season, why not travel locally.  This will save you loads of money and it can still be fun.  Come up with activities for the kids like visiting the local museum, going to the local parks or the zoo.

Enjoy the Christmas season without the financial stress. Avoid getting into any kind of debt. Budget and plan and spend only what you can afford in cash.  Also, spread some Christmas cheer by giving to those less fortunate. Consider donating to a charity on someone else’s behalf and give this to them as a gift.

Unicef.org.au provides ideas for Christmas gift giving with donations catering to different budgets.
Sponsoring a child through World Vision is another option. 

Below are creative ways to work within your budget and for you to spend less this holiday season

Get Creative with your gift-giving

Would you consider getting creative with gifts? Think homemade gifts like handmade soaps or scented candles.  These gifts are often the most thoughtful. Personalise your cards and wrapping. Introduce Secret Santa to your family instead of gifting everyone.

Chop your Gift Spending in Half

Talk to your relatives and agree to buy presents forkids only. Take advantage of sales and coupons. Plan on how much you’re spending for each person and stick to it.  Buy everything on sale by shopping early orbe ruthless with your shopping by searching for great deals online. 

Plan and prepare your Christmas menu ahead of time

Plan your menu and shop early.  Write a list of ingredients you need and make sure you stick to your budget.   Food does not have to be extravagant and overflowing. If you are hosting a gathering, consider doing pot luck and request guests to bring their favourite dish, drinks or alcohol to help reduce the cost of the big day.  You not only save money, but you also save yourself from the stress of preparing all those food

Enjoy the Christmas season without the financial stress. Avoid getting into any kind of debt. Budget and plan and spend only what you can afford in cash.  Also, spread some Christmas cheer by giving to those less fortunate. Consider donating to a charity on someone else’s behalf and give this to them as a gift.

Unicef.org.au provides ideas for Christmas gift giving with donations catering to different budgets.
Sponsoring a child through World Vision is another option. 

Originally published November 5, 2018 8:00:00 AM, updated November 20 2018

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