Is Christmas the most expensive time of the year? As December rolls around, it may start to feel that way. Between buying gifts, going out to parties, and entertaining, the financial pressure can start to add up!
To help you out this season, we’ve put together some tips to help reduce the burden on your wallet.
This sounds boring, but it will help to think about what you need and want to do over the season. Budget for how many social gatherings you can attend and how many gifts you want to buy. Set your budget and stick to it.
Identify the cause
Figure out what’s causing you to feel financial pressure. Is it going out to the pub with your friends? Consider shortening the time you’ll be there to save you some money. Is it a long shopping list? Maybe ask your family if you can only buy presents for the kids and the adults can do a Secret Santa.
Low cost ideas
Think about low cost ways to tackle the season. Instead of going to a restaurant, can you have a BBQ in your local park? If you’re creative in the kitchen, how about making chutney, cookies or cake as gifts? Give a voucher of your time as a gift – giving your time to someone to help with gardening, DIY or babysitting, can be much more valuable than an expensive gift.
Identify your weakness
If you know your weaknesses, you can put steps in place to combat them. For example, if you know that every year you end up in the stores on Christmas Eve spending too much on last minute gifts, put aside two hours this weekend to start your Christmas shopping. If you usually spend too much money when you meet up with friends, decide on a budget and withdraw your spending money before you go – once the money is spent, the night is over.
Saving money does take effort but it can be worth it and will give you less stress over the season.
Christmas can be a hard time for many people. If you need to talk to someone, call one of our MensLine Australia counsellors on 1300 78 99 78.