There are just over 260 days till Christmas. You might think we're crazy for suggesting this but we think you should start preparing for Christmas now. But it's only Easter, you say? Well, we're big on planning here at Mortgage Choice and know that what you do now, could dictate the kind of Christmas you and your loved ones enjoy.
What about that dream family holiday you're always talking about and never actually taking?
Or, what about that expensive handbag that you desperately want, but cannot possibly justify?
The good news is, if you plan and you are prepared to sacrifice a few small things on the way, those big purchases or ambitious family holiday plans could soon become a reality.
The first thing you need to do is pick up a pen and paper and start writing down what you really want. Once you have a list of financial goals or ‘must-have items', ask yourself: do you want them more than all the regular little expenses you have on a weekly basis?
If the answer is yes, then read on.
Once you have an idea of what it is you are saving for, you need to actually start saving.
The first step you should take is to open a high interest savings account. Call it ‘Christmas', and set up a direct deposit. Inject a certain amount of your regular pay packet into the account each pay cycle and forget about it. Hopefully by the time December rolls around you'll have a nice little chunk of coins.
Here are some of our other tips to help you make 2017 your best Christmas yet:
Double Your Spending: Okay, not literally. Every time you buy something frivolous, something you don't need, match that cost and put that amount in your Christmas account. Spending $40 on a new lipstick is fine if you ‘need' it, just make sure you throw another $40 into your Christmas account.
Round Up Your Purchases: There are some banks and apps that will round up your transactions to the nearest dollar and put that amount into a savings account or invest it for you. For example, let's say you purchase a coffee with your savings card and it was $3.50, the app will automatically take $0.50 and put it into your nominated account. These apps can be great, just make sure you read the fine print and know what you are getting yourself in for before signing up.
Don't Spend A Bonus: If you come into some money, be it a bonus from work, something you sold, or a tax return, put it straight into your Christmas account.
Shop Around For Your Account: When looking for the perfect savings account, it is imperative you shop around. Your current bank account might not be giving you the best return. Get online and see which lenders will offer you the greatest bang for your buck.