December 2016 Market Update - Are you ready for the festive season?
The festive season is a time to catch up with friends and family.
It is also a time when many people tend to rack up significant debt. Between shopping for presents and paying for social outings, the festive period can become a very expensive time of year.
In the first instance, It is always a good idea to set a budget come Christmas time. This budget should detail exactly how much you are comfortable spending on gifts and social commitments.
By setting yourself a budget, you will able to clearly identify where you could potentially cut back and cut costs.
Of course, setting and sticking to a budget isn’t the only money saving tip you can implement this festive season. It is also a good idea to write down exactly what presents you plan to buy for your family and friends.
Not only will your list help keep you on track when you hit the shops, but it will also give you the chance to see if your gifts can be purchased for less from certain outlets. You may even find that particular items are cheaper online – saving you money, time and the hassle of dealing with crowded shopping centres.
Another way to trim the fat this Christmas is by thinking strategically.
Instead of heading to a fancy restaurant for celebrations, consider having a picnic or barbecue in the park, or throwing a party at your home where each guest brings a dish. With gift-giving, you can easily lower the costs by organising a Secret Santa for your family or social group.
Another great way to lower your immediate Christmas costs, is by using a credit card. Some lenders offer great interest free periods, so make sure you do your research and find the credit card that is right for you. Of course, if you are going to use your credit card to pay for gifts or social outings, it is critical that you remain diligent and pay off your card in a timely manner.
Finally, one of the best ways to save this Christmas is by actively looking for discounts. If you’re looking to go overseas or interstate during the festive period, it pays to do your research and look for specials on flights and accommodation. Just make sure you get in quick, as all the best places fill up quickly.