November 03, 2015
Have yourself a debt free Christmas
5 tips to keep your finances in check this holiday season
Christmas is one of the most enjoyable times of the year, though for many, the costs associated with the festive period can cause a great deal of stress.
In an effort to keep the stress at bay during the holiday season, local Mortgage Choice franchise owner/mortgage broker Renee Polden encourages Australians to plan ahead financially to ensure the budget doesn’t blow out.
“The rising cost of living is no doubt a big stress factor for many Australians. In fact, results from our recent Money Survey found 85.6% of Australians felt their cost of living had risen over the last 12 months. As such, it is extremely important for Australians to take this information as forewarning and put a financial plan in place before the silly season kicks off,” she said.
“Getting into the Christmas spirit doesn’t mean you have to get into debt. No one wants to start the New Year on the back foot, so it pays to do a budget early so you know how much you can afford.”
Mortgage Choice offers the following tips to help Australians prepare for the Christmas season and keep their finances in check:
Budget now: There are eight weeks from now until Christmas. Work out how much you can afford to put away each week between now and then to cover gifts, food, entertaining and travel expenses for the silly season. Then calculate the total figure you will have to spend this Christmas and allocate funds for each type of expense.
Credit free Christmas: Think of long term gains, instead of short term pleasures. According to Mortgage Choice’s latest Money Survey, 1 in 2 Australians have some form of credit card debt. Make sure Christmas doesn’t break the bank – if you can’t afford something, don’t buy it. Christmas may look a little more festive with those new decorations, but come January they will be a financial burden. One way to make sure you stick to this is by leaving the cards at home and only taking cash with you when shopping.
Purchase with purpose: Work out what gifts you are buying for each friend and family member before you go shopping. That way you can compare prices online and work out which stores you are visiting before you hit the shops. You may even be able to buy some gifts online, but just be aware of potential shipping costs. Shopping with a purpose and clear plan in mind will also help reduce unnecessary purchases or expenses like coffee or lunch.
Family expectations: Is there a trend within your family to buy a Christmas present for every niece, nephew, in-law or pet? For most Australians, purchasing all these gifts is not only time consuming, but a financial pressure. Consider having an open conversation with your family around the idea of having a lucky dip, secret Santa, or at least agree on a maximum dollar figure that can be spent on each person’s present.
Review your lender: One way to potentially inject more money into your coffers this Christmas and help you cope with the costs of the silly season, is to review your lender. If you have been with the same lender since you got your first job, then it might be time to consider switching to another bank. Not only are some banks offering dollar incentives – such as $100 into your savings account – if you switch, but they also have high interest rate savings accounts, so you could earn more money on the cash you have in your savings account. This could be extra money for the Christmas gift fund. If you do switch lenders, make sure you read the fine print, as you may find that your lender will offer you dollar incentives for depositing a certain amount of money into your account each month or withdrawing a certain amount of money from the ATM each time.
If you would like learn more about your home loan or financial advice options, call 07 5562 0748 or visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au/Robina1.
For further information, photos of the new logo, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
07 5562 0748
This article is for general information purposes only. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.
About Mortgage Choice
Mortgage Choice is an ASX listed company that seeks to help Australians with all of their financial needs.
Established in 1992, Mortgage Choice was originally established to help Australians improve their financial situation by offering a choice of home loan providers, coupled with the expert advice of a mortgage professional.
Since that time, the company has grown and developed into a fully fledged financial services provider.
Today, Mortgage Choice helps customers source car loans, personal loans, credit cards, commercial loans, asset finance, deposit bonds, and risk and general insurance.
Further, the company offers Australians access to real, relevant and affordable financial advice through our qualified financial advisers.
Mortgage Choice has no balance sheet or funding risk, and consistently delivers strong profits and attractive yields. It listed on the ASX in 2004 (MOC) and is a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia (MFAA).
Mortgage Choice holds an Australian Credit Licence: no. 382869 and Mortgage Choice Financial Planning Pty Limited holds an Australian Financial Services Licence: no. 422854. Both licences are issued by ASIC.
Recent recognition: 2015, 2014 Australian Broking Awards Best Diversification Program; 2013, 2012, 2011 Australian Broking Awards Major Brokerage of the Year – Franchise; 2013, 2012 Australian Broking Awards Best Ethical/Social Responsibility Program; 2012 Australian Broking Awards Best Training and Education; No.1 on The Adviser magazine’s 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 Top 25 Brokerages list; 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006 and 2005 MFAA Awards Retail Aggregator/Originator of the Year; 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008 10 Thousand FEET Top 10 Franchise list; 2010 Forbes Asia-Pacific Best Under A Billion list.
Visit www.mortgagechoice.com.au or call customer service on 13 77 62.