How to Reduce Your Financial Stress This Holiday Season

Christmas can be the happiest and most stressful time of year. The pressures of buying gifts, food expenses, and getting together with family, can wear you down over the weeks leading up to the big day.

In the spirit of giving, we have provided you with a short list of some of the things you can do to prepare for, and relieve, some of the financial stress over the holiday period.

 Budget, budget, budget!

You may be familiar with the Christmas rush of leaving gifts to the last minute and putting the expenses on your credit card to pay off later. While this is a common occurrence for Australian families, paying off your card continuously for months on end can prolong your financial stress.

The key to surviving the Christmas season is to create a savings strategy. By working out a budget of how much you expect to spend, calculating your disposable income between now and then, and dedicating a small amount each week to cover the costs, you can save yourself extra stress.

Start this process as early as possible – in this way you can become better prepared for the onslaught of Christmas costs over the holiday season.

 Avoid the shopping rush!

Visiting large shopping centres can turn into a vicious rat race in the final weeks before Christmas. Stores are jam-packed, toys are on back order, and if you have no clue as to what to get, you might be walking around for ages.

To relieve some of the pressure, first, write a list of the people you have to buy for and tick them off as you go along. Stick to smaller gifts such as chocolate or Christmas cake; it’s the thought that counts! Remember to do your shopping as early as possible – avoiding the rush you can save you the stress of missing out, or fighting over the last remaining Beanie Boo.  

 Money smart gift ideas!

If you have a large extended family, buying gifts can be a very costly process. In a large family, it might be worth suggesting a new way of gift-giving to save everyone some money stress. Perhaps start a family-wide Kris Kringle system, whereby everyone chooses a name out of a hat, and they buy for that one person. Another idea is to buy only for the children in the family.

If you would like to stick with traditional gift-giving, limit the cost you would like to spend on each person or invest in small or thoughtful gifts rather than expensive items.

 Make decorating fun for the whole family!

Decorations can be a costly part of the Holiday season. With new trees, tinsel, and baubles coming out each year, it’s hard to get out of the 'update' mentality. Ask yourself, does your tree really need to be replaced?

Instead of buying decorations, get your kids involved and make home-made decorations. Some cute ideas include making your own hanging tree ornaments and paper chains or repainting some of your previous decorations. There are various websites you can visit that have some fantastic ideas for cheap, homemade decorations.

If you still want to buy some of the more expensive designs, visit discount stores – most sell similar merchandise as branded stores but sell them for a much more affordable price.

At Select, we offer no-obligation, quality and free advice to help you reach your financial goals. If you would like to talk with one of our friendly brokers about anything mortgage related, give us a call on (08) 9417 3399.

Peter ErzayComment