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Four ways to finance the festive season

It’s easy to overspend during the festive season, so here’s four ways to help prevent all that Christmas cheer from becoming a financial hangover in the New Year and beyond.

To start with, take a look back to last year and consider what the usual suspects were when it came to any extra expenses.

Was it on petrol for your holiday trip away? Presents for new additions to the extended family? Food and drinks for the many get-togethers? And then there’s the taxi fares home after nights out.

It could be some or all of the above, because Christmas can be an expensive time of year which, in turn, can cause unwelcome stress.

Starting now and throughout the festive season, pay down your credit card on a weekly basis to avoid being lumbered with unmanageable credit card debt into the New Year and beyond.

To give you peace of mind, here’s four ways to help you be financially prepared for the festive season.

1. Agree a budget

How much are you going to spend on gifts, food, drink, accommodation, airfares, fuel, taxis etc.? Make sure you calculate a realistic or even a somewhat pessimistic budget for the whole festive season. If you over-estimate then you could end up with a surplus which will be a great result.

2. Keep a lid on costs

Work out how much you are comfortable spending on each person and make sure you stick to it. By planning exactly what everyone will receive you can keep your shopping trips short and avoid unwanted spending sprees. Also, agree with family members a maximum spend amount per person, or do Secret Santa, in order to keep a lid on costs.

3. Have credit card discipline

Starting now and throughout the festive season, pay down your credit card on a weekly basis to avoid being lumbered with unmanageable credit card debt into the New Year and beyond.

4. Be a festive season saver

Take longer term view and open a new bank account to save a weekly amount over the coming months to fund most, if not all, of your festive season costs. And, if you have a mortgage account, why not put these savings into the redraw section to reduce some of your mortgage interest during that time.

Don’t forget to make time for you

The festive season can be a busy time, so decide on your New Year resolutions now and focus on taking the steps needed to make them happen. This could include achieving a fitness goal, acquiring a new skill, ticking off a bucket list item or maybe just taking time out to see an old friend.

By planning ahead now to do something special, you can ensure there’s a meaningful part of the festive season that’s just about you.

An adviser can help

Making changes to managing your finances can be tricky. That’s why it’s worth speaking to a financial adviser.

By talking through your options and making any adjustments to adapt to your new goals, your adviser can help you create a financial strategy that works for you.

Disclaimer
Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFS Licence 232468 (Colonial First State) is the issuer of super, pension and investment products. This document may include general advice but does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully and assess whether the information is appropriate for you and consider talking to a financial adviser before making an investment decision. A PDS for Colonial First State’s products are available at colonialfirststate.com.au or by calling us on 13 13 36.