Christmas is a time for celebration, but also a time to keep a very steady eye on the bank accounts. With Christmas Spending in the retail sector 0.5% higher on average than last year, how much are you spending this year?
We’ve talked a fair bit about saving this year in our blogs, and with a slowdown likely coming up next year in the Sydney property market, if you live in NSW it might be a good idea to start investing. But when we talk about saving, we understand that you do need to spend money. It’s pointless saying, ‘save everything you can’, because it typically is just not going to happen. Life has far too many events for that view on saving to work. But with the holiday season especially, it is important to have systems in place to keep an eye on your expenditure.
So what kind of ways can you keep an eye on your precious savings?
Have a set budget
It seems so obvious, but virtually nobody actually does it! Having a budget cuts down the impulse purchases you make, in the end saving you a lot, especially if you buy for a lot of people. This year I actually made budgets for every individual that I bought for, and it made the whole process of buying so much simpler. Adding to this, if you can, have a plan of exactly what you are going to buy for everybody that you can, so that you know your total expenditure and can even make some savings in other areas to counteract the expenses.
Save first, spend second
Getting your finances in order before making your Christmas purchases, another obvious but vitally important feature of Christmas planning. We would suggest using your bank accounts as a simple way to limit spending. Personally, I put a fortnights pay as a lump sum into my access account which is my maximum spending limit for the holidays, by checking my balance after every withdrawal I can keep a firm eye on my remaining limit. Ultimately our advice here is to not spend money you don’t have, and NEVER TAKE A LOAN OUT OVER CHRISTMAS JUST FOR PRESENTS!
Take the credit card out of your wallet
Seriously. Credit is not something that you should use lightly, after all interest is not something to be super excited by. There are too many people who use the credit card as the simple solution to purchasing expensive gifts. At the end of the day, if you don’t have the money to spend on your gifts then you shouldn’t be spending the money.
So that wraps up our advice for limiting your spending. It’s come a bit late, we know, but hopefully there is some advice in there that might help your Christmas break be less bank breaking then it would be otherwise.
This year at McCarthy Group has been a fantastic one. We’ve been busy writing blogs and guides, editing videos and setting up webinars, ultimately in the hopes that you will be better off financially through our advice. It’s no easy task and we still have a lot to do, but hopefully with your feedback from this year we will be able to offer you something in 2016 that is more useful and more up to date than ever before.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas, and all the best for the New Year!