Tips for a merry affordable Christmas

There’s only a little over seven weeks until Christmas! 

Are you already worried that you don’t have enough money set aside? Well, don’t let financial stress rain on your Christmas parade. There’s still time to avoid festive season money worries by creating an affordable Christmas budget and start planning now. 

MyBudget founder Tammy Barton said, “Being overwhelmed by Christmas with all the pressures we feel especially with the high expense can be avoided.

“With some planning and creativity, it’s possible to have a great Christmas Day by avoiding financial stress in the first place. Start now, be disciplined and you’ll be enjoying the festive season and not facing a financial crunch in the New Year.

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“If you can, start buying presents now to avoid using credit and don’t forget to factor in food, travelling and decoration costs. Planning is the key. “Also, consider buying big-ticket items second-hand. We have friends who bought a $1200 trampoline for only $300.” Tammy is also challenging people to make a pledge to save an extra $500 before Christmas by simply bringing your lunch to work and making a coffee instead of buying one each day. “Committing to this will save you around $15 per day that will ensure you reach this goal. Having a clean-up around home and selling some unwanted items on Gumtree could help you easily pocket another $100 or more.”

Here are Tammy’s top five tips for an affordable Christmas:

1. Digitise Your Shopping Bag

Utilise a smart shopping list manager like Santa’s Bag. Set your overall Christmas shopping budget and for each individual recipient. Create your gift idea and shopping list, import receipts, track your progress and most importantly stick to your budget, with this easy to use app.

2. Check your gift cards

We’ve all let gift cards we’ve received expire or not use the whole balance. Why not get hold of all the gift cards you have lying around and see what balances are still available. These amounts could go a long way to contributing to your Christmas expenditure. If you receive them as a gift this Christmas, treat the gift cards like cash, record the amount and the expiry date and set a reminder to avoid them going to waste.

3. Donate this Christmas

Instead of buying a present that might not hold much interest past Christmas Day, make a donation to a charity in the name of the recipient. Many charities, such as World Vision, will provide a range of donations that will really make an ongoing difference. They will provide you with a gift pack that shows how the money will be used, which will bring a smile and sense of satisfaction and show what the money went towards.

4. Save money on energy

With our energy costs continuing to soar don’t waste good money on energy draining electrical needs. Use solar powered lights for decorating, especially for a touch of Christmas outdoors. Consider your overall power needs as temperatures rise at Christmas, especially with air-conditioning, and utilise resources like the Australian Government’s energy savings website.

5. Some tried and tested favourites

Using store layby facilities is still a smart way of spreading out payments for planned gift buying, rather than using credit cards which still have exorbitant interest rates. With an extremely competitive retail landscape, keep a look out for sales and discounting, even before Christmas. Many retailers will have sales now in an effort to get your business rather than waiting until Boxing Day!

We analyse your situation and design a plan that achieves your goals.

Until you’ve examined your finances in detail, it’s difficult to determine your exact financial position. At MyBudget, the budget plans we prepare are true long-range money management plans. The plan projects your finances over a 12-month period. So you have a clearer picture of what your future looks like, not just how your budget is week-to-week.

What will you do with your savings? Reduce your mortgage? Invest in shares? Take a holiday? Or simply enjoy the feeling of satisfaction that comes with having savings to fall back on.

Personal budgeting is the only way to truly gain control of your money and your financial future.

The benefits of personal budgeting:

  • Personal budgeting is the only way to gain a thorough understanding of your financial situation.
  • Personal budgeting ensures that you always live within your means, and provides a safety net for inevitable changes in life or when things go wrong.
  • Personal budgeting is the key to accumulating savings and achieving your financial goals.
  • Personal budgeting is one of the most effective methods for paying down debts and avoiding ongoing debt in the future.

Thousands of people come to MyBudget every year seeking our support and advice about managing their money. We can provide structure, support and guidance to help you get on track.

Get expert help from people who care.

MyBudget’s strives to find a solution for every individual. Unlike an App or spreadsheet program, our experts create a plan that’s specially designed to address your needs and priorities.

We also understand that the hardest part about budgeting is sticking to it. That’s why we do the legwork for you. We can manage your budget, pay your bills, save for you, and communicate with your creditors, if necessary.

Succeeding is easier when you have a team of experts supporting you along the way!