How to avoid falling into debt this holiday season

It’s the festive season already, and for many people that means spending a much more significant amount of money than usual, but it doesn’t need to!

To help you improve your financial position, I’ve put together simple tips to stop you from falling into debt this holiday season.

  1. Cut the credit card up. Putting presents on your credit card is the biggest mistake you can make. Most people don’t realise that, depending on how long it takes to it off, you could be paying up to 1.5 times what an item is worth if it’s put on a credit card. So next time you are deciding whether or not to buy a gift on your credit card, ask yourself if you’re willing to spend that much extra on it.
  2. The sooner you start, the better. If you do one grocery trip to buy all of your festive foods, you are definitely going to blow your budget. Instead, buy one or two of the non-perishable items per shop for the weeks leading up to Christmas. This not only allows you to capitalise on weekly sales, but it also means it’s less of a financial blow when you buy the fresh produce.
  3. Think more, spend less. It’s easy to spend money on gifts, but the truth is, ultimately, it’s the thought that counts the most. Instead of buying a loved one a new piece of clothing that they may or may not like, consider getting a special frame and pairing it with a photo of the two of you together. Not only will it likely be cheaper, but it’s also almost guaranteed to make the recipient smile for years to come.
  4. Don’t forget about layby. Buying presents all year round when sales are on is an easy way to minimise stress, and also save big bucks. Not only does putting sale items on layby put extra money into your pockets, but by paying them off incrementally it’s also less of a financial pressure. Note: this is not afterpay!
  5. Splurge wisely. Be focused on the festive season experience you want and spend in line with that. For example, if you and your family enjoy celebrating over long lunches, splurge on quality foods – or if you all love presents, allocate a higher percentage of your budget on purchasing memorable gifts. Make sure the dollars you spent are done intentionally.

Ultimately the holiday season is meant to be fun, and a great time to reconnect with family and friends, so make sure you make the smartest money choices today, so you don’t need to worry about debt tomorrow.