With the holiday season approaching at a lightning-fast speed, it’s time to step back and take a look at your expenditure before you revel and make merry this Christmas.

Christmas, one of the most loved holidays of the year, also happens to be a stressful time for many adults coping with increased pressure at work and tight budgets at home. Christmas is an expensive holiday for most, with Australians spending up to $19.8 billion in buying gifts each year, as indicated by the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA). Specifically, during the holiday season, Australians spend between $505 and $646 on gifts, diving deep into their savings or footing the bills using their credit cards. No wonder, the average credit card debt for Australians after the holiday season shoots up to $1,666.

Simple right? You’ve to be certain of the questions below, before going to the next stage. Below are the questions, explained.

Have you worked out your budget for Christmas yet? Whether you answered that in a yes or no, the unfortunate truth is that Christmas budgets don’t always go according to the plan. Not surprisingly, a survey by AMP found that two-thirds of people regretted the amount of money they spent on Christmas. More than half the respondents could not even remember how much they spent last Christmas, as they hadn’t kept track.

 

Well, there’s nothing worse than regret to spoil a Christmas well-spent. That’s why we bring you these simple tips to ensure a Merry Christmas without plummeting into debt in 2019.

Reuse. Recycle. Save

Everybody loves those tiny trinkets and baubles that are intrinsic to any gorgeous Christmas décor. But you don’t have to spend money on decorations each year. By reusing your wreaths, Christmas ornaments, lights, and other material from the previous year, not only do you prevent waste and help the environment but also save a lot of money that can be used for other things.

Get Crafty

Christmas is the perfect time to huddle with your family and get creative while decorating presents rather than spending money on printed paper from expensive boutiques. Make use of brown craft paper, unused fabrics, posters, or even newspaper to wrap your presents creatively and decorate them with yarn, ribbons, paint or a shimmery twine.

Budget and Save

While we mentioned that Christmas budgets don’t always go according to plan, it is still important to set limits to keep your expenditure under control. You can have a budget for various types of spending and gifts for each person and use a mobile app to keep a tab on where and how much you are spending. In case your family plays Secret Santa, you can always decide a price limit so that nobody overspends.


Be Organised

Being organised is the best way to save money this Christmas. There is still enough time to prepare your guest list, menu and ingredients list so that you can start piling up the items you need during the sales leading up to the holiday season. Having a list of things to purchase also prevents you from buying unnecessary items at the grocery store that add up quickly to your expense.

Simplify the Menu

Good food is integral to any celebration, but have you ever thought about food wastage during the Christmas season? We all love to whip up delicious food for our loved ones, but that does not mean there’s a need for extra dishes or vast quantities of food that won’t be finished. In times of increasing food scarcity around the world, do your bit by cooking traditional and straightforward fare in appropriate quantities and enjoy a hearty meal with your family without wasting a morsel.

At RetainMe, we’d also like to remind you to revisit your home loan this Christmas if you haven’t in the past few months to make sure you are on the best deal possible for your situation. Use our no-obligation platform for a free loan check-up to find out if you can save more money on your mortgage to boost your savings in the coming year.

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