The festive season is a great excuse for overindulgence, and that’s why it’s essential to stay on top of your finances. Here are a few tips to avoid a financial hangover post-Christmas, or manage it should you now find yourself with one.
To assist you to deal with an over-used credit card, consider the following:
- Keep track of your spending
- Set a sensible credit limit
- Pay your balance on time
- Don’t use credit to make ends meet
- Check your credit card statement, and
- If you are worried about spending too much, a debit card might suit you better.
To avoid a financial hangover from re-occurring next time the festive season comes around, it’s important to prepare for it before it begins! One of the best ways to start preparing is by creating a realistic budget.
Start off by identifying your expenses and creating a Christmas expense list of all the types of expenses into categories like trips, gifts, food and drinks. Then add these numbers together and you will be left with a figure of what your expected expenditure will look like.
For gifts, you may also like to consider organising a ‘Secret Santa’ between family members, friends, and/or work colleagues. By setting a sensible spending limit, the pleasure of gift giving becomes more equal across family and friends, and everyone can still enjoy a delightful surprise without breaking the bank.
Another way of coping with potential financial stress can be by opening a new bank account specifically to save for your upcoming festive expenses. Throughout the year, you can make small deposits into the new bank account – for example, depositing $40 a week will leave you with approximately $2000 by the end of the year! You may even prefer to set up automatic deposits to be made from your everyday account. By doing this, you can set and forget without worrying about making the payments yourself. It may also be worthwhile to explore high yielding savings accounts which will leave you with more money than when you started – because we all know every little bit counts!
You may also benefit from using the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) mobile app, TrackMySPEND, which gives you a clear picture of what you are spending your money on.
Make a positive start to the year by taking steps to set and achieve your financial goals. If you think you may need personal financial advice, please feel free to contact your local Accru advisor to discuss your specific circumstances.