The festive season is here – and unfortunately, with Christmas cheer, comes serious spending.
Last year, Aussies spent on average $539 on Christmas gifts alone, a figure which is expected to rise this year.
Believe it or not, though, it is possible to remain financially savvy during the holiday period and to avoid a credit card hangover for months to come.
Here are our top tips to stay out of debt this Christmas.
Make the most of budgeting apps.
It’s important to set a budget before you start dreaming about what your perfect Christmas will look like. Work out what you can afford and know the maximum amount that you should spend.
Categorise your spending to ensure you don’t miss anything. It’s easy to factor in things like food, drink and pressies, while forgetting additional costs such as the travel expenses when visiting relos.
Budgeting apps are great for this. ASIC has created TrackMySPEND, which allows you to set up a spending cycle and spending limit to which your expenses can be added.
Pocketbook is another budgeting app that syncs with your bank account and categorises your spending, which allows you to identify areas that you can cut back on.
Have a specific shopping list.
Just as Santa is organised and checks his list twice, so should you. Write a list of all the people you need to give gifts to and what you want to buy them.
If you aren’t sure of what to get them, write a dollar amount that you’re willing to spend on each person - this will prevent impulsive purchases and overspending.