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Tips To Avoid a Debt Hangover This Christmas

Australians are expected to spend over $30 billion this Christmas on everything from presents, travel, food and entertainment. This is a 10% increase on last year’s $27 billion spend, which is interesting when considering the cost-of-living crisis currently faced by many across the nation.

In Western Australia, we are slated to spend on average $1,200 per person, which is a not an insignificant amount. Gen X, Y and Z all, on average, divert the majority of their festive funds on travel whereas the Baby Boomers predominantly spend most on alcohol.

While it is easy to resign ourselves to the undeniable fact that our bank balances are likely to take a hit this silly season, it is still possible to be a mindful shopper and make sensible choices to avoid a painful holiday hangover.

Be a Bargain Hunter

By using discount online platforms like Catch, Amazon and Kogan, it is possible to get more bang for your buck. In addition, many sites offer discounts for first time customers so find out where these might be available and take advantage of them.

But if going to a bricks and mortar store is more your thing, look out for sales and plan ahead. Make a list, check it twice, make a budget and stick to it. If you have a plan in place, you are more likely to adhere to it and make yourself accountable.

Pay with Cash

We have become so reliant on electronic methods of payments that many of us do not even carry cash. If physically seeing the money in your wallet helps you keep track on what you have spent, take cash out to use. This will also prevent a credit card balance running away from you.

Get Creative

If you are blessed with a talent or skill, then use it. Whether it be preparing treats to give as gifts if you are an avid cook, or designing a unique label to place on a cleanskin wine bottle if you are artistic, think outside the box and create something yourself. There are YouTube videos aplenty outlining great ideas for unique and budget friendly gifts If you don’t have any hidden talents, then maybe offer the gift of your time to perhaps baby sit, or maybe help anyone with a DIY project. This will no doubt be a more meaningful and appreciated.

Share the Cost

It used to be more commonplace for entertaining being more of a “potluck” or “bring a plate” style fare. If you are having friends and family over, don’t be shy about getting everyone to share the load. Most people are happy to and want to contribute so don’t burden yourself with catering for large crowds alone.

Avoid Buy Now Pay Later

Do not be seduced by the convenience of AfterPay or Zip Pay, or any of the other Buy Now Pay Later facilities. Or if you do use them, make sure you keep up with the repayments and the missed payment fees may hurt even more.

The important thing is to remember what the season is really all about. It doesn’t have to involve spending to excess and being lumbered with a debt that will take months or even years to properly clear. The festive season is all about people coming together, enjoying each other’s company and appreciating what really matters.

So take financial care this holiday season.

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