Christmas is a stressful enough time as it is without having to worry about your finances being a mess. So what steps can you take to tidy them up?
Christmas is a stressful enough time as it is without having to worry about your finances being a mess. The likelihood is that your credit card is going to take a serious hammering during the festive season, so it pays to have every other element of your finances in check so you know exactly where you stand.
In a recent survey of 1300 South African consumers, 70 percent admitted to being financially stressed. That makes it all the more important to tidy up your finances before we enter what is traditionally the most expensive time of the year.
So what steps can you take? Here is our guide…
1. Start your shopping early
One way to get your festive finances in shape is to start your shopping early. Wonga South Africa recently bestowed the virtues of ‘walking into December with most of the gifts already bought and wrapped’. While that might sound like a pipe dream, little and often is an excellent way to save money. Not only will most of the Christmas essentials be a lot cheaper at other times of the year, but you’ll also be able to spread the cost over a number of months to help you avoid debt.
2. Cut out those bad spending habits
In the lead up to Christmas, it’s a good idea to start cutting out those bad spending habits to put a little more money in your pocket. There’s a lot more to Christmas than just present buying. Travel costs, social gatherings and all those extra drinks soon add up. Ditching your regular takeaway coffee or taking your lunch to work is a great way to make small savings before the Christmas splurge.
3. Get cash back every time you spend
One way to make your finances stretch a little further this Christmas is to apply for a cashback credit card. For the disciplined shopper, this is a great way to boost your finances and earn a return from that inevitable Christmas spend. However, as always when using a credit card, make sure you pay off the full amount every month to avoid a charge and never borrow more than you can afford.
4. Sell any unwanted items
If you still have old Christmas presents that are unloved and unused then having a clearout is a great way to free up some space and make some extra cash. Putting unwanted items on sites like eBay and Gumtree is a quick, cheap way to make the most of unwanted items.
5. Avoid impulse buys
You should avoid impulse purchases as much as you can and research prices thoroughly before you buy. Generally speaking, prices are cheaper online than they are on the high street. So, if you see something you like in-store, resist the temptation to buy until you’ve had a good look online as the chances are you’ll be able to make a healthy saving.
Have you taken a different approach to spending this Christmas? If so, what are you going to do and why? Please share your thoughts with our readers in the comments below.