Avoid The Christmas Blowout

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of Christmas spending; there really is so much to buy we’re often desensitised to the compounding cost of gifts, decorations, holidays, and food until our credit limits are reached and we’re feeling the full effect of the debt hangover. While we all want to have a great festive season, it’s important to avoid the pitfalls of overspending; and being organised will help!

  • Create (and stick to) a budget

    First and foremost, don’t be turned off by the word ‘budget’. Understanding what your financial situation really looks like is paramount before you hit the shops but it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom; simply take a realistic look at your finances and set the benchmark for what you can comfortably spend.  That way, whether you shop online or venture in-store to make your Christmas purchases you won’t get carried away with extra items here and there (which, particularly at this time of year, is very easy to do!). Get organised and get a budget!

  • Use a Gift App (and check it twice)

    Typically at this time of year the majority of festive season budgets are allocated to gifts. According to the Australian National Retailers Association (ANRA), Australians spent in record numbers in the lead up to Christmas 2014. The peak retail body reported that those aged over 14 years spent on average $2500 each in the six weeks leading to Christmas. Before you start shopping download a Gift App to keep you on track; remember spontaneous shopping can blow out your budget!

    CLICK HERE to read our article about Christmas Gift and Budget Apps

  • Think outside the gift box

    A poll by Galaxy, commissioned by Gumtree, revealed that in 2014, Australians received more than 20 million unwanted gifts (that equates to roughly $520million!). In lieu of using limited funds to buy a small gift, why not consider pooling money with family members to buy a loved one something they really want. Alternatively Kris Kringle is simple and fun and once you and your family agree on a set budget, you essentially only have one gift to purchase.

    VIEW Howards Kris Kringle gift ideas.

  • Divide and conquer the menu

    Entertaining on Christmas Day this year? Plan your menu, share the cooking load and ask each guest to bring along a plate. Allocate each dish to avoid doubling up and to ensure there’s plenty of variety. There’s nothing like a buzzing kitchen on Christmas day when everyone presents his or her signature dish! If you’re a whizz in the kitchen and you want to cook most of the meal yourself, make sure you write a menu plan including entrée, main and dessert and if possible, choose a variety of recipes with some that can be prepared days in advance. If you can avoid the last minute dash to the supermarket in the lead up to Christmas, your hip pocket will thank you.

    DOWNLOAD the Howards Meal Planner to make it easier!

  • Buy drinks and bulk food items ahead of time

    With your menu planned, get organised nice and early. Buy your dry goods and bulk food items well in advance of December and where possible pay for most items outright. Credit card interest rates can be phenomenally high so if you do need to break out the plastic, only use your card if you can repay the debt within the interest free period.

  • Home made is best

    It all adds up and if you can save here and there, why not? Whether you’re creating decorations for your home or baking cookies for teachers, swimming coaches, football team managers, going ‘home made’ is a great way to show someone you care. Investing your time into something is always appreciated.

  • Keep it simple and in perspective

    Remember, this time of year is all about celebrating with your nearest and dearest. Your friends and family will remember the memories you create together and your presence rather than the most expensive present or the most extravagant meal. Share your time and enjoy a few laughs together. These are the moments that you want bank!

  • Use your Rewards Vouchers

    Are you a member of Howards Inspirations Rewards Program? Unlike most rewards programs, Inspirations is not calculated using “points”. Very simply, for every $200 you spend you will receive a $10 rewards voucher. So to save money this Christmas how about you redeem your rewards vouchers for gifts? It’s free to join both in-store and online.

Are you a Howards Inspirations member?
Join in-store or online at howardsinspirations.com.au to enjoy member only offers!

  

© Copyright Howards Storage World, 2015.

Accurate as at October 2015.