Ahhh Christmas. Carols are permeating through shopping malls and there is a ubiquitous presence about the place of an elderly man inappropriately dressed for the climate.
The Christmas season can put a lot of strain on us financially and temporarily make us forget our good money habits. That’s why Miss Money Box is here with four tips to help you survive the silly season.
Don’t buy what you can’t afford
Anyone who’s ever watched one of Oprah or Ellen’s holiday giveaway shows can see that we live in a highly consumerist culture. While it can be very tempting to buy everyone in the family an expensive gift on credit and deal with the consequences later, it’s one of the surest ways to end up in personal debt down the track. Credit card companies charge inordinately high interest rates that may see you pay for that gift many times over, long after it has been enjoyed.
Shhhh! Secret Santa
Secret Santa has become increasingly popular over recent years, especially with large families. It is a great way to take the financial stress – and need to spend hours in a shopping mall – out of Christmas. Secret Santa ensures that each person in the family receives a quality, thoughtful gift purchased on a pre-determined budget.
Miss Money Box likes to party – that is no lie, but with the multitude of social functions on this time of year, it’s a good idea to think about what you can commit to and what you can afford. That extra couple of cocktails and dinners can easily add up to unnecessary debt. Don’t feel pressure to go to every event and blow your budget just because of the time of year.
Not really a tip, more a thought. If you genuinely don’t want (or need) anything for Christmas, consider asking friends and family to donate to a cause on your behalf instead. It will bring you a warm fuzzy feeling unlike any that you might get after a few too many vodka martinis.
Stay safe and budget conscious. Happy Christmas.
Miss Money Box.