The festive season is a wonderful opportunity to spend time giving back with your family and friends. However, for many everyday Australian families this carries a significant financial burden and level of stress.
While the holidays are usually met with an overindulgence in food and drink, we’ve shared some simple saving tips to help ensure that your spending habits don’t follow a similar trend.
1. Create and review your financial budget.
If you haven’t already, draw up a Christmas holiday budget. This will include food & drink, presents, holidays, social gatherings and entertainment. Planning out and categorising your expenses against your everyday budget will allow you to see how much extra saving is required to get you through the holiday season. It will then allow you to manage your finances to accommodate the increase in spending over the coming months. It is important to account for potential unpaid time off work, children’s holidays and any festive related expenses when structuring your financial budget. If you would like to know more about budgeting and learn more tips for the Christmas period, check out ASIC’s helpful resources on MoneySmart.
2. Plan ahead – Christmas is right around the corner!
Most working families plan to spend time together over the holiday break, which means organising your finances for time off work or being overseas is critical. If you are taking unpaid leave or are unable to make repayments for a certain period, organise repayment schedules with your existing lenders to ensure you don’t fall behind for the new year.
Avoid using high interest ‘payday’ loans to purchase gifts and other holiday related expenses if possible, as this has negative impacts in the long run. An easy way to ensure you have funds available to get you through the holiday period is to use a savings goals calculator. MoneySmart has a great resource for you to start your own savings.
3. Be careful of Christmas credit
It can be tempting to fall into the ‘buy now pay later’ trap, or to dip into your credit card for some extra cash. While these are convenient ways to get the things you need now, remember that you will have to pay for it later. Try not to start the new year in debt by paying for last year’s choices. If you do choose to use a buy now pay later service, make sure you look into their terms and conditions, your repayment schedule, and potential interest charged for late payment.
4. Be a savvy Christmas shopper
If you’re a big fan of social media, use this in your favour to keep an eye out for the latest deals and exclusive offers from your preferred brands and retailers. Subscribing to their newsletters can also be a smart way to be the first to know of upcoming sales or discounts such as free shipping.
There’s also some great discount and deal apps floating around at the moment. We’re big fans of ShopBack, which provides its members with a percentage of cashback on the amount you spend at major department stores, online retailers and gift suppliers.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Most lenders understand that the Christmas holidays are a stressful and expensive time of year. If you are feeling the pressure financially, don’t bury your head in the sand! It’s important to talk to your lenders and try and organise a solution to get through Christmas. Give them a call and explain your financial situation, and they should offer solutions which will enable you to pay your bills in manner which won’t damage your credit score and repayment history.
LoanU is committed to assisting our clients during the holiday season. If you think you may require some assistance over this period, please be proactive and contact our office. We are always happy to discuss your position and structure your loan to ensure you say on top of your repayments. To organise a solution and to speak with our friendly customer service team, please get in touch.
Check if you qualify for a loan with LoanU – without damaging your credit score by entering your details into our qualification calculator.