“For many of us, anxiety is high in the lead up to Christmas because we know we’re going to do what we always do: leave it to the last minute and massively overspend,” says Yellow Brick Road’s Lyndsey Douglas.
“Make the festive season actually festive by putting a little time into planning so you can shop faster and smarter, avoiding the financial festive hangover in January.”
“One way to take the pain out of what should be a Merry Christmas is to avoid the last-minute shopping and have a budget. That can be as simple as writing a list of people you need to purchase for and a plan A and plan B gift option. Put a price next to those options and get online first to source the gifts.”
“Whatever you can’t purchase online to arrive in time will then make up your target list. When you take on the crowds at the shops having a targeted list removes the need to browse, a common catalyst for purchasing too much as compensation for poor preparation.”
“Using these next few days to plan will save you from overspending and rushing on the 23rd and 24th. The people who get through this frenetic festive season with a smile on their face are the planners.”
An ASIC MoneySmart poll found 20 per cent of people pay for Christmas presents with credit cards while 60 per cent dip into our savings.
Yellow Brick Road also advises you don’t forgo regular expenses in favour of gift purchases.
“A Christmas budget should first ensure that things like mortgage/rent, insurance, phone and vehicle payments are covered over the whole holiday period. Don’t miss these just to buy more presents,” she said.
“Planning what you’re going to give helps ensure your loved ones get something special rather than something last-minute. It’s when you do the last-minute shopping that a gift is generally not thought-out and probably more expensive than you first envisaged.”
- Make memories: don’t underestimate the power of an experience as a gift, rather than material goods. A free concert or event with a picnic.
- Have limits: if you haven’t already, agree with family and friends on financial limits for gifts. This keep the costs down for everyone.
- Watch out for eleventh-hour extravagance: over the top gifts can blow the good-will of the recipient, as much as your budget.
- Don’t overcompensate: feeling guilty about leaving it to the last minute, or having not seen the gift recipient for a long time, or not having clear idea of what to buy can result in purchasing too many gifts for too much money.
“The financial pressure of the Christmas-New Year period shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment. When you plan and work within a budget, you take away some variables and stress and you can concentrate on friends and family,” she concluded.
For more information, contact:
Branch PR and Communications Manager
Yellow Brick Road Wealth Management
T 02 8226 8295
M 0450 769 337