• Deborah Roscoe

How to keep your finances on track over Christmas

Christmas can be a wonderful time to spend with family and friends but it is easy to end up regretting the financial decisions made after the holidays are over. So enjoy the fun and tradition of Christmas time with your family and friends but be mindful that it is very easy to be swept up in it all and be tempted by all the sales and emotional marketing tactics and family and friends expectations that are part and parcel of the festive season.

Be prepared not only financially but emotionally so you don’t get swept up in the excitement and regret your spending spree in the new year.

The best way to be prepared is to plan ahead and budget for the festive season and the following steps can help you stay focused:

  • Make a list

  • Write down the ideas for each person

  • Get a price estimate of what the cost is for each of these items

  • Don’t forget to add extra for additional food, decorations, cards, family, etc.

  • Add everything up

  • Be prepared to cut out things that are less important or too expensive or select more affordable options.

Don’t use credit card or other debt to make the budget work as this will only stress you out when the festive season is over and put your financial goals back for some time and as it is non-deductible "bad" debt it costs you interest on top of your purchases but provides you with no tax benefit.

Stick to the budget you’ve set so that when Christmas comes around you are happy in the knowledge that you still get to enjoy the festive season but won’t regret the budget blow out or worse, credit card debt you’re left with in January.