Challenge accepted: A credit card-free Christmas
If the sight of Christmas decorations and the blare of carols is causing you to break into a cold sweat just thinking about all the festive financials, take a deep breath.
Finance guru from Debt Free Diva, Tracy Hemingway, shares her practical ideas for making this Christmas a memorable one, even on a budget.
Is it too late to prepare for Christmas this year?
Christmas can be a stressful time of year, but it's never too late to get prepared and put a plan in place. Having a calendar, for example, helps to reduce the pressure of planning and spending on Christmas parties, end of year activities and family events.
If you have limited time and cash this year, don’t feel bad for making choices to ensure you keep it together both mentally and financially.
How much should I spend on gifts this year?
Rather than spending money on presents for each person, nothing is more loved and appreciated than a homemade gift.
Making up goodie bags filled with Christmas biscuits, homemade fudge, candy canes and a handwritten note is not only cost effective, it is a lovely way to show them your appreciation.
Tailor each goodie bag to your budget, purchase items on special, utilise staples readily available at home and you can create between 20-30 homemade delights for under $40.
Don't forget to get the kids involved too and make it a fun activity for everyone!
Cash is tight this year, should I put Christmas on the credit card?
According to research from Finder, the average Kiwi spent around $624 on Christmas in 2019.
This year has been a wild ride for most people, so it is unsurprising that cash may be tight. With many having experienced financial hardship this year, a 'Christmas credit card' will only add to your stress levels.
Don't be afraid to make Christmas 2020 more about decorating and spending time together than presents. Keep it simple and fun by prioritising your time for loved ones. Offer friends and family an IOU voucher, in the form of offering to help with chores, a stroll along the beach or a low-key movie night at home.
To curb spending on entertainment, try and find out what's going on in your local community. There may be a few free events you can attend, such as Christmas carols in the park or going to see the Christmas lights.
Having a dedicated day to put up the Christmas tree is another terrific way to have fun without breaking the bank. Dress up in your festive clothes, invite friends and family around and crank up the Christmas carols!
Use this Christmas to make some amazing memories and reflect upon the enjoyable moments spent with family and friends.
I am hosting Christmas this year – what can I do to reduce the stress and stay in budget?
Juggling everyone and everything for Christmas dinner can be a stressful situation. But having a couple of tricks and tips can help make the day run like clockwork.
Start by writing a shopping list of all the ingredients you need, then divide it up over the weeks left and simply add these to your weekly shop to avoid having one big bill during the busiest time of the year. Just be sure to start with the non-perishable items first!
There are also savings to be made in bulk buying and meal prepping, so have a look at items on special that you can cook and freeze in advance. You'll save cash and have more time to spend with friends and family on the big day!
The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Resimac. The above is general commentary only and is not advice tailored to any individual's financial situation. We recommend seeking advice from an insurance or finance professional before implementing changes relating to your finances.