Beat the Festive Binge
April is already well underway and 2017 seems to be flying by with life getting busier, weekends slipping into weekdays and calendars filling up until the middle of the year. Before we know it Christmas will be here and we will be in the same unfortunate financial boat in January 2018 as we seem to find ourselves each year.
Most of us have long forgotten the financial burden that the festive season can often have on our budgets. February is dubbed as one of the worst months of the year for trying to get over the festive binge and cutting the unwanted debt that quickly creeps up.
Now is the time to take a step back, implement a saving scheme and avoid another attack of the festive financial blues in 2017.
Earlier this year AMP financial planner Mark Borg said “there are a couple of easy ways to get cracking now to avoid financial pain at the end of the year”.
“Work out who you are going to give presents to and budget how much per present, also work out how much you are going to spend on a holiday,’’ he said.
“Sometimes, clever people also buy presents early and add to them throughout the year.”
Working backwards in this instance can be a valuable exercise. Reflect on Christmas 2016 and how much it cost and use that as a guide to work out a budget for the impending festive season. Divide that figure by the amount of weeks till Christmas and you have your very own saving plan. By putting money aside each week you are setting up a realistic plan of attack. This savings plan ensures you know exactly how much you can afford to spend and guarantees less Christmas Eve stress over last minute festive decorations.
Credit cards are widely used as the go to source of ready cash at this time of year. If you are thinking about burning a hole in your credit card for next Christmas, the average card rates are 17% and if you don’t pay that debt off in full you will be hit with unwanted charges. It might be a good reminder to look at alternative accounts to assist with achieving your goals by December.
An alternative and popular tactic is to use Christmas Club accounts, this type of account is designed exclusively for festive saving. Deposits can be made throughout the year and the funds can only be accessed during the period of 1 November and 31 January.
With the weeks rolling into each other and financial pressures becoming more prominent it really does pay to plan ahead.
Preparation is key and if you would like budgeting tips, please get in touch with one of the Powers Wealth Advisors.