Spending responsibly this Christmas

It’s the time of year to let loose; purse strings, waistbands, personality, and everything else.

It’s been a long year, it’s time to reward yourself.

But don’t let the happy holiday cheer engulf you too wholly, just because it’s a festive season, doesn’t mean there’s much room for complacency.

Christmas is the most expensive time of the year, what with money spent on gifts, travel, food, drink, and everything in between, little purchases here and there can add up. With all these purchases accumulating over such a small space of time, it can come as a bit of a shock when your credit card bill comes through the mail in the new year. Check out some helpful little tips to make sure that you’re not caught out come January 1st.

KNOW YOUR BUDGET

It might be an attractive prospect to splurge and spoil all of your loved ones, but going all-in on everything you want can lead to unfortunate situations in the following months. Knowing your budget will allow you to know exactly what your spending priorities are, and what Christmas traditions can be cut back on.

Budgeting your Christmas activities will also save you time, as well as money. It will relieve a lot of stress in the build-up to that big day, and having a checklist of what needs to be done should save any last minute rushing into the city to pick up this year’s most popular present.

DON’T BE WASTEFUL

This can be applied to everything from food, to money, to time. One of the most devastating things to happen around Christmas is spending hundreds of dollars on food, and having half remaining as leftovers. If you have a small family, there is no need to overindulge with the biggest turkey; half is only going to be binned anyway.

The same is true regarding gifts. There is no point in buying presents for a distant cousin if you don’t know what they like or what or even what they look like. If you must buy something, consider perhaps a gift from the whole family and pool your money, or, should that fail, a gift card to a favourite department store can always be used, or re-gifted.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Ah, the office Christmas party. The chance to let your hair down, tear your tie off and dance the night away. But you need to know your limits, be this with food, alcohol, or time. There’s no point in going hard at the Christmas party if you’re going to find yourself attending an interlock violation hearing in the future. The holiday season brings out the best and worst in everyone, ensure that it brings out the best in you.

Over the festive season, officials and law enforcement are on the look-out for any infringement, and you can’t rely on the spirit of the season to let you off. All will become of your Christmas bonus will be pennies, when needing to pay back any fines – or worse.

If you want a healthy and happy Christmas, it’s vital to keep an eye on your account balance, your dietary balance and, finally, your balance, after perhaps one too many chocolate liqueurs.

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