- December 9, 2018
- Kate Sheehan
Wonderful Christmas Tips
Great ways to stretch the food, fun and finances at Christmas:
Let’s make Christmas fun for adults as well as children. Christmas can be a real juggle and if we get it right – everyone wins!
Let’s sort the food:
Take the pressure off! Make sure everyone contributes.
How much fun are you having?
Low Cost Entertainment:
- Every year my family enjoys a very robust game of ‘Taboo’. Young or old everyone plays. We split the family into two teams and prepare for a fun, noisy game. https://www.kmart.com.au/product/taboo—board-game/1020808
- We also have lots of laughs with ‘Balderdash’ – we don’t bother with the board, we just use the dictionary or online dictionary to pick the word.
- Pack of cards – for $2 you’ll get hours of fun playing Euchre or 500.
- Drag out the old Scrabble Board for some more fun. I’ve found the confidence gained online with ‘Words with Friends’ quickly disappears when I’m sitting opposite my big brother.
Money, or rather lack of it, is one of the biggest stressors at Christmas. Let’s see how we can best avoid this seasonal stress:
Christmas Credit and Pay Later Traps
Resist the temptation to use a service that allows you to buy now, pay later or to use your credit card.
What are you buying and for who?
- Seriously consider adopting a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle approach to giving presents.
– Secret Santa: each person buys ONE present valued at the agreed amount eg. $50. Fun and too easy. https://www.secretsantaorganizer.com/
– Kris Kringle: everyone buys one present for one other nominated person. Someone is in charge of writing down all the guests names and then pairing people up by drawing the names out of a hat. Create a Whatsapp Group of all guests and message to let them all know who they are buying for and the agreed value eg. $50. On Christmas Day everyone has a present to open and someone to thank for their thoughtful gift. Happy days.
- If you prefer the ‘buy a gift for everyone’ method, then a simple spreadsheet can help you get it all sorted. The sooner you start, the sooner its organised!
– Most of the stress comes from not getting organised or from buying more than we need.
– Plan week by week what you need to buy.
– This spreadsheet helps you work out what you are likely to spend, where you need to pull back a bit and can get your mind focused on looking out for specials. Specials, when you don’t impulse buy, can really save some serious dollars.
When it all gets too hard to go to the shops or find a park, you can buy almost anything online these days. There can be some great specials online. Stick to your spreadsheet planner and remember to include enough time for delivery:
Avoid Christmas Price Hikes
The price of oil has been falling so there is no reason for the retailers to hike up the price of fuel this Christmas. However, old habits die hard, so it’s best to fill up the car petrol tank 3-7 days before Christmas.
We hope you don’t need it but if you do, the sooner you get help, the sooner you can break free:
- Financial Counselling Australia – https://financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au/Home
– If you really get into trouble, this is a great place to go for independent, not-for-profit financial counselling.
- Credit report – keep on top of your credit each year prior to Christmas
– Call the credit reporting agency Equifax and request your free annual copy
What about next year?
Get ready for next year. Early in the new year, set up an account to use for long term goals including Christmas. Save a little every month and make next Christmas the joy it’s meant to be. If you do this by direct debit each month, you don’t need to think about it until next December. If this is too hard, you can buy the occasional gift card and put it aside, to spend on gifts at Christmas time. Remember, gift cards are as good as cash so keep them in a safe place.
We are very excited to see what 2019 has in store for you and your investing.
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Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas from all at Wealthwise Education.