Planning and managing Christmas spending

By: Vanessa Dodunski

Most Kiwis usually fund Christmas using their credit cards, and many won’t pay them off before the interest-free period is over. With high interest rates, Christmas quickly becomes even more expensive.

At enableMe we encourage you to cut up your credit card, meaning you only spend the money you’ve got, rather than borrowing money you don’t have.

To avoid getting into debt, work out how much Christmas is going to cost, to include presents, food and holidays.

Then work out if you can actually afford it. Can you set aside an amount each payday until Christmas to cover it? If not, it’s time to revisit that initial budget.

Some ideas to help cut the cost of Christmas include putting everyone’s name in a hat and have everyone buy for the person they draw out, with a set budget for
the gift.

You can also ask family to buy useful gifts for the kids, such as sports shoes and swimming lessons, things they will love but also need.

Use online retailers who offer free shipping to reduce postage costs.

Spread the work (and cost) of Christmas by asking family members to bring a plate or a bottle.

Being generous is great, and people tend to be generous at Christmas time, but consistently giving more than you can afford to will only ever deliver one result – debt.

Making a budget and planning ahead can help make sure creating a Christmas to remember will not result in credit card bills you’d rather forget.

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