How To Avoid The Christmas Spending Hangover Without Being A Grinch
Christmas can mean many things to many different people.
For some, it’s all about spending more time with family and friends.
For others, it may mean showing gratitude, sharing and making people happy.
Whatever Christmas means for you, don’t let it knock you out with a Christmas spending hangover!
In this article we talk about how to avoid the Christmas spending hangover without being a Grinch, so you can enjoy your holiday season without over spending and getting yourself into financial trouble.
Some Interesting Stats
Each year Australians rack up about $32 billion on credit card debt over the Christmas period – Mozo.
Christmas shopping is worth about $10 billion per year to the Australian economy – Gumtree.
Australians spend, on average $1,325 each Christmas – Finder.
Between $464 and $670 is spent on up to eight presents – Finder / Gumtree.
The biggest shopping day is usually Boxing Day / Proclamation Day followed by the day before Christmas and then the weekend before Christmas.
Celebrating The Silly Season
Everybody wants to celebrate the silly season in their own way.
Many people tend to get carried away trying to keep up with the Joneses and spending on things that they probably don’t need to.
This results in buyers’ remorse the following year, which can be painful both emotionally and financially.
The desire for instant gratification, to get it and just deal with the ramifications later on can mean that you are paying for your Christmas spending hangover for months or maybe even years afterwards.
The Growing Social Trend Against Excessive Consumerism
Before you go out and start splurging keep in mind that your family and friends probably don’t want to see you getting into financial stress.
If your budget is tight, then there is no need to make the situation worse.
Most people would prefer a thoughtful gift rather than one that’s simply expensive.
There is also a growing social trend against excessive consumerism and many people are taking to social media to discuss creative ways to make Christmas more sustainable.
Another growing trend is a desire to minimise what people have around the house or declutter, so actually you might be buying stuff you might think is nice but the other person might not appreciate it at all.
3 Ways To Avoid The Christmas Spending Hangover Without Being A Grinch
1. Buy Unique Second Hand Gifts
Buying second hand gifts can emanate a certain stigma but often second hand presents can look as good as new.
Many consumers are embracing second hand shopping, swapping quantity for quality.
Think of it this way – accept second hand presents and you’ll get more!
65% of Australians say that they would be happy to receive a second-hand gift this Christmas – Gumtree.
TIP: Look for antiques and items that are limited edition, with a bit of ‘sweat equity” you may just uncover something that is a bit more unique and more valuable than a brand new present.
2. Give The Gift Of Quality Time
Let’s face it, we’re all time poor.
We could all use more time, so why not give some of yours as a gift?
You can give an act of kindness without spending any money!
Instead of a $100 gift how about spending half a day helping a family member to declutter their home or do the gardening.
TIP: Think of an activity that would be really beneficial to your family member or friend and book a time when you can help them with it together – it’s quality time together doing something that is much needed and appreciated.
3. Commit To A Spending List
Nobody likes to budget but everyone likes to spend so how about committing to a spending list!
Write down a list of everything that you are planning to spend on, not just gifts but think of also Christmas cards, social events and travel expenses.
Also, make a list of family and friends and ideas for what you can do for each of them.
Write down a list of who you want to spend your money and / or time on and use it as a guide.
This will help act as a guide, so when you have used up all of your holiday spending budget, you’ll know that it’s time to stop spending.
Be sure not to forget anyone.
TIP: Spread the cost of Christmas throughout the year, put the money into a Christmas savings account or simply reserve the money in your normal savings account. This will allow you to purchase your Christmas gifts without overspending or worrying about how much you have to spend on gifts.
Remember Your Savings Target
Even though you think you might be doing something nice for others by taking a step back and looking at the big picture you’ll realise that maybe it’s not actually what they want.
This advice is particularly relevant if you are a potential first home buyer looking to show at least three months of genuine savings.
Remember your savings target and that you need to achieve this target within three consecutive months.
Two good months and one bad month means that you will have to start all over again.
So enjoy your Christmas holidays but keep these tips in mind so you can start the new year on the right track.
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