We all look forward to Christmas; some of us for the parties and gifts, others because we get to catch up with friends, do some entertaining and get a break from work. It’s a busy time and it’s important to keep control of your finances amongst the Christmas cheer and shopping hysteria. Deep down it would be wonderful to buy your kids that PlayStation VR, your husband that Lamborghini he carries on about, and wouldn’t you love to splurge on a trip to Tiffany and Co? The reality is that it’s time to set a Christmas budget that won’t break the bank!

Gift giving can be expensive so firstly set aside only the amount of money you can afford to spend. Secondly, make a list of the people you want to buy for and lastly the amount you want to spend on them. Your list may look something like this:

 

Budget $1,200

GIFTS

Budget Actual Left over Gift ideas
Mum $175 $160 $15 Hand bag
Dad $175 $180 ($5) Wallet
Brother $150 $140 $10 Turntable
Sister $150 $140 $10 Earrings
Son $175 $190 ($15) Virtual reality glasses
Daughter $175 $165 $10 Make up
Husband/Wife $200 $200 0 Model car/Cubic zirconia ring

 

Total $1,200 $975 $25  

 

You might buy some gifts above or below budget, note how much you have spent on each person and check if you have managed to stay on budget. Christmas shopping lists can also be helpful to stay on track.

It’s also nice to consider friends, neighbours and colleagues during this time of year and thoughtful homemade gifts are cherished and take only a small budget and a little effort. Baked cookies are a great tasty gift and a treat as well as a fun thing to make with the kids.

Your budget is the indicator of what you can and can’t afford, so don’t blow the budget!

A few points to consider that will make life easier:

  • Set up a Christmas account at the beginning of the year and have an amount direct debited regularly to reach your Christmas goal by December.

 

  • Don’t wait until the last minute to do your shopping. If you find something on sale through the year purchase it and stash it in the Christmas cupboard.

 

  • Layby items and pay them off throughout the year.

 

  • Suggest Kris Kringle/Secret Santa Gifts so you can buy one special present.

 

  • A coupon book for free stuff, like baby sitting or a massage or a favourite meal can be a special gift throughout the year.

 

Whatever you choose to give remember to create lovely memories with your friends and family and embrace the Christmas spirit wholeheartedly. Thoughtfully chosen gifts are more important than expensive ones so don’t create a burden for the New Year by blowing your Christmas budget! All the best from the team at DFG Wealth (03) 5976 8426.