Christmas is just around the corner and it’s not uncommon for us to overspend during this period.

Follow these easy tips to avoid spending too much:

Have a pre-Christmas clean-up: go through your house and clear out anything you no longer need, clothes, books or furniture and sell them online or a garage sale. This extra cash could go towards the Christmas budget.

Make a list and check it twice: plan your spending, set realistic budgets and stick to it so you don’t over buy.

Shop around: search online for the best price for gifts, remember to include shipping costs. Don’t forget to double check the estimated delivery date as you don’t want your gift arriving late.

Grab your gift cards: got any gift cards you haven’t used yet, put the funds towards purchasing a gift for someone.

Get social with Christmas shopping: start following your favourite brands/retailers for exclusive deals; also look at deal apps such as Groupon to purchase discounted activities (e.g. tickets to the zoo, beauty treatment) and ‘honey’ for promo codes on online purchases.

Set gift giving guidelines: agree on a spending limit, buy for kids only, create DIY vouchers, make homemade presents or buy second-hand bargains (visit garage sales in your neighbourhood), set up secret santa which is a great way for the whole family to save money and get everyone involved, especially when you let the kids play Santa.

Lighten your load on Christmas Day: share the catering by creating a plan of who is bring what, only buy what you need, use loyalty credits.

Holiday let your home: if you are traveling away over the holiday season, consider renting out your home. Alternatively offer your home to someone you know that needs a holiday on a budget, plus if you have pets, they can take care of them while you are away and you can save on kennel costs.

Plan for next Christmas: start saving now, plan out a budget and allocate an amount to save each week/fortnight; also, if you receive a tax refund you could put this toward the saving kitty. And you could shop for presents throughout the year when there are sales.

Remember the holiday season is the perfect time to recharge and reconnect with family and friends, not a time to put yourself under financial pressure.

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“Got any questions? The FAA Team are here to help!”

John Hehir