After a mentally challenging year, the festive season might be seen as an opportunity for some major retail therapy to replicate Christmases past however, you might be best-placed to put conscious spending before a credit binge this Christmas after the financial bruising many have suffered this year.

The challenges of 2020 have generally taught us to lead a simpler life and my advice is to keep that going into Christmas and avoid racking up credit debt at all costs.

With just under seven weeks left until Christmas, it is essential to plan and tailor your festive spending rather than embark on a COVID motivated cash splash.

When it comes to gifts the key is to make your shopping list now and chip away at it over the next few weeks rather than put yourself under pressure from a last-minute rush relying on credit. Also, create a little Christmas cash reserve and even though things might be tighter, this month we’ve seen the Federal Government’s tax bracket adjustments kick in for wage earners. Quarantine those dollars and use them for the festive season and even better keep that extra money going into a separate account so you a have a readymade fund for Christmas 2021.

For parents, buying presents could be a big burden, but a good tip is to work out what children will need in the coming year and turn them into gifts. If you know you’ll be up for new footy boots or art supplies get them now and turn them into a surprise from Santa.

The coming festive season is, as always, a time to think about the financial pressures on family and friends and take considerate and conscious steps to share the load.

These included:

  • Secret Santa style gift giving rather than people needing to by multiple presents
  • Set an appropriate gift amount that reflects people’s circumstances – particularly those doing it tough
  • Share the cost of hosting Christmas lunch/celebrations – don’t leave it to one household to bear the burden.

These are simple and sensible steps to take but they could make a big difference to your financial health over Christmas and reduce the temptation to rely on your credit card and end up with a different kind of New Year hangover.

This article was written by Lauren Lockhart, Financial Adviser at HLB Wealth. You can contact Lauren directly at llockhart@hlbwa.com.au

Please Note: The information contained within this communication been provided as general information only and prepared without taking into account your financial position, objectives, and needs. You should consider its appropriateness and seek financial advice before making any financial decisions.

Lauren Lockhart is an Authorised Representative of Paragem Pty Ltd ABN 16 108 571 875, AFSL 297276.