55 Days to go! October 30 2015, 0 Comments

We are very fond of countdowns. Marking weeks, days, hours and even seconds until a vacation or birthday or midnight on New Year’s Eve! It seems to increase our anticipation and the excitement for a major event. It should be no surprise, then, that one of our most enduring Christmas traditions, among children and adults alike, has been the eager counting of days until Dec. 25.

According to the Australian Retailers Association and creditcardfinder.com.au, Australian shoppers will spend about $488 each on Christmas presents which is around $45 billion between mid-November and December 24. Our Christmas spending this year is set to include $18.5 billion on food alone. These are big numbers so here are a few tips on how to get through the season with your finances intact.

Make a budget for the WHOLE season; it has to cover presents, food and drink, but most importantly, it has to cover all your usual overheads: don't miss mortgage, rent, finance and insurance payments because you overspent on gifts.

Make a list of presents with a dollar limit. This makes it far easier to budget and by not going over, it might even allow for a sneaky present or two for yourself (Only if you’ve budgeted for it of course).

Don't enter a shop without a list. Impulse buying and duplication will always blow your budget to the moon and back. It’s a HUGE no, no!

Plan and budget your Christmas lunches and get-togethers. Once you buy a ham, a turkey and some wine, the costs are starting to mount. So coordinate your guests to bring salads, desserts and bubbly and you’ll be set.

If you're the one doing the visiting, plan in advance for gifts and a plate, and plan for a ride home or budget for the taxi fare if you need one.

Communicate with other family members and negotiate cost limits on gifts. It doesn't mean you're cheap – everyone is relieved when someone suggests a limit. It stops people from going OTT and making you feel uncomfortable when you unwrap that super expensive present.

Shopping online is a great alternative also, but only when you have a budget! So make sure you enter into your budget some super awesome, personalised cases for friends and family from ipersonalised.com!