Christmas should be about family, not financial stress


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Spend the festive season wisely with these Christmas budgeting tips

Avoid festive financial strife this year by following these few tips to make sure Christmas is about only family, friends and fond memories.

1. Set a budget and stick to it

christmas budgeting tips

The Christmas tree can still be full of gifts, even if they all come within budget. And don't forget to budget for all the Christmas extras, since many of fork out more for food and alcohol at this time of year.

2. Shop with what you've got

Avoid dipping into savings or using credit cards to buy gifts with money you don't already have.

3. Pay off debt ASAP

If you do shop on a credit card, pay it off quickly and within the interest-free period, otherwise your budget will automatically blow out because of the interest owed on your credit card. You don't want to be dealing with a Christmas credit card hangover in January.

4. Use your loyalty to save

Better still, shop with loyalty points or on rewards programs. If you never use your rewards program, make the most of it at Christmas and redeem rewards for gifts.

5. Keep receipts

Hold on to your receipts so you have a realistic idea of how much this Christmas cost you. It'll make it much easier to plan for next year.

Effie Zahos' third book, A Real Girl's Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins, is on sale from March 1

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Effie Zahos is editor-at-large at Canstar and a financial commentator. She is the author of A Real Girl's Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins, and a regular money commentator on TV and radio across Australia. In 1999, a background in banking Effie helped kickstart Money, which she edited until 2019. Effie holds a Bachelor's degree in economics.

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