Christmas is a wonderful time of year; a time for giving and sharing gifts with family and friends.  For many of us, Christmas is also a time where we tend to overspend and spend a lot of money.

Shopping centres offer extended trading hours, free samples and free entertainment and it’s virtually impossible to leave without multiple purchases.

If this sounds like you – don’t worry! This year you can stay on track with the following tips:

Make a list – and stick to it

Make a list of the family members and friends you would like to buy a gift for, and then determine how much money you can realistically afford to spend.  Assign a dollar amount for each person on your list.

Remember; don’t spend money you don’t have and stick to your initial budget!

Do your research

The shopper has more control over the buying process than ever before.  Retailers continuously have promotions on popular items as it gets closer to Christmas, so if you want to grab yourself a bargain, ensure you do your research.

If you know the exact item you’re after, browse each store to find the cheapest price.  Many stores will also price match if you can provide proof.

Doing your research also prevents from wandering around the shopping centre with no success or buying unwanted gifts.

Pay in Cash

Paying in cash will force you to stick to your Christmas budget. With the money in your hand, you will think twice about each purchase because after it has been spent, it’s gone!

If you buy gifts on credit, you’re much more likely to lose track of exactly just how much you’ve spent.  Aside from that, if you can’t pay the full amount back by the due date, you’ll be charged interest on those purchases.

Review actual spending against budget

For each purchase made, update your budget with the actual amount spent. If you’ve gone overboard on some items, you will have to forgo other purchases to ensure are not breaking budget.

It will take some time planning your budget but rest assured, you’ll be much more relaxed afterwards knowing you have stuck to your budget. If you need extra help, contact the accountants at The Quinn Group on 02 9223 9166 or make an online enquiry here – we can help you put a budget in place!