The end of the year often brings about a mixed bag of emotions. According to the Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC), a government-funded organisation helping New Zealanders get ahead financially, one in four Kiwis felt pressure from their family or community to spend more on Christmas than they would like to.
Being in the financial services sector, we firmly believe that a great Christmas doesn’t mean breaking the bank, so we reached out to our fellow colleagues for some Christmas money tips!
1. Before Christmas, discuss with your family about buying gifts and spending limits etc. Then set a spending limit and stick to it!
2. Only spend cash when preparing for Christmas – you can’t “overspend”.
3. Evaluate purchases by Cost Per Use. It may seem financially responsible to buy a $5 shirt instead of a $30 shirt – only if you ignore the quality factor! When deciding if the latest tech toy, kitchen gadget, or apparel item is worth it, factor in how many times you’ll use it or wear it.
4. Have your savings in a different bank – one that you can’t access via phone/internet banking.
5. Enjoy picnics, beaches and tramping – activities that are free, instead of spending money on movies, Snowplanet etc. Look for free events such as the fireworks, light shows, and Christmas shows to take your family to.
6. Share Christmas lunch and dinner duties by having everyone bring a plate.
7. Try baking, sewing or making gifts – give from the heart, not the piggy bank. You can also get young kids to make Christmas cards.
8. Buy Christmas decorations and Christmas gifts / related items (mugs, socks, T-shirts) a couple of weeks after Christmas. Alternatively, buy them in advance. Don’t get stuck paying more as you rush to get a gift at the last minute.
9. Have a family secret Santa so each person only has to buy one gift – which means you can spend more time hunting down the best deal.
10. Ban gift giving for a year to appreciate people’s presence – not their presents.
And finally, don’t forget to have fun! We often get so busy (and stressed) planning the perfect Christmas that we forget the best gift of all is something money can’t buy – having our friends and family around us. Cliché, but true.