Those looking to improve their finances need to find the middle ground between being a grinch and going overboard ahead of the holiday season.
Christmas is never a great time for those looking to save money, but there are a few tricks and tips that experts recommend for those looking to budget around the festive season.
Minnik Chartered Accountants founder Leah Oliver said that planning for the expenses of the holiday season in advance can make a big difference when it comes to dealing with the stresses involved.
“Until you can accurately identify your actual personal income and expenses, you will always be spending on things without knowing if they are affordable at that point in time,” she said.
For those looking to start calculating the costs of their next Christmas, Ms Oliver said that tracking your everyday household expenses is a great place to begin.
“This will allow you to see a clear picture of what surplus you have to work with,” she said, comparing the effective budgeting of a household to that of a successful business.
Once you’ve got that positively geared amount of income in mind, Ms Oliver explained that the next step was to divide and conquer your Christmas expenses.
By calculating each category of your seasonal expenses from holidays to entertainment to gifts, and then factoring those aggregated sums back into your household budget, Ms Oliver said that you should be left with a good idea of whether or not your ideal Christmas will fall within your means.
“If this figure is negative, it is clear that you are reaching for credit cards and debt to fund your lifestyle,” she warned.
Ms Oliver said that those who are struggling with tighter finances should consider alternative income streams or pulling back on unnecessary expenses if they want to try and improve their situation.
“It is remarkable the change we see in families who embrace this concept and take control of their financial position,” she said.
By planning for the expenses of Christmas ahead of time rather than flying blind with your money, Ms Oliver said that consumers will be better positioned to enter the year in a more positive financial position.
“Don’t let another year go by dealing with the financial stress of Christmas on your family,” she said.
Article courtesy of Nestegg