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Are You Cash-Strapped This Christmas?

Hi, my name is Adam Stewart, Debt Collection Expert and owner of Debt Recoveries Australia.

The festive season is upon us and so it is the season of gift giving. It is also the season for holidays, so there is a lot of money to outlay. Therefore, planning is crucial, so you are not too stressed leading up to the big day.

Here are my top five tips for avoiding financial stress at Christmas time:

1. Use a budget.
This is important, especially if you have many presents to buy and you have to allow for holiday money as well. If you are on a tight budget, some suggestions may include the following:

  • Give gifts for children only
  • A strict dollar limit budget on gifts
  • A ‘‘Secret Santa’’ where everyone picks a name out of a hat and purchases a gift for just that person. This can be particularly effective for larger gatherings where even small gifts for everyone will really strain the hip pocket. You can put a limit on the dollar amount spent on each gift.

2. Consider paying cash when you shop.
This is not the time to be taking out extra credit cards, just to buy Christmas presents. Paying cash will mean you keep track of what you spend and only spend what you have.

3. Organise a list of gifts beforehand so that you have a clear focus and don’t waste time browsing.
Large department stores are designed to make you walk around for hours, trying to find that one thing you need, which may be tucked away on the sixth floor in the corner. Meantime, you have spent your entire budget by being side tracked into buying presents for yourself!

4. Shop online.
Mainly because of point number 3, shopping online means you will be more focused on the exact item you are shopping for and arguably, get a much cheaper deal online as you will have more stores to choose from. Be aware of delivery times when shopping online.

5. For Christmas lunch, share the load.
As with the gifts, you should talk to your guests beforehand to discuss sharing the workload of the meal. If everyone is responsible for bringing a plate and/or something to drink, you will save on the stress of meal preparation as well as the cost of the ingredients.

I hope these tips will help you prioritise your finances and lead to a joyous and stress-free holiday season.

Debt Recoveries Australia is the expert at recovering your outstanding debts without the drama. For more information, email us at email@debtrecoveries.com.au or call 1300 799 511. Tell us your problems on Skype at “debtrecoveries”.

Photo credit: http://bit.ly/1Ot83xS

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