Australians spend on average $1079 each over the holiday season, and most of that ends up in the land of unwanted gifts as we somehow seem to forget how to spend wisely!
A Galaxy poll, commissioned by Gumtree, revealed that in 2015, Australians received more than 20 million unwanted gifts, to the value of around $520 million – Yikes! Talk about a waste of money.
No wonder it’s called the silly season. It seems that most of us have a tendency to go a little overboard on the holiday spending – buying gifts for the sake of it and spending money like no tomorrow.
The result? Most of us are left with a pile of unwanted gifts given and received and one very large financial hangover to deal with in the new year!
While we’re all for enjoying the holiday season, we’re also all for balancing the festivities and avoiding the new year financial hangover!
If you’re someone who has a tendency to splurge it seems you’re not alone “To Spend Less, Save More” was the third most popular New Year’s resolution in 2015!
As the 2016 holiday season fast approaches, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you keep your spending in check and ensure you start the new year minus the financial hangover.
• Connect with the real purpose of the holidays and what you really value about this season.
For some this may still mean the giving and receiving of gifts but for others what makes this season so special may be the time off and time spent in the company of family, friends and loved ones.
• Set a budget for your holiday spending and do your best to stick to it. Try not to get too carried away with the Christmas hype.
• Make a list – Santa does it and you should too! It’s much easier to shop and stick to a budget when you have an idea of what you want to buy for, and how much you want to spend! It also means you can shop around and research the best price of items for sale.
• Be mindful of ways to give this holiday period Gifts don’t always have to be material or monetary. Sometimes the best gifts can often be in the form of our time and attention.
• Think about spending alternatives – can you make something or buy second hand? There are plenty of creative ideas that you can gift.
Choose value over price tag. In order to be valued a gift doesn’t have to be expensive.
Try going for more thoughtful and less expensive gifts. As the saying goes… it’s the thought the counts which is a great motto to remember when doing your Christmas shopping!
• Leave the credit cards at home! One of the biggest culprits in the holiday spending splurge are credit cards!
But just remember, every time you reach for the Visa or Mastercard, or swipe the AMEX, you’re using future income, not income you’ve even earned yet, to buy these things!
• Recycle or upcycle If you do receive an unwanted gift this year, rather than sticking it in the cupboard or garage see if you can return or exchange it, or even give it to charity.