All I Want for Christmas is to Stay out of Debt

17/12/2015   The Hopkins Group

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

With Christmas rapidly approaching, now is the time to set your Christmas spending plan in motion.

There are some simple rules to follow to avoid unwanted January debt. Most of us know them, yet how well do we implement them?

Avoid Impulsive Buying

Write a list. Know who you need to buy for and set limits on how much you will spend for each person. Stick to this limit. 

“The closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely you are to panic buy and break your budget,” says ME Bank spokesperson Rebecca James.

Plan to shop ahead of time to avoid putting too many purchases on the credit card at the last minute.

Do some research before going to the shopping centre by going online and comparing prices.

Be in Control of Your Credit Card

The Retail Council Christmas Spending Index for 2015 is forecasting that “Nationally $35 billion is expected to be spent in the lead up to Christmas”.

Credit cards make it too easy to spend money. Only spend money that you know you can afford to pay back by the time the interest free period runs out on your credit card.

With an average credit card interest rate around 17% that thought alone should deter you from overspending on the plastic. Credit card interest rates are more than nearly four times the interest rates of some mortgages.

Don’t kid yourself by sharing the spend over multiple cards. Consider using only one card as it is a lot easier to keep track of what you have spent when it’s all on the one bill.

Use Software to Track Your Expenses

If you have been unsuccessful at sticking to a budget in the past, take advantage of free software to track your expenses.

The MoneySmart website features an application called TrackMySPEND which tracks your spending and allows you to set a limit. It can be downloaded to your smart phone so you can monitor your spending on the go and keep track of every single purchase.

During this festive season it is easy to overspend. Remember;

If you fail to plan; then you plan to fail.

Speaking of planning, if you would like some help developing your financial plan for 2016, why not give us a call on 1300 726 082? Our financial planning team is here to help. We can discuss your current situation, and look what you want to achieve, both now and in the future. It’s never too early to start planning for next Christmas and I look forward to the opportunity to help you reach your financial goals.


Disclaimer: John Hopkins Financial Services Pty Ltd are Representatives of WealthSure Financial Services Pty Ltd Level 1 190 Stirling Street PERTH WA 6000 ACN:130 288 578 AFSL: 326450. 

General Advice Warning: This advice may not be suitable to you because it contains general advice that has not been tailored to your personal circumstances. Please seek personal financial advice prior to acting on this information.

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