THERE’S just six weeks to go until Santa arrives and for many of us we won’t have saved a penny or even written up a presents list.
Every year Santa’s looming arrival creeps up quickly and many Australians will be familiar with that feeling of an awful festive hangover in January — not just an alcohol-induced one but a spending hangover.
The only way I’ve managed to avoid getting myself into a festive frenzy in the lead up to Christmas is by being organised.
Many years ago I decided I wasn’t going to be a sheep and join the rest of the crowd by racking up credit card debt at Christmas, instead I would set aside a stash of cash in time for my inevitable festive spend up.
And it’s worked beautifully.
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This year I’ve upped my direct debits from $15 a week to $25 a week from my salary and they’ve gone straight into my “Christmas account” with a promise to myself it’s not to be touched until the tail end of the year and it’s only to be used for Christmas spending.
And so sitting in there in my online savings account is just a touch over $1100.
What has made it extra difficult to ever dip into this pool of cash is there’s no card attached to the account, it’s all online, so in other words “mitts off!”
It’s a good feeling to not have to whip out the credit card to buy those meaningless gifts and there’s no chance I’ll be wearing a credit card hangover in 2018.
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But for some this is all a little too late, reliance on the credit card is the only way to get through.
If that’s you, don’t give up just yet.
There’s loads of sales on already, my inbox has been flooded in recent weeks with deals from retailers spruiking Christmas specials.
So if you’ve savvy enough, start pouncing on these offers and tick off the presents list so you’re not faced with a mad rush to the shops in the final week before Christmas.
It’s also worth stocking up on your food and alcohol supplies, there’s so many items popping up on special every week at supermarkets and liquor stores and these items are easy enough to be stored away in time for Christmas.
But if you have to use your credit card then so be it, but for goodness sakes make sure you check the fees and charges you are paying on your card.
With some card deals out there with interest rates as low as 8 per cent, there’s a good chance you’ll be paying way too much in interest if you can’t pay your debt off in full at the end of the month.