Christmas is a tricky time of year, especially when it comes to managing money.

It is so easy to let those dollars fly out of the wallet and later thinkwhere did it all go?”.  Worse still, if it is that sneaky credit card getting the workout.

Whether it is Christmas lunches, gifts or just catch up drinks, it all adds up.

Don’t take a head in the sand approach this Christmas/ New Year season. Face it with Intention.

With a ready mindset, you can relax and enjoy the moments, rather than diving into the money vortex and living the stress later.

1. Be Prepared

Lets get really honest…

How much do you have to play with anyway?  I don’t mean credit, I mean cash.

What savings have you got that you are happy to apply to this adventure?  How many pays till Christmas, and what can you afford to use from each of these pays?

Turn that into a dollar figure.  Now commit to it.  This is your Christmas Fun Money.

2. Get Your Priorities Straight

You have an amount to work towards but you now need to split it up between Gifts, Christmas Events and Parties/Work Lunches/Drinks.  Start by quickly allocating an amount to each and see how far that gets you.

Gifts

Giving is fun but being thoughtful brings more value than dollars to your gift

We all have choices here, and it really truly is the thought behind the gift that counts.  Spend time on this, use your imagination.

Do you really need to buy another thing that is forgotten about right after Christmas? Don’t buy into that, your intention and the spirit of giving is the most important.

Now write out the gift list, the whole list, everyone you want to give something to.  Then split your list into “must buy a gift” and “just want them to know I care” (making gifts).

Order the “must buy” items by priority, cut it down and then allocate your budget.  Leave some for the “making gifts” allocation.  Last year I put some time into ideas around this, click here for 6 tips for a great Christmas without the big spend.

Christmas Day

This one comes down to preparation and instead of all the stress at the last minute, why not start now?  If it is your turn this year, start baking and freezing now! Look for all the specials leading up to Christmas, particularly for alcohol, don’t leave it to the last minute!

Plans save money!  If you have to hit the shops, only do it with a list in hand and promise yourself nothing off-list  There really is a lot of wastage at Christmas, focus on quality rather than quantity.

Parties/ Lunches/ Events

What, when, with who and what is the budget you are going to stick to for each event?  Do it!

If you know where you are going, review the menu before you go so you know roughly how much you are ‘up for’.  If it is drink with friends, and you have run out of Christmas fun money, then suggest drinks at your house instead. For this area, you really need to determine what is “worth it” but more importantly, “what is not worth it”. Credit card debt lasts A LOT longer than a splurge.

With money you need to determine what is “worth it” but more importantly “what is not worth it”

3. Remember The Spirit

Drinks, celebrations, connecting and gifts are all part of what makes Christmas fun, and we are definitely about embracing that spirit.

With planning, intention and creativity, Christmas doesn’t have to also be a stressful money sink.  Let’s not let the January credit card bill blow out because the reality of that means chasing your tail for another year.

You know the number you are working to.  Allocate it, commit to it then…

Let your hair down, have fun and connect with family and friends. that is what Christmas in Australia is all about!!!

Having financial clarity, getting your personal finances under control and heading where you want is like having a super power. My goal is to give every Australian access to this superpower.  I also love camping, great food and hanging out with my family and friends.