14 Dec 2018

There’s a reason it is called the silly season and love it or hate it, it’s now well and truly upon us. Many of us will suffer from a financial hangover long after the Christmas tree has been packed away and Easter Eggs are filling the supermarkets. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The greatest gift you can give yourself is to take care of your finances this festive season and we have some real-life tips to help you on your way.

  1. Don’t Over Spend

We are not in the business of crushing anyone’s dreams, however as a duty of care we feel it necessary to point out that you are not Kim and Kanye. Don’t try to live up to unrealistic ideals you see on social media and online. Live your own truth and let your finances reflect that. Set realistic expectations, make a budget and stick to it – simple as that.

  1. Pay Cash Not Credit

According to Equifax, 2017 saw Australians spend around $29 billion on credit cards at Christmas time with an average spend of $1,727 per card in the month of December. Given the high interest rates of most credit cards this equates to the financial hangover lasting well into the new year, with last year’s credit card bill on average not cleared until Easter. Do yourself a huge favour and limit any credit card spending and don’t get enticed by low rate store cards.

  1. Employ a Personal Assistant – Yourself!

No one can plan your Christmas season or manage your finances better than you. Be your own Personal Assistant and Money Manager. Strategise a game plan for what shopping needs to be done when, for whom and how much to spend. Leaving it all to the last minute will most likely lead to over spending due to panic. The best gift you can give yourself is financial freedom and that starts with a plan and focus. Make it your job to be financially savvy this season.

  1. Use Cash Gifts to Clear Debt

If you receive a gift of cash, use it to pay down debt. We know that this sounds boring but so does a future paying off a credit card at a 15% interest rate or more year upon year. The more you pay now the less you pay later when it comes to reducing debt and it’s an investment in your future financial position when you contribute now.

  1. Avoid Boxing Day Sales

Be honest – when you go to a Boxing Day sale it’s not likely that you need something, it’s because you want to take advantage of the low prices and “save” money. This is a false economy if you are spending money purely for the sake of it. If there is something specifically you have been holding out for then great, otherwise stay home and watch the cricket – its free!

  1. Make an appointment to see your Broker

Your home loan is usually your biggest financial commitment so taking the time out to ensure it’s still working hard for you is a no-brainer. If you have not spoken to your broker in the past year now is the time to book an appointment to sit down with them and start the year off right. Your mortgage broker’s service is the gift that keeps on giving so make sure your avail yourself of this free, money saving service as often as you can.

The team at Blackburne Mortgage Broking wish you and your loved ones a safe festive season and thank you for your support throughout 2018. We just ask one thing – be kind you yourself by being mindful of your finances. Having the biggest, best and shiniest doesn’t make you the happiest but being financially savvy certainly makes you well on the way to a terrific financial future.

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