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How to survive the Holiday Season without going into the red

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We know that Santa is coming soon when our weeks get booked up with pre-Christmas drinks, work parties and nights out. How much are you going to spend in the lead-up to Christmas for social gatherings and Christmas gifts?

What impact will New Year's Eve have on your budget? What are your plans for January to keep the family happy during the school holidays?

Whatever your answers to these questions are, a budget planner and calculator are generally a good idea to survive the holiday season without breaking the bank. Without a plan, your spending can often get out of control. The last thing you want is a feeling of regret when you see your statements in January.

So, get your creative juices flowing, explore smart spending strategies this season and take control of your finances following our three expert tips.

Tip #1: Make a plan and stick to it

Start by writing down all upcoming events, parties and social gatherings in the lead up to Christmas, your plans for New Year's Eve and the school holidays. Then, estimate the costs for each of these. The next step is to write a list of the people you need to get presents for this year and allocate a budget for each person. Lastly, add any holidays, weekends away or kids' activities planned for January. Add up all expenses to get an overview of your costs for the holiday season.

Work out how much you have to allocate to parties, gift giving and school holiday activities. What you have in savings, plus any extra from your usual cashflow, can be the guideline to prioritise your spending and adjust your budget accordingly. This may mean making some homemade jam or cookies for Auntie Pam, rather than buying her a gift she doesn’t really need.

Once you are happy with your plan and budget, stick to it!

Tip #2: Explore smarter ways of gift giving

Let's face it. If you’re on a shoestring budget, you need to get creative to make most of it. Instead of running around on Christmas Eve, spending way too much because you purchase random gifts, start looking for smart alternatives earlier. Consider online shops for stress-free gift browsing and shopping. They are open 24/7 and some offer great discounts in the lead up to Christmas. By being organised and shopping online, you’ll have less stress, save money and free up valuable time for other things on your to-do list.

Tip #3: Get creative

January can be very long if you are not going away on holidays. Chances are you do not have the same amount of days off as your kids. If you intend to stay at home for the holidays, involve your kids in the planning process. A vision board session is a great tool to foster creativity and engage the family in the planning process. You will need some craft material (drawing paper, pens, markers, tear sheets from magazines) for this creative exercise. Encourage everyone to find images, draw or write on their board to visualise how they imagine their holidays. Expect to be surprised by the outcome. Then, consolidate your results, decide which activities to prioritise and allocate a budget. Check online for last-minute deals, school holiday programs or DIY activities at home. Again, a savings account can come in handy for these activities and, if you’re organised and put away a little each month for the holiday and Christmas season, you’ll find your budget and stress-levels will be much healthier next year.

To make the most out of the silly season without breaking the bank, contact us today to learn more about our high-interest savings accounts or check out our savings plan calculator. You will get a head start for 2019 knowing your savings will add up before the next holiday season hits!



Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Before opening an account with us, you should read our Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services and Financial Services Guide.


Article published December 2018