Christmas is coming

16 November 2017

While Christmas comes around quite regularly we often find that we’re still paying the expense of our Christmas purchases on our credit card come November the following year.  This may seem an odd thing for Mortgage brokers to comment on but often we find that those saving for the deposit to buy a new home may get hijacked by the expense of Christmas.  Homeowners who have higher financial commitments may end up feeling like the Grinch if they can’t afford the latest Smart phone for their kid’s Christmas present.  Here are some suggestions as to how to relieve the financial burden while still being able to have a great family Christmas.

  1. Get in early and make arrangements with Family and friends how Christmas presents will be sorted.  These could include:

Secret Santa – have a cap on what is spent but only buy for 1 person.  It could be a joke present with a cap of $10 meaning more thought goes in to the gift than cost OR it could be 1 high valued present – eg $100 so everyone gets an impressive present but you’re not having to buy for everyone

Set a limit for what you’ll spend on gifts for everyone and stick to it! 

Consider who you will buy for eg just for immediate family OR just buy for children. 

  1. Save throughout the year – November is probably a little late to set aside funds for Christmas this year but you could have a separate account just for Christmas

  2. Buy presents throughout the year when they are sale – be careful of this strategy as there have been a few rogue presents found several years later in certain households!

  3. Share the Cost of Christmas meals.  If family are coming to stay perhaps having a kitty where everyone puts in an equal share to ease the burden of groceries. 

  4. Share the burden of preparing the Christmas meal – if someone asks what they can bring for Christmas dinner don’t be shy.  Get them to bring something and not just a “salad” – try and share that workload so you have more time to spend with the family

And here’s the biggie which takes the most discipline – Kids don’t need a huge amount of expensive presents.  If we look back on the great Christmases we had as children the best memories are generally not what present we got – it was what we did with our families and loved ones that left the strongest impression.  Treasure hunts, family Olympics, Christmas Videos, Christmas at the Beach, visting other family, camping.  Make no mistake while this may be cheaper it is far more time consuming to arrange so you’re not copping out as a parent to shift the focus of Christmas away from gift giving.  The thrill of a gift is often short term but the memory of that time with families and friends will last way longer and are far more rewarding for all those involved!

This post was written by

Trish Marsden - who has written 96 posts

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