5 Key Considerations for Your Festive Season Budgeting

The holidays will soon be upon us, and while this is a time of joy, togetherness, and celebration, it also has the potential to put a sizeable dent in your finances if not planned properly. Effective budgeting is essential to ensure that you enjoy the festive season without the worry of debts or financial hangovers. As you prepare for the festivities, here are five key areas to prioritise for your festive season budgeting.

1. Gifts and Giving

Setting Limits: Decide well before Christmas how much you are willing and able to spend on gifts. Consider compiling a list of recipients and assigning a budget to each one – it’s easy to get carried away with the giving spirit, but ensure you spend within your means.

DIY Options: If your budget is tight, consider homemade gifts. A personalised touch, be it a handcrafted card, a fresh batch of shortbread, or a jar of homemade jam, can arguably be more meaningful than store-bought items.

Charitable Donations: The festive season is also a time for giving back. If you plan to donate to charities, remember to include this in your budget. Many people find joy in contributing to a worthy cause during the holidays. And if the charity you’re giving to is endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), the ATO may just let you claim a tax deduction!

2. Food and Festive Feasts

Planning Ahead: If it’s your turn to host this year, plan your menu early. This way, you can buy non-perishable items in advance and look out for sales.

Potluck Options: Consider having a potluck-style gathering. This not only spreads out the cost among attendees but also adds a variety of dishes to the table.

Limiting Waste: Over-purchasing often leads to food waste. Be realistic about how much food you’ll need, and remember that most leftovers can be frozen for easy dinners over the following weeks!

3. Travel and Transportation

Book in Advance: If you’re traveling during the festive season, it makes sense secure your tickets or accommodation as early as possible, as prices often surge closer to the date.

Alternate Options: You’re heading to Aunty Sharon’s for lunch on Christmas day, as are all the other cousins – carpool with family or friends where you can to cut down costs, and if you can secure a designated driver, that means more Christmas cocktails for you! (Responsibly of course).

Staycations: If budgets are tight, consider celebrating at home or exploring local attractions. There is often an array of festive activities for the whole family within your local area.

4. Decorations and Festive Ambiance

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Before rushing to buy new decorations, dust off what you already have. You may just find last year’s decor can be repurposed or given a fresh look with minor tweaks.

DIY Decor: Bring the family together with some Christmas crafting – handmade decorations add a personal touch and can be a fun activity for the kids too.

Energy-Efficient Lighting: If you’re investing in new lights, opt for LED, solar-powered or other energy-efficient options. They might cost a bit more initially, but they last longer and consume less electricity.

5. Post-Festive Season Activities

Clearance Sales: If you know you’ll need certain items for the next festive season, wait for post-holiday clearance sales. Decorations, wrapping materials, and even certain gifts are often available at a fraction of the cost in the days and weeks following Christmas.

Refund Policies: Keep all receipts and be aware of return policies. If you have buyer’s remorse or receive a duplicate gift, knowing the store’s refund policy can help you recoup some costs. Otherwise, try Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace!

Review and Reflect: After the festivities are over, take a moment to review your spending. Did you stay within budget? What could you have done differently? Use these reflections to plan better for the next season, get ahead of the game, and save accordingly.

Time to Start Prepping for the Holidays!

In conclusion, while the festive season is a time of joy and celebration, it shouldn’t come at the expense of financial stress. With careful planning and budgeting, you can enjoy all the festive season has to offer without breaking the bank. Remember to prioritise, be creative, and most importantly, savour the moments of togetherness and gratitude.

If you’re ready to take control of your money, not only through the big-spending festive season but beyond – Priority’s Personal & Family Wealth team are ready to help you do exactly that. You can reach us on 02 9415 1611 or via our website.

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