Plan ahead to give yourself a debt-free Christmas!
Beaches and barbecues may feel a long way off right now, but while summer holidays may be the last thing on your mind - they shouldn’t be.
13 August 2011
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August is a smart time to start making plans for Christmas, because the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be when the weather turns warm.
We all know Christmas should be a time of celebration and relaxation, but for many it is a time of stress, over-commitment and worry, especially as the resulting bills mount up.
To ensure you get through this Christmas without getting in the red financially make a plan now to put money aside so you can enjoy the festive season. Even a small amount saved regularly can make a difference - you’ll be surprised how quickly it adds up.
Think about how you want to celebrate Christmas this year. Consider whether you’ll be with family and friends and if you’ll be travelling or staying at home. Include the cost of gifts. Once you know what you’re planning to do and how much it’ll cost, use Sorted’s Goal machine calculator to work out how much you need to put aside each week to achieve it – without going into debt.
If you are planning to take a holiday away it’s worth booking accommodation and travel early, as many campsites, ferries and baches are secured months in advance. Booking in advance also gives you greater choice of price options and you’ll know exactly how much money to put aside.
If you did find you were paying off your summer holiday long after the warm weather ended this year, think about how you got into that situation. What do you need to do this year to stop it happening again?
There’s plenty of time to get yourself on the right track if you start today. Christmas seems to come around more quickly each year – so the sooner you plan for it the more likely you’ll be able to pay for it in cash, rather than with credit.
Sorted.org.nz is a free independent money guide, run by the Retirement Commission. As well as providing a range of information and tools to help you make the most of your finances, their savings calculators can help you save up for this Christmas.