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How do I avoid getting into too much debt again this Christmas?

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I covered this last year and have had a few people ask if I could cover it again as it seems to be a problem for a lot of Australians in spending too much money this time of year and have the consequences early in the new year.

Everybody agrees that Christmas is about giving however this does not mean that you have to spend all of your money on gifts or by spending money you do not even have on credit cards.

With a little planning and more importantly “restraint” you should still be able to have a wonderful Christmas whilst remaining debt free.

Following are some suggestions on how you can try stay in the black this year and also how with a little planning make things even easier for next year and hopefully this advice is not too late this year!!

Budget….this year why don’t you work out a budget for your Christmas gifts by making a list of all the people you intend on buying for and then allocating an allowance per person. You can take this further by also allowing for decorations, food and do not forget the batteries. Do not let essential bills take a backseat to the pressures of your Christmas spending, prioritize paying these first before you turn to the added financial demands of the season.

Try not to be tempted by ‘buy now, pay later’ offers unless you know you will definitely have the money later. If you can afford to pay for goods immediately it is usually advisable to do so and also be prudent, and bear in mind that offers that appear too good to be true invariably are.

Finally in the New Year, consider setting aside some money each month to save up for next Christmas and start buying presents early to spread the cost. I know of some clients and friends that use services that allow for exactly that by setting up payment plans to help ease the burden that Christmas can bring.

Thank you for the opportunity to once again provide some insight into the mortgage industry yet again this year to the readers, I would like to wish your families a safe holiday season and a prosperous new year.

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