Okay, we know this is so not what you want to hear right now, but the silly season is right around the corner. With this Christmas and New Years set to be one of the best we've had in recent years, it's time we started thinking about how to prepare our finances.
Here are our top tips on priming your bank balance for the end of year celebrations.
Allocate Extra Fun Money
A lot of Christmas savings ideas are centered around present buying and food for celebrations. While that’s totally important, don’t forget to squirrel away some extra cashola for yourself. While end of year parties might not look quite like they used to, you’ll still want to have a catch up with friends, perhaps some office drinks and general extra merriment, however you celebrate. By setting aside a little extra money each week now, you can build up a tasty festive splurge fund with minimal effort. Grab the wine and get mulling.
Plan Your Pressie Budget Early
If you and your friends or family do presents, the earlier you start saving, the easier it is to account for everyone without going broke in the process. Set up a simple plan with a list of who you’re buying for and a rough budget for each one. Add up the total, add on a 10% buffer for overspends, and then divide that total by the number of paydays you have left before you plan to shop. Boom! You’ve got yourself a super simple present budget schedule, and you know exactly how much from each pay needs to be set aside to cover your gift list. Pass the mince pies!
Can You Rebalance Your Budget?
If your bank balance isn’t looking too hot right now, you might be wondering how the heck you’re going to fund all this end-of-year fun. And let’s face it, we’ll be needing an extra-large glass of vino to bid farewell to this weird old year. If things aren’t adding up, look to ways you can rebalance your spending habits to make a little more room for the festive extras. Does it mean cancelling a subscription for a few weeks? Could you sell some old clothes or furniture to free up some cash? Shave a little off your grocery budget each week and let the savings stack up for a mega holiday indulgence shop?
Being on top of your finances is all about making small, regular tweaks to meet yourself where you’re at. Making some temporary changes can mean big savings for the thing you’re working towards, and you can simply rebalance again once you’ve met the goal.
Set Yourself A Countdown Challenge
If you’re the challenge type, setting yourself a savings sprint towards the end of the year could be the motivation you need. Whether you pay yourself $1 for every 1,000 steps you walk, or stash cash every time your team wins a match, gamifying your festive countdown savings can mean serious progress.
Realised your budget needs a shakeup? This easy-as budgeting technique will have you back on track in no time.
Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.
Image Credit: Aleksandr Neplokhov