The holiday season is here! This season is meant to be happy and festive. However, many young families see the occasion as a financial and emotional strain, due to the pressure and need to spend money that they don’t have. Whether you choose to spend your holidays at home or to travel somewhere, a considerable amount of money is needed. When all the expenses get too heavy for you to handle, you can always count on holiday loans in Australia.
Travelling during the holiday season, or any other season for that matter is expensive. You need to consider the price of your airfare, accommodation, and other unexpected purchases while you are on vacation. Staying at home means getting invited to reunions and parties, or hosting one yourself. You then need to buy gifts and food for a small feast for your family and friends. No matter how much you want to spend on your holiday plans, keep your hands off your emergency fund, the holiday is not an emergency.
Five Tips to Lessen Financial Pressure During the Holidays
When doing your holiday shopping, it may be hard to tell when to stop. You would be asking questions like: Did I buy enough food for everyone? How much should I spend on gifts? What if someone gives me a more expensive gift than the one I bought for them? How much is the “normal” spending amount anyway? And then you have overspent before you know it.
It is always a good idea to have a guideline when it comes to your expenses. Here are five tips to help you decrease the financial pressure during the holiday season:
1. Discuss and decide on a spending limit.
First, you need to evaluate your current financial situation. You need to have a good idea of how much you can spend this holiday. Once you have determined how much you can spend without leaving you pressured and broke, discuss with your family.
You can talk to your family and relatives about setting a spending limit for the big occasion. You can set a spending limit on how much each one of you can spend on a gift. For example, you can set a limit of $50 per gift. This way, you will not worry about comparing the prices of the presents you give with the ones you receive.
Secret Santa is another excellent way to avoid overspending on gifts. It is simple and effective. Everyone in the family needs to put their names into a hat, box or any container. Now that everyone’s name is in the container, each family member will draw a name out. Each one of you will only need to buy a gift for the person that they have drawn out. You can set a spending limit for Secret Santa gifts too.
Whichever you decide to do, make sure to take your budget into consideration.
2. Do not overspend on the children.
You need to remember that kids do not understand or even care for the brands. They do not care how much you spent on their gift. What matters to them is that you gave them something. They are going to love the bag you buy them, whether it’s Gucci or brandless. Either way, they are going to stuff it full of colouring materials and their other toys, because that’s what kids do.
In the first tip, we have already covered setting a spending limit on gifts. To further emphasise and expand on this tip, do NOT overspend for the children. Whether it is for your own bundles of joy or your favourite godchild, do not go overboard on their presents. As a parent, you want to give your children everything they want, but when it comes to holiday gifts, you need to take a step back.
Another thing to remember is that the holiday season is not the season to compete. So, spend what you are comfortable with—no more and no less because your gift is not a contest entry.
Kids love receiving gifts; the price does not matter to them. They will enjoy an expensive gift just as much as they would like the simple ones. With this in mind, do not pressure yourself into buying crazy expensive toys or items for the children. They don’t know the difference, and frankly, they don’t care. As long as the gift is entertaining, rest assured that they will love it.
3. Do not buy the first item you see.
Whether it is for food or gifts, do not buy the first brand or item that you see. Shop around for the best price first. You can do your research before heading out to the shops. You can check the costs of the items you need online and compare different shops. This extra step can save you a lot of money.
Another option is completely giving up on the shopping centre and just buying things online. Online shops give you a broader range to choose from on their website or app. For clothes or items, you will have a wide range of options to choose from, including the availability of sizes, colours, and styles. However, you need to make sure that the shipping cost is not worth more than you are buying. In the case that the item you require is cheaper in a physical store—due to the shipping—then get your shoes on and head to the nearest branch.
4. Explain your financial situation to your kids.
If you are a parent, then this tip is important. You want to give the best to your children, and that is an understandable notion. However, the best doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune. You need to choose your battles. If it is a matter of which university is best for your child then, by all means, do your best. However, if it is just for a gift that they will probably break within the first few days, only spend what you’re realistically able to.
Since most kids do not have a concept of money yet, you may want to be honest with them and help them understand your financial situation. If you are in a financial situation where you cannot afford the gifts that your child wants, thoughtfully notify your children about your family’s financial situation.
Once they understand the situation, they will feel less disappointed about not getting the gift they want.
5. Make the celebration a team effort.
Hosting a holiday party with your family and other relatives can and will cost a lot of money. The price of food nowadays is no joke. You can lighten your load by asking each family member to bring an item of food. For example, your uncle can bring wine, and then a cousin can bring dessert, etc. Sharing the cost of your holiday dinner will make things a lot cheaper. However, make sure that everyone is aware of what everyone else is bringing. Imagine if all your relatives brought wine!
Why Consider a Holiday Loan in Australia?
Even with the tips above, it can still be challenging to manage your financials in the holidays for several reasons. For example, you have already cut some costs, but the total expense still means using up a significant amount from your savings. You do not want to start the new year with no savings at all. This scenario is an excellent reason to consider a loan in Australia.
A holiday loan is a short-term commitment. You can use the funds from your loan to cover any holiday-related expenses. These expenses include travel, gifts, food and groceries, or even entertainment.
The best plan is to save over the course of the year for year-end holiday celebrations. However, plans rarely go the way they should. Holiday loans allow you to have a financial buffer that can relieve some of the pressure you are feeling this holiday season.
Four Reasons to Get a Holiday Loan in Australia
Here are four reasons why you should apply for a holiday loan:
1. A holiday loan can help you plan.
It is easy to miscalculate your budget for this season. In the past, if you have observed that your funds for holiday shopping and expenses run low before the holidays are over, then it is a sign that you are either overspending or miscalculating your budget.
Having a holiday loan helps you stay on track of your budget. And if you don’t have a budget, a holiday loan will force you to make one.
2. You can avoid spending a lot of money on interest.
If you get a holiday loan, you will thank yourself after the holidays. Unexpected expenses happen during this festive season. Without funds from a holiday loan, you might resort to an even more expensive option, which is your credit card.
If you use a credit card with a high-interest rate to cover the expenses of your holiday purchases, then you might be risking your household budget after the holidays. Holiday loan interest rates are generally lower than credit card interest rates. It will be gentler on your budget in the long run.
3. Holiday loans help you know what you can spend.
A holiday loan is predictable. This means that not only will you be able to plan your holiday shopping list, you will also be able to make a plan regarding your monthly repayments. And, unlike credit cards, lenders will not approve your loan if they know that you cannot handle the additional amount on your budget for the repayments. Of course, if the initial amount that you need is not approved, you will know that you may be overspending on some items on your holiday shopping list. You can adjust accordingly.
4. Holiday loans reduce your holiday stress.
The reason most families or individuals are financially pressured about the holidays is that they do not have enough to spend on the occasion. Holiday loans eliminate this pressure. Getting approved allows you to follow your plan and not stress about it so much.
The holiday season is meant to be happy, not stressful. You do not need to deprive yourself of enjoying the season due to financial reasons. You can always depend on holiday loans in Australia to help you cover your expenses this season.
The opinions expressed in the Blog are for general informational and entertainment purposes only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual or on any specific investment product. It is only intended to provide education about the financial industry. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice.