Smart.Happy.Money 10: It's Christmas time, put away the credit card!

Can you feel the pressure? Every time you go to the shops at this time or year, you’re bombarded with marketing. Most of this marketing is geared up to tell you that if you love someone, you will spend lots of money on them. It’s a lie. While I understand that retailers must sell to survive, this blog is for you, the consumer. Christmas is not a time to spend spend spend. It’s a time to be thankful for what we have. So how do we avoid over spending at Christmas? 1: Buy quality, not quantity. Buy a gift that will last rather than loads of plastic fantastic gifts. This is especially relevant if you are buying for kids. While it makes for a nice photo to have gifts covering the floor under the tree, if those gifts are all broken within a month, what's the point? 2: Give promises. Make up your own vouchers. 'I promise to take you out for lunch', 'I promise to give you a massage' etc. Promises to share an experience together and create memories that last a long, long time and will be gratefully received by your loved ones. 3: Don't use your credit card. Save during the year and then stick to your budget. Putting gifts on your credit card is a great way to make the cost of Christmas last all year! Remember; you can download our strategy paper on paying down credit cards on our website HERE. Christmas is wonderful, with some careful planning, it doesn't have to break the bank. Until next time, Ben.

Ben Graham-Nellor is an advisor, coach, blogger and speaker who has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years.

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