The silly season can be more than overwhelming for most with all the cash that is expected to be splashed. If you currently have vehicle finance, it can sometimes be even more pressure attempting to lock down a firm budget so you can enjoy the holidays with family and friends without the extra stress of your loan repayments. Many have found that those few weeks in the lead up to Christmas and the New Year are common for neglect of your other responsibilities, so make sure you don't fall behind on your loan repayments with these simple tips.
Have A Plan
It starts to sound like a broken record, but you MUST budget if you want to be a responsible borrower. When you write up your monthly budget, make sure you always factor in the upcoming holidays or birthdays that may require you to buy gifts. Set that money aside and you won't be sprung 3 days before pay day with a forgotten present and set a maximum spending limit and stick to it! It may seem stingy, but the alternative of a dwindling bank account is much worse.
Just like your high school teachers use to always tell you, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."
Avoid The Temptations
The festive season means holiday parties, which almost always end with you spending more money than planned and ending up feeling guilty for days. Friends and family will often want to catch up by going out to dinner or having after work drinks, so save on those expensive meals by cooking for guests. This will save you from spending $30 on a meal that you could have made at home and also stay within your fuel budget as you aren't driving all over town for the planned meetups.
Go Without The Luxuries
You do it every other day of the year, so what makes December the exception? Many of us are prone to the "oh I don't feel like cooking tonight" mentality, but if you stay strong you shouldn't have the desire to hop in the car and head to the nearest (and most likely dearest) takeaway shop. Retailers are also heavy on the Christmas promotions, so when a shop assistant asks if you want to "get another for $5" hold your own and just buy the essentials – you'll thank me later when your payments are due!
So remember not to go too crazy this Christmas. You certainly deserve to treat yourself and your loved ones, but make sure you are being smart about your finances so you don't get any unwelcome presents in the form of missed loan payments.
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