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Need a little extra cash this Christmas? With gift-giving, parties and feasts on the calendar, your cash flow may take a severe hit before the new year. But before you dip into your savings or rack up charges on your credit card, consider using these tips.

 

Create a Budget

Making a holiday budget sounds like throwing cold water on a party that’s just heating up, but it will help you relax and enjoy the season. How much can you afford to spend on gifts? What about travel? How much will you spend on food and dining?

Create a detailed Christmas shopping list with budgeted amounts for each gift. And don’t forget to double-check your diary to anticipate items like hostess gifts and contributions to charities. With a smart budget at the ready, you can anticipate expenses and figure out where to make cuts, if necessary.

 

Find a Side Hustle

Retail stores, catering firms and restaurants all need extra help during the holidays. Why not take on a temporary job and earn some extra cash for Christmas?

Sites like AirTasker can help you find all kinds of work, from tutoring and delivering groceries to laying tile and building websites. Extra work might make the season feel more hectic, but it’s not forever. And you’ll love starting the new year with a robust financial outlook.

 

Eat at Home

On average, Australians spend nearly $200 each month on dining out. If you’re concerned about your holiday cash flow, eat in and put that money toward other priorities.

You can make eating at home easier on yourself by taking time on the weekends to plan your menus and make sure you have ingredients on hand for the coming week. Websites and apps like GoodFood provide weekly menu plans, so you don’t have to do all the legwork yourself. When you cook more at home, you may even feel healthier while you save yourself some dough. It’s an easy way to improve your cash flow all year round.

 

Utilise Unused Gift Cards

One in five of us have at least one unused gift card sitting around, just waiting to be used. Put those gift cards to work by using them for your Christmas shopping this year.

And if you have a gift card for a store you don’t particularly like, see if you can swap it with a friend or family member for one you’re more likely to use.

 

Invoice Early

If you have your own business, stay on top of your invoicing during the Christmas season. With so many events on your schedule, it’s easy to let invoicing languish. “They’ll pay later,” you tell yourself. And while this may be true, “later” is never good for your cash flow.

If you don’t send out invoices on time, you won’t get paid on time, and your cash flow will suffer. Instead of waiting until the end of the month to create your invoices, send them out as soon as you finish a job.

 

Sell Unwanted Stuff

Nine out of ten Aussies have unwanted items sitting around their homes. Instead of hanging onto the clutter, sell those old DVDs and that dusty bike in the garage for some extra cash. Wouldn’t it be nice to reclaim some space and improve your cash flow at the same time?

Sites like Gumtree make it easy to find buyers for your unused stuff, and many people may be hunting for second-hand Christmas gifts this time of year. Make your last few paycheques stretch farther by supplementing your income with the sales from items you don’t use anyway.

 

Save For Christmas All Year

It might be too late to start this year, but you can avoid cash flow problems for next Christmas by beginning to save in January. Each month, set aside some money for Christmas. You could base the amount on this year’s Christmas budget, or you could shoot for the stars and make next year the best Christmas ever.

Make saving easy by setting up an automatic transfer each month from your transaction to your savings account. By this time next year, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the pot of cash waiting for the holidays. It might feel like Santa has visited early!

To talk over your personal cash flow issues, or to discuss any other financial topic, get in touch with us at Altus Financial.

 

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