It’s been a huge few months for spending with Christmas, the holiday season, and now Easter and school holidays leaving the family purse strings stretched and ready for some much-needed savings.
Tammy May, the Director and Founder of leading personal budgeting company, MyBudget, says now is the time to take stock, stop spiraling spending and slash debt before it cripples the household budget for the rest of the year.
“During May we experience a spike in new clients as a result of Australians jumping on the festive season roundabout and failing to get off until well after Easter,” Ms May said.
“It’s a common mistake to make, particularly for busy families, who are hit with so many holidays and special occasions, and want to provide the best for their loved ones.
“The best course of action when you find yourself on the spending roundabout is to stop immediately, put together a comprehensive budget, and make a plan to ensure you survive and thrive for the rest of the year.
Ms May offers the following tips to help curb spending and come out on top:
- Start setting aside a regular amount of money to save each week
- Put together a budget that covers all of your planned spending including gifts, extra food and drinks, travel expenses and activities for kids
- Try to avoid shopping when you are hungry or tired, or when the shops are too busy as it can lead to impulse spending
- Always write a shopping list and stick to it
- Look out for specials, sales and online stores with regular promotions for members
- If you are hosting a celebration at your home, ask guests to bring a plate and beverages
- Plan some inexpensive activities that your children can do at home this Easter, such as making Easter decorations and baking Easter-themed treats
Ms May said the double impact of Easter and school holidays would necessitate families taking extra measures to avoid money woes;
- If you are a working parent, make your school holiday plans early and call on family and friends to assist with care or free holiday programs for children
- If you host playdates, keep it simple with craft activities and basic food such as sandwiches and fruit. Or get the kids involved in making their own treats
- Avoid expensive travel plans over the school holidays as it’s peak time and also the busiest in terms of traffic, transport and other related expenses
- Stop using your credit card and only buy what you can afford with cash as part of your budget
- Start saving now for school holidays and better still start a school holiday fund with a regular amount debited from your account weekly