Budget service has tips for Christmas
"Christmas is about creating the memory not the material . . . it's about the presence not the presents."
With Christmas just two months away, Southland budget advisers are calling on people to start preparing now, if they had not already started.
Invercargill & Districts Budget Advisory Service co-ordinator Sonya Donnelly said Christmas should be about spending time with family and having fun, "so let's take the stress away and plan for it throughout the year".
She encouraged people to save a small amount, even $5, each week throughout the year but, if they had not done so, to start saving for Christmas now. She encouraged people to think about saving a small amount each week next year.
Throughout the year it was also a good idea to keep an eye out for bargains and take advantage of large sales, she said.
Gifts could also be second-hand, she said.
Mrs Donnelly said while Christmas could be stressful, the new year could also be stressful, with the likes of school-related costs, but it was all about planning.
"It doesn't make for a fun Christmas spending the next six months paying it off."
Jubilee Budget Advisory Service manager Simon Tierney agreed people should save all year round.
People could lay-by now and could also sell unwanted items around the house to turn into cash for Christmas. Families should also discuss expectations and set limits, he said.
Mr Tierney also reminded people not to forgo power, food and rent as Christmas loomed.
Christmas was about "creating the memory, not the material" and an opportunity to spend quality time with family.
"It's about the presence, not the presents."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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