4 ways to be financially smart this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, spending on presents for loved ones is inevitable. While the festive season encourages gift giving, it's also the season to watch your wallet or bank account balance to avoid that post-Christmas regret. Keep your spending in check with four easy tips that will help you stay financially smart this year.

Make a list

The line from everyone's favourite Christmas tune, "he's making a list, and checking it twice", can also be applied to your spending approach this year. By listing down exactly who you are buying for, what you're buying and the approximate cost, you'll be avoiding unnecessary purchases. It doesn't hurt to check it twice to make sure you haven't forgotten anyone or have doubled up!

Get the cheapest deal

It's a good idea to compare prices in-store and online to make sure you're getting the cheapest deal, particularly for electronics, toys, clothes and cosmetics. Many e-retailers offer Christmas discount codes and free shipping around this time of the year.

Use less credit

It's easy to fall into the habit of swiping your credit card for every purchase, but this can lead to overspending and a shock when your credit card statement comes around in the New Year. To avoid having to scrimp in January to compensate for Christmas overconsumption, try using your debit card and cash instead. This will help you stick to your budget and reduce your risk of building up credit card debt.

Do a Kris Kringle

One of the most cost-effective ways to buy presents is to get together with family or friends, and buy a gift for the person's name you draw out of a hat. Usually, Kris Kringle gifts have a set price (such as $10 or $20). This ensures that you're still celebrating Christmas without spending too much.