There are ways to keep debt under control at this time of the year.
There are ways to keep debt under control at this time of the year. AntonioGuillem

11 tips to stay out of debt at Christmas

CHRISTMAS can be a tough time financially for people.

That's why UnitingCare Queensland Child and Family Services has released a list of financial tips to help families keep debt under control this holiday season.

UCQ financial resilience and wellbeing service statewide manager Jodie Logovik said feeling the pinch at Christmas time was not uncommon and stressed the importance of managing debt and budgets this time of year.

"It's not uncommon, particularly with the rise in the cost of living, for people to experience financial hardship around Christmas. Getting into debt is much easier than we think," she said.

"There are several strategies people can employ this Christmas season to keep their spending in check and some great steps on how to still enjoy the festive season without taking on additional debt."

Putting a budget in place, planning ahead early and giving the gift of time to your family and friends are all ways to help ease the financial pressures that can be associated with Christmas for some families.

UCQ's top tips:

  • Think forward to February and how it feels to have not added to existing credit card debt - Remember, Christmas is about sharing time with family and friends, not gift giving
  • Plan ahead and early - creating a budget and following it will bring the greatest reduction in financial costs this Christmas
  • Consider starting a money plan and saving a small amount each week for next Christmas
  • Make a list of all the people you intend to buy gifts for and allocate what you can afford to spend on each as well as listing costs for food, travel and other expenses
  • Set up Secret Santa wherever possible or combine with others to purchase gifts, this will reduce the number of gifts you have to give
  • Make gifts such as cakes, pickles or personalised soaps, these are often more special than anything you can buy
  • Give the gift of time - make a voucher to babysit, wash the car or mow the lawn
  • Shop around for the best deal - just a small amount of research on a toy can reduce the amount you will pay significantly
  • Celebrate with the family at a local community event
  • Pay an extra $5 or $10 per week on your rent throughout the year, that way when Christmas comes around you are a week in advance and can use the extra rent money for presents