This year Christmas may really prove to be a joy and not because we will be receiving expensive gifts or planning elaborate meals paired with just the right wines, but because with the easing of COVID restrictions we will be allowed to come together in groups at home.
A year living with COVID restrictions has recalibrated Christmas excitement to:
Parents with older children living interstate anxiously watching when state borders will open so that they can see their children, maybe for the first time this year, over Christmas.
People with elderly parents in nursing homes will feel relieved to be able to pick their mum or dad up on Christmas Day or freely visit them.
Those managing to return from overseas will welcome being back in Australia to celebrate Christmas at home with family and friends, perhaps after many months of waiting for a flight.
While the examples and scenarios are varied, the fact remains that this year the focus is on people being able to come together with the people they love the most to enjoy Christmas, something that at this time last year we would have taken for granted.
While stress has been caused due to the complexities of COVID19 restrictions locally, nationally and internationally, it has also resulted in a greater focus on people just wanting to see each other and be together at Christmas. The worries surrounding what presents to give or receive, or the organising of food and decorations has resoundingly taken a second place…. which we at Income Solutions think is something that may just be a good thing!
Obviously we are not saying you should not design and spend Christmas exactly how you choose, but given statistics have shown that approximately 37% of people pile up billions of dollars in credit card debt over Christmas and the average bill is roughly $1,863 per credit card, and while this year Zip & Afterpay are predicted to further disrupt card credit, it may still be worth imagining a Christmas where people are not left with the bill long after the decorations are dismantled.
To assist us in sticking to our Christmas budget it can pay to remember that the happy Christmas spending feeling we get when shopping in stores along to Michael Buble singing uplifting Christmas Carols, may soon dissipate and lead to regret when the next month we view the resulting amount on the bill we receive. This regretful feeling could only be exacerbated this year given many people have faced lost work, closed businesses and have a reduced income due to COVID.
To borrow some of the lyrics sung by the iconic John Lennon, just…. Imagine:
Imagine there’s no Christmas financial stress
It’s easy if you try
No big over the top presents expected
Only kind words and small gestures
Imagine all the people just enjoying being together
Imagine there is no credit card blow outs
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to spend 2021 paying off
And no Payment Plans too
Imagine all the people living without this financial burden into the New Year
You may say we at Income Solutions are dreamers
But we are not the only ones
We hope you will consider
A Christmas recalibration too.
To assist you with your Christmas Financial Plan, the attached Daily Telegraph article offers some up to date Christmas 2020 budgeting ideas: