The Christmas season can impose difficulties on household budgets, especially because during this period business advertising and consumer spending increase. On Saturday 14 November 2015, Faith Cheok joined Heritage FM to discuss issues surrounding budgeting during the Christmas season and the importance of managing spending habits.
Faith detailed a range of general saving tips, including:
- saving on groceries by: avoiding grocery shopping when hungry, buying in bulk, and making a list beforehand;
- saving on utilities bills by: taking 2 minute showers, using water and energy efficient appliances, and turning of unnecessary lights as well as electronics;
- saving on other items by seeing if you can borrow them from friends and family rather than making a purchase;
- reducing alcohol and coffee consumption;
- making meals at home; and
- following a budget.
More specific to the Christmas season, it was discussed that consumers: should avoid spending money on items they do not need, ought to shop around for discounts, should avoid relying on credit cards, and should establish budgets in relation to buying presents and organising events.
In regards to credit cards, it was advised that before obtaining a credit card, consumers should shop around comparing the fees and interest rates of various cards. In particular, it was suggested that consumers: avoid having multiple credit cards, avoid cash advances which generally come with high interest rates, check their statements for unusual transactions, monitor the amount owing on cards, pay more than the minimum amount, and pay on time in order to avoid fees and interest.