Christmas and the holiday period can be an expensive time of year. For renters finances can get very tight when trying to juggle holidays, gifts, extra family / visitors and paying for your rental home. Annually budget advisors warn of a need to budget more over Christmas time. In order to prioritise rent as mentioned in this Bay of Plenty Article. Shopless looks at ways you can reduce spending, and work on your budget. So that you can prioritise your rent and enjoy the Christmas period, without the pressure of debt.
Communicate with Your Landlord
It is important to remember that landlords are human, even if they oversee multiple tenancies. If you are an ideal tenant, then your landlord will likely listen to your situation if you are currently struggling to manage the budget. There are alway unexpected circumstances and expenses, and every case is different. Tenancy Services specify that in the situation that you are struggling to pay rent, or feel you may get behind on rent. The best thing is to create an open communication between yourself and the landlord. If you approach the landlord to discuss what you can afford over Christmas based on your budget. They will then be expected to consider all aspects of your tenancy. Such as how long you have been in the rental, the cost of losing a tenant and the possibility of deferring the rent.
Get ahead on Rent before Christmas
Many blogs and articles suggested to make prepayments or add extra to earlier payments on your rent. This is more of a common practice internationally, but it is perfectly fine to make prepayments early on your upcoming rental so that you have budgeted for the Christmas period. There are two distinct approaches to this. First you could choose to prepay your Christmas rent before it is due. So that you can use the leftover income to pay for Christmas expenses. Another option is to incrementally pay more in the lead up to Christmas. So that on your rent over the holiday period you will have a smaller amount required to pay.
We recommend that if you wish to take this approach, you should have an existing positive relationship with your landlord or tenancy manager. Even ensuring you have written evidence such as emails. To explain the breakdown of your change in payment structure or early rental payments. Additionally you should keep a record of the payments that have been made, so that you have budgeted the correct amount and the landlord can be reassured of the correct prepayments as well.
Budget Before you Spend
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to budget before you commit to Christmas purchases. Even if you are wanting to go for a pay later option. In 2020 a housing property management company had to apologise for calling December “termination season”. Pre-planning is so important for ensuring that rent is both prioritised and paid. In a budget you can visualise exactly what you need to spend money on. And how much will be left over after the compulsory bills have been paid. Motivating you to create an achievable spending allowance over the Christmas time.
Consider different Christmas Gifts.
It is easy to get caught up in the Christmas excitement and it can be hard to restrict your giving. But there are other methods and ways to give without spending lots of money. Christmas is a time of year that charities see a decrease in their donations. Alternative purchases from an op-shop can mean that you purchase good quality gifts for a fraction of a price. Shopless partners with the New Zealand Red Cross and op shops such as St John’s and SPCA also help support important charitable causes. Additionally there are also initiatives in the community such as volunteering for food banks. These contribute towards community needs and encompass the spirit of giving at Christmas time.
For sentimentality if you are searching for a cheaper gift for a friend or family member, you can also think outside the box. Experiences such as going for a picnic and going on a hike can be free but offer the gift of your time with that person. These types of gifts are often well remembered and hold weight to loved ones. If Christmas is a stretch for you then maybe you should consider an alternative gift.
Shopless has offered some innovative options when it comes to preparing for Christmas. So that you can prioritise rent, during the season of spending. If you are looking for a rental home, or looking to list a rental, make sure to take a look at the Shopless property section, here.