Our Top 12 Tips for Saving this Christmas
Written on the 28 November 2019 by Nathan Drew, Fox Finance Group
As a self-admitted Christmas tragic, I love this time of year. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree and adding a few lights to the outside of the house to build the festive spirit are all things that I look forward to every year. But the festive season can also bring financial challenges that create stress in our lives at the same time.
So, if the festive season leaves you a little out of pocket, feeling like you've overspent and weary from battling the crowds at the shops, check out our top 12 tips below!
1. Have a pre-Christmas garage sale or sell unwanted things onlineThere's still time to bag some extra cash to boost your festive finances. Spend a few hours clearing out the things that you no longer use or need around the house. This might be your old clothes that you've only worn once, books that you never pick up now, jewellery, old furniture, old music cds, or sporting equipment. Selling these online in an online marketplace like Gumtree or eBay is easy to do. If you are a little more traditional, (and like getting up early) you could sell these items at a garage sale or find a local buy-swap-sell.
They say that one person's trash is another's treasure so, as well as pocketing a few extra dollars, you might just end up making someone else's Christmas that little bit more special at the same time.
2. Make a list and check it twice
Make lists of the things you need to buy including the food you need to prepare for the festive season. This could help you plan out a Christmas budget and keep your spending on track.
Here is a short list of things you might consider in advance to take advantage of some early bird savings:
3. Track your spending
Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget this Christmas. There are multiple apps available for both iOS and Android so you can track your expenses on the go. You can even use ASIC's MoneySmart's TrackMySPEND app to nominate a spending limit for different types of Christmas expenses and track your progress while you shop.
4. Be smart about Christmas credit
If you don't have the cash to pay for your Christmas goodies up-front, you might be tempted to use your credit card, or take out a personal loan. Although these are convenient ways to get the things you need now, that convenience can cost you dearly if you find yourself still saddled with Christmas debt in 2020.
Before you sign up, make sure you understand what the terms and conditions are, how much your repayments will be, and when they are due.
5. Personalise your cards and wrappingMost people throw away their Christmas cards once the festivities are over, which is just like throwing money in the bin.
This year, instead of spending your hard-earned cash on shop-bought cards that will only end up in the recycling bin, why not send your family and friends Christmas greetings they will want to keep? You could:
6. Become an online scroogeIf you're looking to save some time by doing your Christmas shopping online, look for ways to save every cent you can. Before you start, do a web search for discount or coupon codes that you can use at the checkout. Look in the sales sections of retailers' websites to see what's on offer.
If you know what items you are looking for, search for them online instead of just going to one retailer's website. You might find it much cheaper somewhere else.Search online auction websites where you can 'bid' for items, including supplies you need for Christmas Day. Make sure you include any shipping costs when you are comparing prices. The cost of some items can blow out once you add shipping, meaning it might be better to simply go to a store to get the item. Or look for items or shopping days that have free shipping.
Things are often much cheaper online than in a store, but you do need to take extra precautions when shopping online that you are buying from a reputable online retailer. Looking at their online reviews is a good place to start.
7. Get social with your Christmas shopping
If you follow your favourite brands and retailers on social media, you may be able to get exclusive discounts through these social channels. Their newsletters may also alert you to sales and deals.
There are also discount or deal apps that you can use to find bargains that you can use as Christmas gifts. Before you buy any deal or discount, always check the terms and conditions to make sure you know what you are getting and make sure the website is legitimate.
8. Master the art of Christmas gift savings
There's a lot of pressure to spend up big on gifts at this time of year, but pricey presents aren't necessarily the way to go. Here are some ways you can show you care, while keeping a lid on your spending:
9. Shop like you're Santa
Santa is always well-prepared and does his shopping on time, so why don't you? If you are going to shop in-store, consider these rules-of-thumb to reduce Christmas shopping stress and limit the temptation to over-spend:Set a time limit on your shopping - Get in, get it done and get out, so you aren't tempted to spend more than you want to:
10. Give to those less fortunate than yourself
Spread the Christmas cheer by giving to those who are doing it tough. Consider donating to a charity on someone else's behalf and give this to them as a gift. As well as money, many charities also accept household items, clothes and groceries at Christmas, or you could volunteer your time to help them out.
11. Lighten your load on Christmas day
The costs of entertaining can skyrocket at this time of year. But, with some simple planning, both you and your wallet can enjoy the fruits of your labour. Here are some ways to lighten the Christmas load:
12. Plan for next Christmas early
Once this Christmas is done and dusted, start planning ahead for next year! Here are some ideas to make sure you are set up for next Christmas:
So, there you have our top 12 tips to saving yourself some time, money and stress this Christmas.
From our family at Fox Finance Group to yours, we hope you have a very Merry Christmas and enjoy a prosperous 2020.
Author: Nathan Drew, Fox Finance Group
About: Managing Director - Fox Finance GroupConnect via: LinkedIn