Festive funds: Top tips to save for Christmas
CHRISTMAS Day is closer than you think so now is a good time to spend a moment to plan how you are going to pay for your family Christmas cheer.
Check out ASIC's MoneySmart saving ideas to help make this Christmas the best one yet.
1. Make a list and check it twice
Make a list of the things you need to buy - presents, supplies for Christmas/Boxing Day, travel costs.
2. Find Christmas bargains
- Look for bargains by scouring advertising catalogues and checking for any online offers.
- Make sure you don't plan to spend more than you can afford.
3. Be a scrooge online
- Look at the sales sections of websites for what's on offer, as well as free shipping days.
- Search for an item instead of only going direct to one retailer's website.
- Search auction websites.
- Make sure you include any shipping costs when you are comparing prices.
- If you are travelling at Christmas, shop around and book early to get the best deal on flights and insurance.
4. Pay for gifts with reward points
- Use your rewards card points to pay for gifts but be aware that reward schemes can sometimes cost you more than the reward is worth.
- Watch for items you need and discounts that earn points so you can build your balance.
5. Go social with Christmas shopping
- Check out brands and retailers on social media for exclusive discounts.
- Look at discount or deal apps to find bargains, but before you buy check the terms and conditions.
6. Christmas gift hacks
Rather than spending up big to fill the Christmas stockings, get creative with your gifts! Here are some ideas:
- Give a gift of food - Make your own.
- Create a coupon - If you have a knack for massage, babysitting, or even hugs, give a coupon that can be redeemed later.
- Give an experience - Take someone on a picnic, a driving tour, or plan a dinner date at home.
- DIY - Get crafty and make a gift using stuff you already have.
- Save on wrapping - Buy brown paper and string to wraps your gifts instead of pricey wrapping.
- Set a present limit.
- Re-think your Christmas cards - Record a video greeting with your phone and email it to your friends and loved ones.
7. In-store shopping tips
- Set a time limit on your shopping.
- Buy less expensive stuff first to help you keep to your gift budget.
- Limit your shopping locations so you are not tempted to overspend.
8. Track your spending
Keeping track of your spending by using the TrackMySPEND app from ASIC's MoneySmart.
9. Give to those less fortunate
Consider donating to a charity this Christmas. You can give money, household items, clothes and groceries, or volunteer your time to help them out.
10. Get some cash and make their day
If you have something around the house you've been meaning to get rid of and sell, Christmas is the time to do it.
11. Lighten the Christmas Day load
- Plan the menu with in-season produce as it's usually cheaper and fresher.
- Buy in bulk and freeze or store in the lead-up.
- Ask others to bring or make something to contribute to the meal.
12. Plan for next Christmas
Once this Christmas is done and dusted you can start planning ahead for next year.
For the full list of Christmas savings tips, go to www.moneysmart.gov.au.