Christmas 2020, what a year we have had already!
Christmas is now only 3 short weeks away and the rush is on! Shopping, crowds, present ideas, bargains, online shopping, who is cooking dinner, where is Christmas this year…. the list is endless just to get to the big day.
With Christmas comes the joy of giving, but at what cost?
Christmas can be a trap for those prone to impulse spending going well beyond their financial limits. It can drive even the most disciplined savers into debt because there is just something about Christmas that sees us spending far more than we should. With that said, here are 5 Money Saving Tips to help curb the spending and enjoy the New Year without the financial and emotional hangover of Christmas.
1. Make a Budget (and stick to it).
Before you start dreaming up all the wonderful things you could buy, it is a better idea to draw up a Christmas budget – and importantly stick to it. You do not want to dig yourself into a Christmas debt sized hole that you’ll spend all New Year digging yourself out of.
Consider how much cash you have to spare for your loved ones. After you have made an overall budget, plan how much you want to spend on each person. Once you know how much money you’ve got to play with, you can start looking at suitable gift ideas in those price ranges.
2. Debit over credit.
If you don’t have the cash up front to pay for your Christmas goodies, it can be tempting to put it all on your credit card, or use one of the many Buy Now, Pay Later services. That is a problem for tomorrow, right? Not to be a Grinch, but that convenience can cost you dearly when you start the New Year with a debt-induced hangover.
An ASIC report (2019) found that Aussies have over $903 million in outstanding Buy Now, Pay Later balances – a number that will surely rise over the Christmas period.
Buying something with money you have is always the best option, though if you are going to use finance, make sure you understand the terms and conditions including how much your repayments will be and when they are due.
3. Block out your calendar for big sales.
Retailers throw tons of big sales like Click Frenzy, Cyber Monday, and Black Friday in the lead up to Christmas. How thoughtful of them! These sales periods can be the best time to save the most money on your Christmas shopping, with some retailers dropping prices by as much as 80%.
4. Secret Santa.
If money is tight, you can’t go wrong with the Secret Santa approach. Agreeing on a set amount for everyone to spend on a single person works just as well for colleagues as it does for friends and family. Just make sure everyone agrees on the budget and no-one is left off the list. (Not even your weird cousins!).
5. Only buy what you need.
It is easy to overestimate what you need for Christmas Day, only to wind up with enough food to feed a small country. Make a list of what you need and stick to it – you probably don’t need to purchase 15 family-sized packets of chips 😉
Extra Bonus Tip – Start saving now!
Once this Christmas is over, you can take a breather and start planning for the next one. Open a high interest savings account in January and start depositing a small amount each payday. Even if you only contribute $20 a week, that adds up to $1,000 in a year’s time which can certainly buy some decent gifts and food. Check out Savings.com.au for more tips and tricks on saving money over the festive season.
Relax over the silly season with these free movies on our Kanopy streaming service:
- DecemBeard: During the month of December, Bowel Cancer Australia’s hair-raising fundraiser encouraging you to get hairy while raising awareness and funds to help beat bowel cancer. Face, head, legs, body – if it’s hair – let it grow or let it go!
- World AIDS Day : World AIDS Day is held on 1st December each year. It raises awareness across the world and in the community about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS, and commemorates people who have died.
- International Day of People with Disability: International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on 3 December each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions.
- International Volunteer Day : International Volunteer Day (IVD) on 5 December raises awareness on the important role volunteers play in responding to challenges facing the world.