1.Get social with 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. See the ACCC’s SCAMwatch website for tips on how to pick an online shopping scam.
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:
- Agree on a spending limit – Suggest to your loved ones that you set a limit on how much you will spend on gifts for each other to keep your budgets under control
- Kids only – Talk to the other adults in your extended family about only buying presents for the kids this year, rather than for the adults
- DIY vouchers – We often remember the things people do for us rather than the presents they give us. Consider giving redeemable vouchers for tasks like babysitting, massages, picnics, homemade dinners or even housework.
- Savvy sales – Take advantage of sales throughout the year to nab some bargains and store them away for Christmas. But, even in December there are bargains to be had. You can also check out any clearance outlets near you, or sign up to their newsletters so that you’ll be in the know when they have a sale.
- Compare offers – Some stores match or beat competitors’ deals, so compare their offers and take all the details with you when you go into the store. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount – you might just get a Christmas miracle!
- Secondhand bargains – Op shops, antique stores and secondhand bookshops can be a treasure trove for the thrifty Christmas shopper. If you’re prepared to spend the time looking through their stock, you can often find good quality items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at big name stores.
Australia’s Christmas spending
Check out our Christmas spending infographic, which shows how much Australians spend at Christmas, the different ways people pay for presents, and how long it can take to pay off Christmas credit card debt.
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.
- Shop at odd hours – Take advantage of extended trading hours and go when it’s less crowded so you can choose carefully without having to jostle for space.
- Buy less expensive stuff first – If you buy larger and more costly items first you can lose perspective on what is a good price, so set your budget, buy small first, and then tackle the big stuff so you stick to your gift budget.
- Pre-pay – If you buy online, check if there’s an option to pick up in-store. You’ll save on freight, skip any lines, and there will be less temptation to buy more.
- Limit your shopping locations – Only go to shops that you need to visit so you don’t get distracted and impulse buy.
Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget this Christmas.
Use our TrackMySPEND app to nominate a spending limit for different types of Christmas expenses and track your progress while you shop.
Track your personal expenses on the go.
Spread the Christmas cheer by giving to those who are doing it tough. Consider donatingto 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.
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:
- Share the catering – Even if you’re hosting Christmas Day lunch or dinner, there’s no need to shoulder all the work yourself. Ask others to bring nibblies, drinks, salads or desserts.
- Buy only what you need – It can be easy to overestimate how much food you’ll need at Christmas, only to end up throwing some away or eating leftovers for days. The calculator on NSW EPA’s Love Food Hate Waste website can help you plan exactly how much food you will need for the number of people you are catering for.
- Switch supermarkets – Make a list of the groceries you need for Christmas, then take advantage of the competition between supermarkets by checking out the advertised specials and stocking up. Don’t buy everything at the same shop if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. You might even get better deals at your local butcher or fruit shop.
- Use loyalty credits – If you belong to a supermarket loyalty scheme that builds up credit after you’ve spent a certain amount, check if you can use the credit to get a discount on your Christmas grocery shop.
Read our article on how to save money on food for more tips on cutting costs at the supermarket.
Once this Christmas is done and dusted, you should start planning ahead for next year. Here are some ideas to make sure you are set up for next Christmas:
- Start saving now – Open a high interest savings account in January and contribute a small amount to it every payday. Saving $20 per week will add up to over $1,000 in a year’s time. Use our savings goals calculator to see how much you’ll need to save each pay to reach your Christmas savings goal.
- Shop the sales – Shop for presents throughout the year, especially during sales. This will spread your costs and make them more manageable.
- Layby – Pre-plan larger gifts and layby them a few months ahead so you can pay them off over time.
This article was taken from: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/news/12-money-tips-for-christmas