5 money tips for Christmas

1. Have a pre-Christmas clean up

There’s still time to bag some extra cash to boost your festive finances. Spend a few hours clearing out anything you no longer need around the house, like clothes, books, jewellery, furniture, music, or sporting equipment. You could sell these items online, hold 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 extra special.

2. Make a list and check it twice

Make lists of the things you need to buy and the food you need to prepare for the festive season. Having lists will help you plan your spending and keep you on track.

  • Presents – Make a list of who you’re buying for, what you want to get them, and how much money you’re prepared to spend on each person.
  • Entertainment supplies – List the food and drinks you’ll need, and how much you can spend. Buy in advance where possible to take advantage of specials, especially if items can be frozen or have a long shelf life.
  • Travel plans – Whether you’re flying or driving, there are ways to save on holiday travel costs. List all your costs like flights, accommodation, travel insurance, airport transfers and petrol. Shop around for deals as early as you can, to avoid paying a premium for last-minute bookings or peak season increases. If you’re going on a driving holiday, work out which day is cheapest to fill up on petrol, and do it the week before Christmas.

3. Personalise your cards and wrapping

Most 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:

  • Use a favourite photo to create a personalised photo card
  • If you have kids, give them some paper and get them to draw or paint pictures that you can use to create special cards
  • Record a video message on your smartphone or iPad and email it to your family and friends
  • Write a letter to your loved ones instead of sending a card. This is a great way to tell them how much they mean to you, or thank them for something special they might have done for you this year.

Rethink your wrapping by buying brown paper and string, or just use plain coloured paper to wrap your presents. Then you’ll avoid pricey Christmas wrapping and can use the excess during the year to wrap other gifts.

4. Be a scrooge online

If you’re 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.

5. Grab your gift cards

Australians love gift cards and vouchers, but too many of us let the funds expire before we use them. Check the expiry date on any gift cards you still have credit on, and consider putting this money towards your Christmas costs. Every dollar of gift card credit you use means you’re spending one less dollar of your own money. Every little bit helps!

Gift cards can also make good presents for people who are hard to buy for, or if you just don’t know what to get them. Giving gift cards at Christmas also means the recipient can use them in the post-Christmas sales. But there are some things you should consider before buying gift cards. Visit our gift cards webpage to find out more.

 

This article was taken from: https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/tools-and-resources/news/12-money-tips-for-christmas

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