Industry super fund-owned bank ME has simple tips to help you avoid a financial squeeze this Christmas.
Australians spent around $50 billion in the lead up to Christmas last year, which means there is plenty of room to save. Here are six tips from ME on how to enjoy the fun and festivity without a New Year financial hangover.
1. Plan ahead
Lists go hand in hand with Christmas, and they’re not always about who’s naughty or nice.
Decide who you’d like to buy a gift for, allocate a set sum, and then stick to your list to stay within your festive budget. According to the Financial Planning Association, only one in four of us have a budget allocation for gifts. But good planning can mean good savings.
2. Give a group gift
It may be the thought that counts, but around 21 million unwanted gifts are handed out each Christmas. Rather than throwing money away on low value stocking stuffers, get together with friends or family to buy a single quality gift.
Co-buying is becoming a real movement with three quarters of us doing it, and it’s a great way to spread the cost. Coordinate your combined gift giving with apps like Giftster.
3. Pocket a discount on gift cards
Gift cards are a handy go-to for hard-to-buy-for friends and family. And there are lots of ways to save.
People often use classified sites like Gumtree to offer unwanted gift cards at heavily reduced prices or alternatively, associations offer discounts – for instance, the National Seniors Australia offers a 10% saving on gift cards and motoring association RACQ offers members 15% discounts on gift cards for over 30 different stores.
4. Save on festive fizz
Add some budget-friendly bubbly to your Christmas lunch. Stock up with online auctioneers like Grays, where a bottle of Veuve Clicquot can cost less than $50 compared to $65 through some retail outlets.
5. Earn cash for shopping
Get paid to shop? It can be a smart move for the silly season.
Cashback websites like Cashrewards, Shopback and Cashback Club let you earn cash back on purchases. Retailers pay the site a commission when shoppers use these sites to make a purchase online, and part of this is shared with shoppers. Exclusive savings can also be part of the deal.
As a guide, Cashrewards recently offered 25% off selected dresses at clothing retailer Forever New with 4.20% cash back.
6. Plan how you’ll pay
Last year, Australians were lumbered with post-Christmas credit card debt averaging $1,863 per person. One in four cardholders expected to still be paying their debt off in late 2019.
That’s a good incentive to plan your spending beforehand, aim to pay with cash, and only put purchases on a credit card that you know you can pay off before interest charges kick in.
Following these simple steps can help you avoid carrying the cost of Christmas well into the New Year, so you can head into 2020 with a clean financial slate.
This article is brought to you by ME. For more information, please visit mebank.com.au
Members Equity Bank Limited ABN 56 070 887 679 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229500.