November 28, 2014
There is no denying Christmas is an expensive time of the year. From the many festive social events to Christmas presents and even Christmas lunch, it is easy for your finances to run away with you during the jolly season.
Of course, not everyone wants or can spend big at Christmas time. According to Mortgage Choice's Happy As Index, more than 40 per cent of Australians said they plan to “spend less” this Christmas.
“28.1 per cent of Australians said they would spend less on gifts, while a further 8.2 per cent said they planned to spend less on going out and 5.1 per cent indicated they would spend less money on food and beverages,” Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough said.
“Australians realise from past experience how easy it is to get carried away during the festive season and ultimately blow the budget.
“Thankfully, there are some simple techniques that people can employ to curb their spending without sacrificing the things they enjoy.”
Mortgage Choice offers the following five tips to help Australians spend within their means this festive season:
1. Open a festive account: Set yourself a budget for the festive season and then put that money into a separate transaction account. By separating this money from the rest of your finances, it will stop you from spending more money than you originally planned. In fact, regardless of the time of year, it is always good to separate your money into various bank accounts. Separating your money into different accounts each pay cycle rather than keeping it all in the one transaction account will encourage you to spend your money on the things you need and not the things you don't.
2. Research lender options: Australia's lenders are keen to attract new business at the moment, as such, they are offering some significant incentives to new customers – including free usage of any ATM in Australia, and even cash-back incentives to those who open a new account. So what have you got to lose? Research your options and see if there is a better financial institution out there for you.
3. Prepare yourself: Before you head to the shops and start spending money on presents for your loved ones, it pays to sit down and make a list. Know exactly what you plan to get each family member and how much that gift is going to cost you. Having a list at the ready will help make sure you don't spend more than you bargained.
4. Shop around for discounts: There are plenty of discounts to be found provided you have the time, energy and patience to shop around. Get online and price all the gifts you intend to buy. You may find there are certain stores that will sell things for cheaper. Alternatively, you may find ordering online can save you significantly.
5. Don't spend more than you have: Regardless if you're heading out on the town or heading to the shops to get the Christmas present buying underway, it pays to leave your credit cards at home and only take with you the money you can afford to spend. By denying yourself access to additional funds, it will force you to spend within your means.
If you would like more money savings tips call 13 77 62.