6 savvy saving tips for Christmas
Savvy saving tips for Christmas.
With borders slowly opening and restrictions easing, this Christmas could be cause for real celebration. However, for many it will still be a stressful season filled with additional expenses. According to the 2020 December retail trade report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Aussies spent a record $55 billion (yes, that’s a “b”) on Christmas. This was dramatically up from 2019’s figure of $18.8 billion – and this was mostly spent on pre-COVID travel and gifts.
So, it makes sense that plenty of Aussies look for ways to save at Christmas time, usually by purchasing gifts ahead of time during pre-Christmas sales, setting a gift limit with family and friends, or even making their owns gifts.
However, it can also be worthwhile looking at ways to save in other areas of your life at Christmas, such as around the home – where every dollar saved can be put back into enjoying Christmas with the family! So here are some handy tips for saving money this Christmas.
Track your spending
Don’t throw all your hard-earned savings away at Christmas. COVID has shown us that it’s more important than ever to share time with loved ones. It’s definitely not about how much you blow on gifts. Setting a budget will help you keep a lid on spending, while an easy way to track your shopping is to keep the receipts of every purchase.
Cut down on the Christmas lights
We’re not trying to be a Grinch here, but having an extravagant number of Christmas lights can really impact your power bill. Unless you’re trying to win the local lights competition, you don’t have to ‘keep up with the Joneses” next door and their over-the-top light extravaganza. If you do feel the need to brighten up your place there are plenty of solar powered festive lights available that won’t leave you with a huge power bill arriving early in the new year.
Pay outstanding bills before Christmas
Speaking of the new year, it can be one of the biggest bill-paying times of the year for many people. Apart from the usual utilities accounts to pay, many households have to contend with holiday expenses on top of an oversized credit card bill. So to help ease money stress in the new year you should try to pay off all outstanding bills before Christmas hits.
Get your air conditioner serviced
Australian summers seem to be getting hotter each year. In some areas, air conditioners can be running all day with kids home on school holidays and throughout the night. The costs can really add up. It makes sense to run your aircon as efficiently as possible. After all, an efficient air conditioner is a cost-effective air conditioner. So, get them serviced before the heat comes and run them at the most efficient temperature setting (usually between 22 and 24 degrees Celsius for cooling).
Buy only what you need
Summer is THE social season. We see more of our friends and family than any other time of the year. And, if you’re the poor soul who’s hosting one or more soirées it could get very expensive, very quickly. Before you splash the cash on party provisions, ask yourself if you really need seven types of dip (especially for Christmas lunch when the food will be flowing anyway), or whether your guests can bring a dish to share the load. Think about what will be eaten over the course of the event and don’t overspend for the sake of it. It will help your bank balance and maybe even your waistline.
Use rewards points
With travel not really possible over the past 18 months, you’re probably like many platinum credit card users who may now be sitting on a large amount of rewards points. If you can’t use them to travel, now’s the time to put your Flybuys and other rewards points to good use, like gifts! It’ll save you spending your own savings.
Remember, that the holiday season is the perfect time to recharge and reconnect with the loved ones in our lives – something we shouldn’t take for granted after the pandemic. It’s definitely not the time to put yourself under financial pressure – especially when the holiday is over and the bills start rolling in.