There’s a reason why summer is dubbed the silly season. Because it’s usually around this time that we leave our financial savviness at home and blow our savings on everything from Christmas gifts to end of year holidays.
If you’re determined this isn’t going to be you this season, check out our top tips to help you prepare for the season of sun, sand and OVERspending:
1. Set up a savings account for the holiday season
Open up a high interest savings account dedicated to funding your Christmas shop from your work’s Kriss Kringle to your partner’s pressie. You can search the market for a savings account with a competitive interest rate using our comparison engine here. Remember the trick is the earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. For instance if you put away $100 a week into ING DIRECT’s Savings Maximiser at 3.50% (conditions apply), over the next 11 weeks you’ll have $1,103.70. If saving $100 a week is too steep try $25, you’ll still save $275.93 by the time Santa is here and every little bit helps!
2. Make your own Christmas presents
If you have a penchant for the creative (and thrifty) things in life, you should try your hand at making your own Christmas presents. There are plenty of how to videos on Youtube on everything from making your own soy candles and nail polish to lanterns and bath salts. Need some gift giving inspiration? Check out this Natural Living Ideas’ blog on 112 Incredible DIY Gift Ideas.
3. Earn cash on the side
You can rack up some extra cash to help fund the summer season by taking up a job on the side. For instance, websites like Airtasker.com.au allows you to bid to complete odd jobs from organising someone’s tax return to cleaning out another’s garage. If you want to find out about more ways to make a little extra income on the side, read our blog here.
4. Rid yourself of unnecessary expenses
You’ll be glad to say goodbye to your weekly manicures, gym membership fees or Friday night takeout when there is a nice wad of cash sitting in your wallet as the new year rolls around. For instance, cancelling a $20 gym membership you never use will save you $220 over 11 weeks.
5. Keep an eye out for free things to do
You don’t need to empty your wallet to soak up the best of an Aussie summer. From unwinding in the Australian National Botanic Gardens in Canberra to snorkelling in Sydney’s rock pools, Aussietopia.org has rounded up their Top 100 Free Things to Do in Australia. It’s also a good idea to subscribe to an entertainment guide such as TIME OUT to keep you in the know of any free events in your state.
6. Sign up for online deals
Whether you’re looking for an awesome gift or something to do on a balmy summer night, websites like Groupon, Scoopon and Living Social offer up to 70% discounts on a range of things from massages and facials to all you can eat seafood buffets. Simply register and wait for a great deal to pop up.
7. Brew your own beer
Cultivate a new skill and reduce your liquor bill by brewing your own beer at home. You can purchase a beer brewing kit online from anywhere between $40 to $340. And you don’t have to stop with beer, you can also make your own spirits, wine and even cheese for an upcoming soiree that is sure to impress.
8. Join the sustainable fashion movement
Tis the season of wining and dining. But before you blow out your budget on a handful of designer threads to get you through the festive season, look into something like the sustainable fashion movement where you buy second hand from Vinnies or attend a clothes swap in your local area. You can pick up a chic vintage number and also avoid the risk of being spotted in the same outfit (*sigh of relief*).
How are you preparing to survive the summer of spending?