Christmas tends to be a double-edged sword for everyone – we love to receive gifts but the shopping bit makes us a little nervous, and rightly so. Mozo crunched the numbers and found that debit and credit cards will be used 17% more in December than any other time in the year. With Christmas now 12 weeks away, it’s time to get smart about saving and we’ve got 6 tips to that’ll keep you off the naughty list.
Take advantage of click and collect.
How many times have you walked into a store for ‘just one thing’ and come out with 2 or 3 bags? Some of us can’t help but get distracted when we shop, but thanks to the beauty of ‘click and collect’, you can remove temptation altogether. Click and collect allows you pre-pay for items online, before heading to the store to pick it up. By pre-paying for items, you won’t be tempted to hang around and make any impulse purchases – just head straight to the counter, grab and go.
Santa’s tip – If you are choosing to head into stores to do your Christmas shopping, give yourself a time limit to get all your shopping done by setting a countdown on your phone. And if you really want to kick it up a notch, set an interval time for each individual store. For example, spending 10 minutes or less in each store.
Participate in ‘buy nothing new month’.
What better motivation to save than ‘buy nothing new month’. Buy nothing new month is all about conscious consumption and taking the time to think about where our stuff ends up when we’re done with it. Not only will this be good for the planet, but your wallet won’t be complaining either!
Santa’s tip – If it’s a new outfit you’re after for an upcoming event, like the Melbourne Cup, ask your friends if you’d be able to borrow something of theirs.
Get in early with your travel insurance.
Aside from Christmas, jetting off on a week long trip is another reason to get festive. But before you hit the sky, take the time to shop around on travel insurance rather than buying it through the travel agent. Make sure you fully understand what you will and won’t be covered for – this will save you from any unnecessary holiday headaches. Plus, Mozo’s data found that by setting aside just half an hour to compare travel insurance policies, you could save $120!
Santa’s tip – The best way to set yourself up for your holiday is to get your travel insurance as soon as you book your flights. It won’t cost you any extra and you’ll be covered for any flight cancellations or delays.
Get catalogue crazy.
If it’s your turn to host Christmas lunch, collect supermarket catalogues and peruse like crazy. There’s no law against taking advantage of sales months in advance, especially if you could be saving over $50 on chocolates, crackers and dips. The only problem you’ll have is stopping yourself from sneaking bits of chocolate when no one’s looking.
Santa’s tip – To stop yourself from going overboard, create a list of the quantity of things you’ll need and week by week add something new to the pile. For example, one week could be dedicated to getting chocolate, then chips in the following week. This will ensure that you don’t break the budget in one hit and will also mean you’ll only be buying the amount of things you need.
Skip the Christmas cards.
While it’s a tradition give a card along with the present, as brutal as it sounds, those cards generally end up in the bin within a few months. And if you’ve got a huge family like me, you could be blowing over $50 just on cards! This year, skip buying Christmas cards and use stick-on labels instead. And if anyone asks, just say you put the extra cash towards their gift!
Santa’s tip – But for those who still want to make someone’s day, get eco friendly and record your Christmas messages on your phone to send out to family and friends. Editing tools like iMovie can also help add some colour and creativity to turn what would have been your ordinary Christmas message into a box office sensation.
Switch credit cards.
High credit card balances are the ‘coal in the stocking’ for adults – not a surprise you want. If you’re paying high interest on your credit card now, Christmas spending is only going to make paying your debt back harder. By switching to a credit card with a 0% balance transfer rate, you could stop paying interest altogether. But before you do this, you need a financial strategy to pay off the card’s balance before the end of the interest free period. Once you start comparing, keep an eye out for cards that offer a low annual fee.
Santa’s tip – Mozo’s credit card comparison tool can help you find the best deal on your next credit card and cushion the financial blow this Christmas.
If you need more money savvy inspo, head over to our Life and Money hub, it’s filled with helpful tips and tricks that’ll help you save over the festive season.