Depending on who you ask, the month of November is a lot like turning 17 – you’re stuck between the milestone ages of 16 and 18 but in November’s case, it’s between Halloween and Christmas. But if you’re a festive fanatic like me, you’ll probably say that November is the best chance you’ve got at getting prepared for Christmas and the holidays. So this month’s checklist is all about preparing for everyone’s favorite time of the year.
Get new plastic approved before Christmas.
Whether you’re looking for a new credit card to travel or clear debt with, you’ll want to have it ready to go before December hits. It typically takes up to 10 days between approval and receiving your card in the mail, so what better time than now to get a jumpstart on securing your wallet’s new best friend. And if you’re a bit unsure on which credit card is the best on the market, you’re luck as we’ve just announced the winners of our Experts Choice Awards!
Start building Christmas kitchen inventory.
Christmas lunch at yours this year? Get on top of your kitchen inventory now. We’re talking chips, chocolates and other nonperishable items you can stash in your cupboard from now. But with all the Christmas excitement that brews throughout November, things can get out of hand down the lolly aisle at Coles. To stop yourself from overspending, get organised by creating a list of the things you’ll need, plus their quantity. But why stop there? Collect and compare supermarket catalogues to make every dollar count.
Reevaluate your savings strategy.
Back in September you may have started a new savings strategy to give your current savings a bit of a boost for the start of Spring. Hopefully your savings pile has been growing month by month and you’re ready to turn pro with a new tactic.
And if you need some help on developing your next savings strategy, you could try the 50/30/20 rule. This is where 50% of your paycheck goes directly to your bills and essentials, 30% goes to lifestyle expenses, like shopping sprees or nights out and the final 20% goes directly into your savings.
Conduct a household audit and get summer ready.
By the time November hits, you’ll already get a feel as to what summer will be like. And while it’s easier to let your aircon take care of the situation, you’ll instantly regret it once your see your energy bill – especially since Mozo’s data found that bills have risen by 29%! Get your home summer ready by conducting a household audit and take note of areas you can save on your energy bill. While there are many ways to save (in fact, we have a number of ideas), some of the basics include using thicker, semi-dark curtains to reduce heat in your home or switching your globes to fluorescent bulbs to save on lighting costs.
Score deals with Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
If you’re an avid shopper like me, you know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday is good news for your wardrobe, but not your bank account. So if you’re planning to shower your loved ones with a new pair of shoes or a luxurious pj set for Christmas, it might be worth waiting until November 24th for Black Friday and hitting up online retailers for Cyber Monday. Many stores offer up to 60% off on stock – and that’s not including stuff already on sale. Just make sure that the shipping costs don’t burn a hole in your wallet!
And if you are expecting frequent knocks on your door by couriers, try Shipster! Until January 1st, you can make a one-off payment of $9.95 and receive free shipping with over 40 Aussie retailers!
Start AND finish Christmas gift shopping.
If you do anything to prepare for Christmas this month, make sure it’s getting gift shopping done. Many of us shrug off gift shopping in November because we think there’s still plenty of time. But getting your gift shopping done a month early is not just about being organised, it’s also about avoiding the ‘December Christmas crazies’ mob. These are the people you see a week out from Christmas, rummaging through shelves, turning aisles upside down and paying top dollar for the privilege. So take care of your gift list now and save yourself from the torture of having to stand in the queue for 20 minutes while someone argues at the counter over the price of a Christmas hamper.