Christmas always seems to creep up on us, and if you haven’t got your budget sorted out ahead of time, it can leave you with little to spend on loved ones. In fact, a recent survey by CommBank found that millennials in particular only started saving for the holidays a month ago!
With Christmas almost a week away things are about to get a little hectic in stores, but it a tight budget and long lines don’t mean you need to throw in the towel with your shopping. There are a few sneaky ways you can still pick up a bargain and tick off everyone on your gift list, like…
Our first tip involves a piece of plastic and a strong game plan. An interest-free credit card can help you get on top of your Christmas shopping and avoid paying any interest for a certain period of time. But before you apply, you’ll need to sort out a financial plan as to how you’ll pay off the balance before the interest-free period ends, otherwise you could see yourself plunging into debt.
Shop around and budget hard
There is no worse feeling than thinking you’ve nailed the perfect gift only to find it somewhere else at a fraction of the cost. And since you’ll be cutting costs wherever possible, budgeting and shopping around has never been more crucial. Get frugal with your spending by stocking up on catalogues or heading online to see if you can find a discount code to help lower the cost of an item.
But depending on your type of plastic, you may not have to go to the trouble. Some credit cards come with a feature called price protection - this means if you’ve made a purchase using your credit card and have found it cheaper somewhere else, your provider will refund you the difference!
Rake in the cash
During the festive season, many credit card providers offer cash back deals, which you can put toward your Christmas shopping! But since you will be depending on your plastic to score these incentives, make sure you set up a direct debit to repay the balance and avoid paying interest.
Put off personal shopping
Started your Christmas shopping and found a pair of pants that’ll look perfect on you? Not so fast. This month you’ll need resist the urge to shop for yourself and instead put every dollar toward your family and friends. But you don’t have to kiss those pants goodbye just yet, as you could drop a hint to someone else and get them to buy them for you. If not, Boxing Day is right around the corner.
Commit a shopping sin
Many of us take great pride out of picking out the perfect gift, but if you’re really short on both time and money this year, you may have to commit the ultimate shopping sin and regift an old present. As long as it’s in good condition, you rewrap the gift and pass it onto someone in a different social circle, you might just get away with it.
Put your rewards points to work
If you’ve got a rewards credit card and have been working hard to rack up a bunch of points all year, now is the perfect time to use them. Depending on the type of rewards card you have, you’ll be able to use your points for gift cards and other retail products from the rewards store. While you may have been hoping to spoil yourself with these freebies, there’s no denying that surprising someone with a free flight is guaranteed to give you brownie points.
So whether you’re hoping to cash in some rewards points or go interest-free with your Christmas shopping, our credit card comparison tool can help. It compares a range of credit cards to help you find the right match for your spending needs.