December 2018 Financial Checklist

The final month of the year is officially here and whether you like it or not, it’s time to get your game face on. But even as we tie up loose ends and start thinking about what’s on for 2019, there’s still a lot to be done before Santa rolls into town. So grab your reindeer and wallet because we’ve got your December financial checklist ready to go!

Pick up the right piece of plastic for online shopping

For a lot of us with hectic schedules, Christmas shopping for friends and family more than often involves a laptop, a credit card and annoying international transaction fees. And with some credit card providers charging up to 3% per transaction, you could wind up paying a bundle in unnecessary fees. So in the lead up to Christmas, why not give yourself the gift of minimal fees by picking up an online shopping-friendly piece of plastic.

At the moment of writing, there are 13 credit cards in the Mozo database that don’t charge international transaction fees, like the Westpac Lite Card or the Coles Rewards Mastercard, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from!

Get up close and personal for Christmas

Every family does Christmas differently, from big lunches to holidays or just a mountain of gifts. But if this year’s wish list seems to be just out of reach, why not consider a low rate personal loan to help cover the big expenses. Unlike a credit card, personal loans generally come with lower interest rates and set repayments, which are easier to factor into your monthly budget. Plus, you won’t need to waste time searching for the perfect one, as we’ve just revealed the winners of our 2018 Mozo Experts Choice Personal Loan awards!

Lock in a new energy plan for summer

The beach. Fresh tan. Ice blocks galore. There’s a long list of things to get excited about over the summer break, but sky high energy bills isn’t one of them. Especially since St Vincent de Paul Society’s annual Tariff Tracking report has found that since 2009, electricity based pricing in Australia has increased by 75% on average, with Aussies in South Australia and Victoria having experienced price hikes over 100%. So before it really starts to heats up, use this month to make the switch to a better value energy plan.

Prepare cash for international delivery

For some people, there’s nothing they want more for Christmas than a great stack of cash. And if that’s exactly what you’re planning on giving a loved one overseas, you’re going to have to set up an international money transfer with an IMT provider. While you can do this through your regular bank, IMT specialists generally offer more competitive rates and lower fees.

One way to make sure your recipient gets as much of their gift as possible is to opt for a forward contract. This type of service allows you to lock in a top exchange rate now, to be transferred at a later date. But just remember, transfers can still take between 1-3 days to process, so be sure to make the transfer before December 19!

Take a moment to give back

Although Christmas is widely known to be the happiest time of the year, unfortunately for many Aussies this is not always the case. In the lead up to Christmas, make a donation to a charity of your choosing and if the charity has a deductible gift receipt (DGR), you might be able to claim it on your tax return.

Jot down 2019 resolutions and goals

You either love or hate doing it, but setting financial goals and resolutions can help get your 2019 off to a smashing start. Take the time this month to acknowledge the goals and resolutions you did achieve as well as the ones you didn’t, evaluating why you weren’t able to cross them off your list. Doing this will help you understand where you can improve in the new year.

When writing down your 2019 goals, it’s a good idea to assess whether your budget is up to scratch. For example, if one of your goals is to buy a second hand car, ask yourself if you’ll need to make some adjustments to your budget or cut back on certain spending.

And if you’d like even more ways to make 2019 your best year yet, you can head on over to our Life and Money hub. It’s filled with hundreds of tips to make every dollar count - from your holiday to refinancing your mortgage.