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How your family can save $1000 in time for Christmas

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Posted by Mozo

We’re just 10 weeks out from Christmas. Here’s how to save $100 a week in the lead up to the most expensive time of the year. 

If you’ve started to fret about office Christmas parties, $10 rolls of wrapping paper and buying a present for your partner’s great aunt, you are definitely not alone. Christmas is a fun time of year, but it sure gives your wallet a workout.

To help keep a lid on your finances this festive season, here are eight things you can do to save yourself $1,045 by December 25. You can thank us at the Boxing Day Sales...

CHOOSE FEE-FREE BANKING — Save $40

The average Australian household pays $487 in bank fees each year. This is despite the wide range of low- or no-fee options available.

With a quick search of our bank account hub, we found switching from a regular everyday account to one with free ATM access at non-own ATMs, no account keeping fees and a 2% cash back offer on monthly spending of $350, you could save $40 by Christmas.

SWITCH CREDIT CARDS — Save $168

If you know you’ll find yourself reaching for the credit card over the next few months, it might be worthwhile switching to a low-rate card with a 0% balance transfer offer.

By transferring your balance you could avoid paying interest for up to 16 months, saving you $168 on a balance of $5,000 over the next 12 weeks alone.

SEARCH THE WEB FOR DISCOUNT VOUCHERS — Save $30

There are dedicated websites like Voucher Cloud and I Love Coupons with promotional codes and coupons that can be redeemed at Australian retailers. For example, a 15% discount on full priced items from The Iconic could save you $30 when you spend $200.

SHOP AROUND FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE — Save $74

And if you’re intending to do a spot of travel before Christmas, make sure you get the best deal on your travel insurance by searching the market here.

The price you pay for travel insurance varies greatly by provider so comparing quotes online is the quickest and easiest way to see which is going to save you valuable spending money. For example, a week-long trip to Bali could mean a saving of $74 just by shopping around for your travel insurance.

HOST A CLOTHES SWAP — Save $150

Buying a new outfit for every Christmas party you attend is an easy way to break your Christmas budget. You can always save the money you would spend on a new Christmas party outfit by swapping clothes with friends.

Host a clothes swap where you each bring a handful of quality items of a similar value for swapping. The Clothing Exchange and Swap Style are two websites designed to facilitate clothes swapping and gives you the option to sell your items regardless of whether you need anything new.

STOP HAILING TAXIS AND HAIL BUSES INSTEAD — Save $73

As the festive season gets into full swing, use trains, buses, ferries and footpaths to get from party to party instead of taxis. The beauty of public transport is in most cases you can bypass the pre-Christmas traffic.

At a cost of $2.19 per kilometre in Sydney, taxis are a real luxury and could be costing you $44 per month for a five-kilometre journey once a week. If you were to travel the same distance by bus, it’s $14.80 per month.

GIVE UP THE GROG FOR A GOOD CAUSE — Save $360

Not only is this a great excuse to save money and have a healthier month before the good food and good booze of the party season kicks off, but you’re raising money for Life Education Australia, so your conscience will thank you for it as well.

While the ABS says we drink approximately 2.2 standard drinks a day, we’re going to be more conservative and estimate a saving of $360 based on 24 standard drinks over a month priced at $6 each.

TURN CHRISTMAS INTO A DIY PROJECT — Save $150

If you find yourself running around buying last-minute gifts for in-laws, school teachers or neighbours, try giving handmade gifts instead.

Turn to your craftiest skill and hand make Christmas gifts like gingerbread, jam or pickled vegetables. Better yet, get the kids involved; primary school teachers receive plenty of soap sets and chocolate boxes each Christmas, so an original artwork or poem from a child about how they have helped them learn over the past year will be so much more special.

An estimated saving of $150 is based on spending $50 on ingredients and packaging when you would usually spend $200 for 10 gifts.

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