The silly season is well and truly here.
Whilst we will all be buying presents, food and going on holidays we should still keep a lid on spending this month. With rising interest rates putting a strain on cashflow, every saved dollar is invaluable. Here are a few ideas on being a bit more frugal in our spending this Christmas:
Online retailers do not have the same overheads as a lot of their competitors so there are bargains galore to be made over the internet. Half an hour on the computer could save you plenty of money and time.
Take advantage of our strong dollar
The Australian dollar is at its strongest right now against most of the world's currencies. This is great news for shoppers as items are 20% cheaper than what they were six months' ago. The world is such a small place these days with the internet so there is no need to have to get on a plane in order to take advantage of our extra buying power either!
Organise a Kris Kringle
Instead of buying every adult family member a present, have a Kris Kringle amongst yourselves & buy only one each. Make sure you set a limit of say $50. Whilst you don't get ten presents, at least you don't have to pay ten presents back in return. It can also be a bit of fun around the Christmas tree.
Why not save some cash by buying your presents in the post-xmas sales. But make sure you do your research before xmas to ensure that discounts are genuine and that quality is not diminished.
Bargain, bargain, bargain
Before you make a purchase, haggle with the business owner for a better deal particularly when you have cash. Retailers are desperate for sales and are willing to deal.
Set a budget
Xmas is an important time to write up a budget for the household. Excel has some great easy to use templates to get you started. Simply type “budget” in the Help menu.
Make your own presents
They say it is the thought that counts so why not show some creative flair and make presents for your loved ones. A painting, a poem or simply vouchers offering your services around the house may be appreciated more than some socks and jocks!
Make a point of avoiding a credit card hangover in January. When you go shopping make sure that you take out just enough cash from your account in accordance with your budget limits.
Don't use your credit card
Be disciplined. If you can't afford it then don't buy it. Use the old-fashioned way of saving up for a present. Lay-by is a great alternative. Take your card out of your purse before you go shopping to stop the impulse purchase.
Don't bring the kids
Whatever you do, don't bring your kids xmas present shopping. They will test your mettle and guaranteed that even the strongest parent will succumb and crumble.