How to make Xmas 2011 easier financially

Dec 21, 2010

Was Santa Claus as generous in your household this week as in previous years?

I would not be surprised if he wasn't as quite a few of our readers have written in to say how hard it was to make ends meet this past month.  Rising interest rates, spiralling electricity costs and an overall general increase in the cost of living all contributed to a sizeable chunk coming out of most family budgets.

Don't let money problems be the Grinch who stole Christmas.

To avoid a repeat in 2011 here are a few ideas to consider.  Implementing some of them won't be easy.  But the more disciplined you are now, then the easier it will be for you next December:

Spread those purchases

It's all too easy to overspend when Christmas shopping is left until the last minute. People get into a panic as they know they have to buy something and will often spend more than they can afford. Why not try to spread the cost here by buying some presents in the months leading up to the Christmas? A few stocking fillers or small gifts each month makes a difference.  Also consider using lay-by, the great old-fashioned way to save up for a present. 

Open a Christmas Club account

Christmas Club accounts are a great way to save for the festive season.  The earlier that you can start one and put a regular amount in the better it will be for you next December.  Most of these accounts can be started with a minimum balance and don't incur any fees.  You don't have easy access to funds with withdrawals limited to December and January only so they force you to save.  But they pay terrible interest.  You are not going to get much Christmas joy on 1% interest.  Instead consider opening up a high-interest online savings account.  You need to be more disciplined but at least your money is working harder.

Look out for bargains

Keep your eyes open now for some amazing bargains.  Usually the cheapest prices are during the post-xmas and end of financial year sales.  But make sure that discounts are genuine and that quality is not diminished. 

Save those $5 notes

One of the most unique ways to save for Christmas that I have ever seen was by a good mate of mine.  Over the course of the past year, he kept every $5 note that he received in change and put it in a jar of savings.  It may sound bizarre but it worked as he saved well over $1,000! 

Take advantage of our strong dollar

As mentioned a few weeks ago, the Australian dollar is at its strongest right now against most of the world's currencies.  So why not shop online and take advantage of that buying power.  After all, there is no guarantee that this strength is going to last for long so don't be surprised if prices for overseas goods are as much as 20% more in twelve months' time. 

Tags: FamilyFinancial Planning

Author: Mr Taxman

Comments

Post a New Comment

comments-rhsLatest Comments

  • "Old thread, but have a related question... If I have a "Foreign LLC" registered in the US and am trading Futures on US exchanges using a US FCM/broker (but am an Australian resident for tax..."

    By: CJ at Apr 06, 2021 6:46AM

    Post: Trading US futures in Australia

  • "Hi. I bought shares back in 2018.. And a few more since. I borrowed the money out of my home loan to do this. I still own the shares, but do not receive any dividends from them, although the value..."

    By: Harry at Mar 31, 2021 3:38AM

    Post: Borrowing to buy shares

  • "Hi Mr Taxman, this is a great forum, thanks. I am trading forex and commodities on an Asian platform. Whn I went to withdraw funds I was informed that the Australian Tax department requires me to pay..."

    By: Peter Andrew Sutherland at Mar 26, 2021 10:41PM

    Post: Foreign currency trading

  • "I know that it might interest you to know that you can now earn over 10x more bitcoin and money to your bitcoin wallet without sending your money to anyone Ask me how? Email:livetrading3602@gmail.com..."

    By: Miguel at Mar 24, 2021 11:45PM

    Post: Retired and now buying shares - am I an investor or trader?

  • "I know that it might interest you to know that you can now earn over 10x more bitcoin and money to your bitcoin wallet without sending your money to anyone Ask me how? Email:livetrading3602@gmail.com..."

    By: Miguel at Mar 24, 2021 8:44PM

    Post: Foreign currency trading