We all know Christmas is a festive time and it’s pretty easy to let our spending go astray.
Here are our favourite MoneySmart Top Tips and Tricks for Christmas.
Track your Christmas gift, food and decoration spending this year with the TrackMySpend app. This app is free and easy to use. The new version of the app allows you to categorise your expenses and set spending limits for each category. You can also use the app to keep track of other expenses such as holidays and Boxing Day sales shopping, as well as your daily expenses.
Make a List. Before you start shopping, make a list of who you’ll buy gifts for along with how much you plan to spend on each one. Remember, the longer you spend in a shop the more you are likely to buy, so having a list will help keep you focused and stop you from frivolous spending you can’t afford.
Shop online. You can more easily compare prices and products to get the best deal possible. Keep an eye out for free shipping and gift wrapping too. See MoneySmart’s tips on shopping securely online.
Make a ‘No Unnecessary Gift’ pact with your family and friends. Agree to not buy each other gifts this year, or make other arrangements instead of a gift, like setting a lunch date for January or helping each other out with a goal or task.
Embrace the real Christmas spirit this year by donating money to charity. Many charities have items you can buy as gifts in the recipient’s name. Remember, any donation you make of $2 or more is tax deductible. See MoneySmart’s donating page for more information.
Often one thoughtful gift is more useful than 10. If you can’t abstain from gift giving altogether then follow the savviest Christmas tradition of all – Secret Santa (some people call it Kris Kringle). Set a gift cost with a group of friends or family, draw a name out of a hat for each person and buy just one gift.
A gift for the future. Instead of wasting money on an unnecessary gift, you might think about making an investment on someone’s behalf. For example, you could start a bank account for a child in your family and add to it each Christmas. They will thank you when they are 21 and you have saved a couple of thousand dollars for them.
Start saving for next year. Open a high interest savings account now and start saving for next Christmas. See the magic of compound interest at work with our compound interest calculator. If you put away just $18 a week for 52 weeks, you’ll have the average Christmas spend of over $900 saved for next year’s celebrations.
Thinking of putting a few gifts on your credit card? Use the MoneySmart credit card calculator to see how much your gifts will cost you if you don’t pay them off quickly.
10thousandgirl’s personal favourite? Make your Christmas gifts. There’s no better gift than one that’s taken time and love.
Enjoy being resourceful! Xx