With Christmas around the corner, the race is on for millions of Australians to complete their Christmas shopping. Doing it on time is one challenge, but doing it on budget is an even bigger one. Overspending at Christmas can set you up for a not so jolly festive season, and your Christmas list isn’t the only culprit. Here are some simple ways to start planning, avoid extra costs and get the most out of your Christmas shopping.
1. Set your budget
Write your Christmas list, set a budget for each item and re-work your list until you’re working to a budget you can afford. Try to avoid unnecessary purchases and don’t forget food and school holiday activities. Leave your Christmas spending money in a separate account to keep track of it and avoid dipping in accidentally. The Easy Savings account from Easy Street, is great for just this as you can withdraw as many times as you need while still earning interest.
2. Organise a family Kris Kringle
If you’ve written your Christmas list and the budget seems high, consider a family Kris Kringle. It’s an effective, fun way to save money at Christmas and will even save you time.
3. Regularly check your account balances
Always check your balances regularly to ensure you’re remaining within budget and don’t lose track of your other commitments. During the silly season, things can get hectic – don’t lose control. Don’t forget about:
- Direct debits – a rejected one can cost you as much as $25.
- ATM fees – These depend on your account, your bank, and the ATM you use. If you need to get cash out, take out a larger amount to avoid multiple small transactions, or get cash out at the register when buying your groceries- it’s free!
- The minimum repayment on your credit card – don’t miss it or you could be charged a late payment fee on top of interest.
Download the mobile app for your account to check your balance while you shop. Easy Street lets you set up free SMS alerts via Internet Banking to alert you when money goes in or out of your account, or your balance at the end of each day.
4. Shop around and sign up
Shop around for the best price online, even if it’s just to create your wish list. This saves time, and money, and helps you avoid parking fees during this already pricey time of year. If you know the main retailers you’ll be shopping at over Christmas, sign up to their e-newsletters. They often have snap sales offering online only deals, free postage and mid week discounts. Timing is everything!
5. If you’re going to use a credit card, make it a good one
Credit cards can be very handy, as long as you remain in control. While it would be great to not use a credit card at all over the silly season, if you do need to, consider using Easy Streets low rate credit card, which has the same low rate on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
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This information is general advice only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs (your “personal circumstances”). Before deciding whether to buy any product you should consider your personal circumstances. You should read and consider the Terms and Conditions when deciding to use any product (terms and conditions, fees and charges may apply). Our product Conditions of Use are available on our website.
Easy Street Financial Services is a division of Community First Credit Union Limited ABN 80 087 649 938 | AFSL and Australian credit licence 231204 | BSB No 512 170