Christmas is coming! This may excite you, scare you, or even send you into a wild panic. With just over 10 weeks to go, gifts to prepare, parties to attend and events to plan chances are you have a few things that you need to do between now and then.
For lots of us, the costs stack up. We eat a little more, we drink a little more and we tend to want to spoil those around us a little more.
Reallocating some of your normal spending can help take the pressure off in the lead up to Christmas, as well as result in a healthier credit card or bank account balance in the aftermath.
We have put our thinking caps on and come up with 10 ways to help you save $1,000 or more in the 10 weeks between now and Christmas. Not everything is for everyone, but if you can pick out a few, chances are you’ll feel a bit better about your Christmas spending.
Give up a daily habit = $200
Do you have 2 takeaway coffees a day? Can you drop to one and suffer through the office blend for the other? Do you have an afternoon snack? Can you bring something from home to fill the gap instead?
Finding an extra $20 per week might be easier than you think.
Eat/Drink out less = $250
How many times do you go out and how much do you spend when you go? Can you drop your bi-weekly habit to weekly? Weekly habit to fortnightly?
Saving just $50 per fortnight adds up!
Be organised in your grocery shopping = $200
We reckon it’s possible to save at least $20 per week. So often we choose convenience over cost. For the next 10 weeks challenge yourself to put cost first. There are so many ways to save money on your groceries:
- Shop through the catalogues
- Go to Aldi for the majority of your shop
- Shop online
- Stay away from shopping malls
- Go shopping after you’ve just eaten
- Menu plan
- Write a list & only buy from your list
Use the internet to check prices before you buy alcohol = $100
Are you going to buy some beer, wine, spirits, cider? Jump online and compare the prices and/or catalogues. Mostly I reckon Dan Murphys is the cheapest, but find what you want and chances are you can save $10 a week off your liquor shop.
Replace this with drinking at bars and you’ll save even more!
Downsize your travel arrangements = $200
Downsizing is easy, and a change of routine can be good for your health as well as your wallet. Challenge yourself to spend $20 per week less on travel.
Consider this. If you:
- Drive, think about saving on parking & petrol; take a bus instead of driving
- Take a bus or train, know your zones; hop off earlier and save $1 a trip off your fare
- Own a bike, ride a few days a week; save your fare or parking costs
- Aren’t going far; walk instead
Check your automatic debits = $100
Chances are you will find something you can cancel or negotiate. We’d be surprised if you couldn’t find at least $10 per week. Sometimes all it takes is asking your provider for a discount. Here are some examples:
- Pay TV
- Mobile phone
- Insurances – house, contents, car, health
- Gym memberships
- Magazine subscriptions
Sell stuff you don’t use = $200
Apparently, we all have about $5,000 of unused stuff sitting around our house that other people will pay for. Go through your place, and see what you can sell. eBay & Gumtree are easy to use, but of course, there are lots of other ways to sell your unwanted goods.
Spend less on electricity or gas = $125
Switch off appliances at the wall, hang your washing out rather than putting it in the dryer, wash clothes in cold water, use the air conditioner sparingly…the list goes on.
And if you haven’t yet put your last electricity usage amounts into MoneyBrilliant’s Bill Watch and been sent the 3 cheapest plans in your area, do it. So far, we’ve saved plenty of customers on their electricity bills, anywhere up to $1,500 for the year.
In our calculations, we’ve gone with a conservative annual figure of $500.
Remove temptation = $100
- Steer clear of places you spend money – a certain shop, somewhere you walk past
- Unsubscribe from emails that tell you about sales
Let’s be honest, there are sales on all the time these days. So, if you really need something, put a bit of time in and find where you can buy it on sale. Being constantly bombarded by emails can result in impulse spending. At the very least, set up a rule that automatically sends marketing materials to a folder.
Take a look at your debt = a little or a lot
Paying interest on credit cards and unsecured loans just makes saving harder. If you have a mortgage and you are on a variable rate, then it’s negotiable. Take the time to chat to your bank, and ask for ideas about reducing your interest charges. You may be offered an interest rate reduction, or if you’re seriously looking to pay off some unsecured debt you might want to check out interest-free credit cards.
And there you have it, 10 ways to save some serious cash between now and Christmas. Some may take a little bit of effort and some a lot. Either way, it’s worth a bit of effort to not have a post-Christmas spending hangover.
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