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Lockdowns are (hopefully) gone for good. And just as Australia starts stepping into a post-pandemic world, we’re hit with supply chain issues. Naturally, it’s happening a few weeks before Xmas!
But Christmas can cause financial havoc in the best of years, so here are some tips for spending less in the lead-up. (Your January credit card statement will thank you).
1. Buy local
If there was ever a year to stop browsing the international websites and start buying local, it must be Christmas 2021. And really, who wants their special present sitting on some ship or packed away on some dock on Xmas day?
Shopping and buying locally could be the answer. Lockdowns and border restrictions (international and domestic) have impacted many small businesses. Businesses are hurting. And we can help them out.
What better way to show our combined support, keep someone in a job and have some amazing gifts ready on Xmas morning (including from the big bloke in the red suit) than heading to your local markets and browsing local social media. Put the word out you’re supporting our economy this year by buying local.
2. Have a budget
If you’ve pre-planned, worked out a budget and have been putting money aside all year, especially for Christmas, we salute you.
It’s never too late to sit down with a pen, paper and calculator (or app, whatever works for you) and do some budgeting. Budgets are a great way to keep control of your spending.
Or perhaps chat to family and friends about a pre-determined, per-person spending limit. Or only buy gifts for kids and younger people. Many families and friend groups do this every year with great success.
- Useful reading: Pay Off Debt in The Lead Up to Xmas
Find the right loan features for your needs.
3. Secret Santa
As we do in offices across the country, everyone draws a name, a strict spending limit is announced, and shoppers head out to do their best. Just for laughs, create a fun (or funny) theme.
4. Have a plan
If you’re someone who finds themselves startled, sometime in mid-November (every year), that Christmas is only six weeks away (just like every other year), we’re looking at you. A lack of planning is the quickest way to a January credit headache, and walking into a shopping centre with no plan is only for the most foolhardy among us.
All those softly piping Christmas carols, reams of shiny tinsel strung from high ceilings, and twinkling lights over snow-topped gingerbread houses are carefully designed to separate us from our hard-earned cash. (Let’s face it, if it didn’t work, they wouldn’t bother!)
5. Cooking from scratch
During the 87,542 days we spent in lockdown, some people did things other than watch the entire Netflix catalogue, landscape their backyards or colour code their bookcases. Some people cooked. And they cooked from scratch. Fun!
Instead of buying pre-made foods or ordering ready-made meals, why not save money and cook everything from scratch. That includes fresh local produce from your local farmers market.
6. Homemade goodies
Let’s keep this homemade thing going and only gift homemade goods. Cookies, biscuits and cakes. Drawings, paintings and sketches of loved ones. And the possibilities from our crafty sewing, knitting and crocheting friends and family are endless.
7. Cancel the Christmas cards
Australia Post is already lamenting ongoing postal delays, so why not support them and the environment by not sending out Christmas cards this year.
And as delightful as they may be to receive, does anybody keep their cards? Nope. They end up in the bin in January. If you really must send out something, why not a fun video via email. Want to save money on your home loan?
Chat to one of our brokers for ways to save you money for Xmas. And beyond.