As the silly season will soon be upon us, saving money is – or should be – at the forefront of many people’s minds.
With food prices, utility prices and petrol prices climbing, buying wisely for the festive season is more important than ever for many families who want to enjoy the love and companionship of friends and family, without breaking their already-tight budget.
To help you save money this Christmas, try putting these tips into positive action.
Letting your fingers do the shopping via websites and social media special offers can save you money if you get in early enough, but if you’ve missed the early bird boat for yet another year, there are still ways to shop smarter and save.
Always combine your orders. Typically, to get free standard shipping from a website, you are required to spend a minimum amount. Planning who you’re buying for before you shop online can help you make better decisions about what to buy – and where to buy it. By buying for multiple people from the same place, you save on delivery fees and shipping costs.
Give the gift of your time
Letting someone you love know you care is an important thing to do but what we often forget is that people who care about us often simply want more time with us, doing something fun or meaningful.
Instead of reaching for your credit card, consider a gift of your time to someone special. Give a voucher to cook meals for a busy family you know, donate your time to babysit for people you know with young kids, or offer to help them in some other way, based on your own skills and talents – whether that’s gardening, handyman work, or sharing other knowledge, such as teaching an instrument.
Sell Unwanted Goods
Old clothes that are still in good condition but no longer fit, toys that your children have outgrown, out-moded tech equipment, or even old books and records. Today’s online space puts potential buyers at your fingertips, without the need for the hassle of a garage sale.
Choose the items you want to sell and do some research online to price them well. Allocate some time to take good photos and upload them, plus add some engaging words to draw people in and you might manage to do a spring clean and earn some added cash at the same time.
Buy Gifts In Bulk
Being that person who knows how to choose exactly the right gift for each and every person is definitely a skill but it’s also time-consuming and potentially very costly. Think of something more generic – but still something that everyone could use and appreciate – and personalise it with a heartfelt hand-written note.
Remember, it really is the thought that counts.
Write a Shopping List
Whether you’re going to the supermarket to buy food for your Christmas feast, or heading to the shopping centre to pick up some gifts, always take a list detailing exactly what you need. Then, stick to it! Impulse buying can make you feel spontaneous but it can give your credit card balance a nasty shock – especially when the overdue bills all start arriving in January.
Plan your meals wisely to avoid wasted leftovers and set a present budget for each person you are buying for, with the commitment to not go above it.
By taking a few minutes to be more organised, you’ll help minimise extra spending that can stretch your budget to breaking point.
To find out other ways to save money for a better budget, talk to our mortgage broking experts at Lending Specialists to re-finance your home loan and shop around for a better interest rate.