Friday, December 9, 2011

Tips on saving money at Christmas

According to IBISWorld, Christmas spending in Australia is expected to rise to 27.4 billion this year and that will not help retailers. Yet after each Christmas, we hear about how many people are crippled by their Christmas debt on their credit cards.

So between wanting to contribute to the economic growth and not incurring debts, what can you do to enjoy this Christmas?

While it may not be the most popular word, making sure that you have cash put aside for Christmas shopping can save a lot of heartache later.  You can help the retailers now but will they help you when it's time to pay the bills?

Consider your options:
Once you've decided on your budget, consider your options. If your budget doesn't allow you to be as extravagant as you like, get creative!

  • Reward points
If you've been using your credit card or flying regularly, chances are you've accumulated some reward points. Depending on the program, you can redeem your points for gift vouchers from retailers, cinemas, travel agents. You can also items like cameras or purses and even games.

  • Recycle:
    You'll be amazed at how many people have things in their houses they never get around to using! Have a look around to see if there's a suitable gift lying around waiting to be shared.
  • Kris Kringle
    Agree to a Kris Kringle type arrangement where each of you only buys and receive one gift.
  • Smaller Gifts
    If neither of these work for you, consider getting smaller gifts this year. Then start working how you can get bigger gifts next year if you want to.

Enjoy the party!
Whatever you decide, you should be proud knowing you've made a conscious decision to take control of your financial future. So enjoy the party!

What is your strategy for Christmas shopping this year? Leave your comment below.

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