Save $1K before Christ­mas

Top­ping up your spend­ing money could be eas­ier than you think

Money Magazine Australia - - WHAT IF? - Maria Bekiaris

Depend­ing on when you’re read­ing this, there would be no more than 11 weeks or so un­til Christ­mas. The fes­tive sea­son is an ex­pen­sive time and the costs can cer­tainly add up. Our chal­lenge this month is to save and make an ex­tra $1000 be­tween now and Christ­mas to help fund the ad­di­tional spend­ing.

Let’s start with a few sim­ple sav­ing chal­lenges. One that has been mak­ing head­lines lately is sav­ing every $5 note that you come across. Any time a $5 note hits your wal­let, you take it out and put it to­wards your sav­ings. Surely you’ll come across at least two $5 notes a week be­tween now and Christ­mas. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $110.

We all know that giv­ing up your daily take­away cof­fee and bring­ing in your own lunch to work is a smart way to save, but if you find it too hard to do every day, why

not sim­ply aim for just one no-spend­ing day each week. As­sum­ing you buy one take­away cof­fee and lunch and a few other small ex­tras, you could save $20 a week. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $220.

Take the time to shop around and see if you can score a bet­ter deal on any­thing you are pay­ing for on a reg­u­lar ba­sis in­clud­ing in­surance, mo­bile phone plan, in­ter­net ser­vice, gas and elec­tric­ity as well as any bank­ing prod­ucts. I’d be sur­prised if you didn’t save at least $150 by shop­ping around. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $150.

On the flip­side, in­stead of cut­ting back, let’s look at sim­ple ways you can make some ex­tra cash.

The most ob­vi­ous way to make some ex­tra money is to get rid of any un­wanted items. As they say, one man’s trash is another’s trea­sure, so you can de­clut­ter and make some ex­tra cash as a re­sult.

Oc­to­ber is the per­fect month as there is a na­tional Garage Sale Trail on the week­end of Oc­to­ber 21-22. Last year the av­er­age house­hold sale made $379. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $380.

There are quite a few ways you can make some ex­tra cash by rent­ing out ev­ery­thing from your tools to a room in your house and any­thing in be­tween. Check out Open Shed, Spacer, Car Next Door and Airbnb to name just a few. Let’s say you can make an ex­tra $50 a week us­ing one of these plat­forms. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $550.

If you’re happy to put in a bit of ex­tra work, again we turn to the share econ­omy. You can boost your bud­get by sign­ing up to drive peo­ple around in an Uber, pet sit us­ing sites like Mad Paws, or do odd jobs on Air­tasker. Let’s say you make $50 a week. TO­TAL SAV­ING: $550.

With these sim­ple ideas, we have put an ex­tra $1960 into our pock­ets be­tween now and Christ­mas – al­most dou­ble the $1000 that was our orig­i­nal goal. You don’t have to do them all to meet the goal of $1000, so pick the sug­ges­tions that ap­peal to you most and you could be $1000 richer by De­cem­ber 25.

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