Have your­selves a pru­dent Chanu­cah

The Jewish Chronicle - - Business -

LIKE MANY, my hack­les rise when I spot Christ­mas mer­chan­dise buf­feted up against Hal­loween fayre. Thank­fully, we are not sub­jected to quite the same push for Chanu­cah, yet of­ten we make sim­i­lar mis­takes. This year the lights will be kin­dled from 11-19 De­cem­ber. While that is an age away, if you like a win­ter blowout, it is im­por­tant to pre­pare your pocket now.

Get five per cent off ev­ery­thing To en­cour­age you to spend on them, cash­back credit cards pay you each time you use them in the hope you will rack up swathes of in­ter­est. Yet, set up a di­rect debit to re­pay in full each month, and you are not charged.

Cur­rently, the top card’s the Amer­i­can Ex­press Platinum, which gives 5 per cent cash­back for the first three months. So, ap­ply now, and by the time you get it, it will be on dur­ing the cru­cial Chanu­cah and Jan­uary sales pe­riod. You need £30,000 fam­ily in­come to get it, though.

Use Tesco vouch­ers to help stock up on gifts Lots of peo­ple store up Tesco’s Club­card vouch­ers, but then just use them

www.twenga.co.uk www.foun­dem.co.uk,

Grab store card dis­counts at no cost Pre-Christ­mas, high-street re­tail­ers try to bribe peo­ple with huge in­tro­duc­tory shop­ping dis­counts if we sign up for their store cards. The prob­lem is the dis­gust­ing 25-30 per cent in­ter­est rates. Thus never bor­row on store cards, in­stead, the dis­ci­plined can spend on them to bag the dis­count, and im­me­di­ately re­pay in full, so there is no in­ter­est charge. Bet­ter still, team up with friends so that one gets a card, you all spend on it for the dis­count, and they give you the money. Then, next time you shop, some­one gets the card and you use the same trick to per­pet­u­ally keep the dis­count.

Get ex­pen­sive per­fume on the cheap! For­get big depart­ment stores for per­fume: a whole bunch of spe­cial­ist on­line sell­ers sell it for a frac­tion of the price. Bet­ter still, buy the even cheaper un­boxed bot­tles, then get a pretty box and wrap­ping for a cou­ple of quid. This way, they think you went to ex­tra ef­fort but ac­tu­ally you saved ex­tra cash. For a full break­down go to www.mon­eysaving­ex­pert.com/per­fume

Use a money mantra be­fore you spend Fi­nan­cial dis­ci­pline is im­por­tant with temp­ta­tions all around, so be­fore you buy any­thing, use the rel­e­vant one of one of my two money mantras … re­mem­ber th­ese ques­tions:

If you are skint Do I need it? Can I af­ford it? Have I checked if I can find it cheaper any­where else?

If you are not skint Will I use it? Is it worth it? Have I checked if I can find it cheaper any­where else?

If the an­swer is no to any ques­tion, don’t buy it! De­lay Chanu­cah, bah hum­bug.

If you are buy­ing a big pur­chase for you and the fam­ily, such as a high­tech TV or PlaySta­tion, then as this year our fes­ti­val is pre-Christ­mas, we are still go­ing to be held hostage with high re­tail prices.

So why not give the kids a nicely wrapped IOU say­ing you will buy it in the Jan­uary sales, and a small present say­ing you could af­ford ex­tra be­cause of that?

Then the kids get more, and the even bet­ter gift of a good fi­nan­cial les­son on top.

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