Avoid all jolly spend­ing traps

Cut costs this sea­son

Central Queensland News - - 2017 CHRISTMAS CATALOGUE -

KEEP­ING costs down at Christ­mas can be a chal­lenge for many house­holds.

Sav­ings plans have come too late for many Aus­tralians who will now face the chal­lenge of get­ting through the fes­tive sea­son with­out leav­ing a gi­ant hole in their pock­ets.

Christ­mas is just two weeks away but only one in four house­holds has en­gi­neered a year-long sav­ings plan to re­duce the mon­e­tary bur­den at this time of year.

The St Ge­orge Fam­ily Fi­nances re­port, re­leased last week, has re­vealed one-third of house­holds find this time of year stress­ful but man­age­able and when it comes to splash­ing cash most peo­ple ex­pect to spend about $543 on gifts alone.

But the re­port found that more than one-third of peo­ple ex­pect to spend about $2000 dur­ing the en­tire fes­tive sea­son.

St Ge­orge’s gen­eral man­ager for re­tail bank­ing Ross Miller said while 16 per cent of re­spon­dents will be com­pletely re­liant on their credit card, for most of us it’s about hav­ing a smart spend­ing ap­proach over the sum­mer hol­i­days.

“House­holds are be­ing re­al­is­tic about ex­penses be­cause they re­alise it’s not just about gifts, it’s about all as­pects of the sea­son in­clud­ing trav­el­ling to see fam­ily, ex­tra gro­cery bills and even school hol­i­day ac­tiv­i­ties,” Mr Miller said.

“So if you’re spend­ing about $500 on presents, that’s $10 a week to save over the year, so for $2000 in spend­ing it’s about $40 a week and our hope is next year fam­i­lies start to think about things this way for the next year ahead.”

One of the big­gest bug­bears at this time is peak sea­son rates, par­tic­u­larly for costs like flights and hol­i­days, which typ­i­cally can’t be avoided, so a “stay­ca­tion” may be a bet­ter op­tion.

When it comes to fill­ing Christ­mas stock­ings, Ris­ing Tide fi­nan­cial ser­vices man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Chris Browne said there are a few ways to cut costs sig­nif­i­cantly.

“Cre­ate gifts that are low on cost but high on thought, for ex­am­ple babysit­ting or give them a nice photo that means some­thing,’’ Mr Browne said.

Sales are also well and truly on and to­day is Cy­ber Mon­day, the big­gest on­line shop­ping day in the US, which fol­lows Thurs­day’s Thanks­giv­ing and Black Fri­day.

Fin­der.com.au’s spokes­woman Bessie Has­san said this is also a good time for Aussies to pounce on bar­gains.

“Cy­ber Mon­day is one of the big­gest on­line sales events in the US and we’re ex­pect­ing to see much larger take-up from Australian on­line re­tail­ers in 2017,” she said.

CRAFT TIME: Put your own unique sig­na­ture on Christ­mas presents by mak­ing your own gift boxes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.