MONEY MOVES TO MAKE
It’s the most wonderful (and expensive) time of the year! Money mag’s Effie Zahos offers some clever tactics to avoid a Christmas blowout
It’s an expensive time of year, so Money magazine’s Effie Zahos talks us through some tactics to avoid a Christmas blowout
1 BUY GIFTS ON POINTS One of the smartest things to buy with reward points is a gift card. You can save it up for when money’s tight (hello, Christmas) and can also use it during sale periods to get more bang for your buck. To ensure you’re getting the best value, calculate the “point currency” of your reward program. This is basically how many points you need to earn per dollar. So, for example, if you need 7000 points to redeem a $50 gift card, the point currency is 140 for every dollar. You can use the point currency to compare rewards – the lower the number, the better. So let’s say 7000 points gets you a $50 gift card (point currency: 140) or you can get a $60 toaster for 8000 points (point currency: 133). You’re better off getting the toaster… but personally I’d prefer the gift card!
2 LIMIT SELF-GIFTING How often do you go Christmas shopping for your family and friends only to end up with a gift for yourself? Often we justify this self-gifting when the item is on sale, but don’t be too harsh on yourself – everyone has a spending trigger and a good sale sign can trip up even the toughest budget planner. The best thing you can do is take a deep breath and give yourself 24 hours to think about the purchase. As the saying goes, “If you can’t walk away from a deal then you won’t get a good deal”.
3 CHECK YOUR LIST TWICE Santa shouldn’t be the only one keeping tally! To avoid a financial hangover of epic proportions, it’s a good idea to draw up a budget for your Christmas spending – not just the presents, but the additional expenses associated with food, drink and socialising. Avoid spending more than you have to at the supermarket by being aware of their sneaky marketing tricks. By all means, snap up a half-price bottle of Champagne, but remember, these special buys (called “loss-leaders” in the industry) are priced that way to get you through the door. Buy what you came for then head for the door before you can be tempted to veer off course.
4 MAKE MONEY WHILE YOU SHOP ShopBack is the new app that can help you earn up to 30 per cent cashback at more than 600 popular online retailers, such as ASOS, Chemist Warehouse, Dan Murphy’s, Rebel Sport, Woolworths and even Menulog. You don’t have to use the app – you can still get cashback by using the website to make purchases. However, the app does offer additional app-only sales that you can’t get through the website. It will generally take up to 48 hours for the cashback to be credited to your account, and you’ll only be able to withdraw your cashback after you’ve accumulated at least $10. Perfect for buying that next item on Santa’s gift list! R
Zip it Keksi Räsymatto pouch in White/Red, $40, Marimekko.
Clip art Basic stainless steel brass money clip, $18, Airisu.