Finance Hacks for the Festive Season – Part 2

Posted by: TJL Accountants & Advisors | On: November 28, 2018

One of the best parts of the holiday season is relaxing with friends and family, and these catch ups often revolve around delicious summer foods – seafood, ham, turkey, salads, pavlova… not to mention drinks. Part 2 of our Christmas Spending Guide, compiled in conjunction with ASIC’s MoneySmart, focuses on ways to cut down your entertainment costs so you can indulge in all the goodies and still have some change left over.

Finance Hacks for the Festive Season – Part 2

Plan, plan and plan some more

Make a list of all the food and drinks you’ll need over the holidays, and how much you want to spend. Don’t be conservative – if there’s a brilliant new cocktail you’d love for Christmas Day, put it on the list, along with any new recipes you’re dying to try. Keep your eye on the supermarket sales and buy in advance to take advantage of specials, especially if items can be frozen or have a long shelf life. Beer, wine and champagne are also great items to buy in bulk when they are on sale, and with the level of competition between retailers you should be able to save some serious dollars throughout December.

Timing is everything

There’s never enough hours in the day in the lead-up to Christmas, so make sure you spend your time wisely. Consider these rules-of-thumb to reduce Christmas shopping stress and limit the temptation to over spend.

Set a time limit on your shopping – Get in, get it done and get out. This way you’ll avoid spending more than you want to, and as an added bonus you’ll have more time to relax and soak up the sunshine.

Shop at odd hours – Take advantage of extended trading hours and go when it’s less crowded. You’ll feel more calm and more organised if you aren’t elbowing your way in to swindle the best mangoes.

Buy less expensive items first – When you buy larger and more costly items first, you can lose perspective on what is well priced and what isn’t. Set your budget and buy small first, and then you’ll be more likely to stay within your spending limit.

Click & Collect – Online supermarket shopping can be a game changer at Christmas time. Coles and Woolworths in both Forster and Taree offer Click & Collect and delivery services. Skip the lines, skip the impulse purchases and place your order at the time that most suits you.

Lighten your load on Christmas Day

If you’re hosting Christmas Day lunch or dinner, there’s no need to shoulder all the work yourself. Ask others to contribute by bringing some nibbles, drinks, salads or desserts – lots of people have favourite recipes they like to show off at Christmas so they’ll probably be delighted you asked. If you’d prefer to organise it yourself, consider doing a rough calculation of how much you think the catering will cost and ask everyone to contribute.

Switch supermarkets – Make a list of the groceries you need for Christmas, then take advantage of the competition between supermarkets by checking out the advertised specials and stocking up. Don’t buy everything at the same shop if you can get it cheaper elsewhere. You might get better deals at your local butcher or fruit shop, so always check out your local retailers as well.

Use loyalty credits – If you belong to a supermarket loyalty scheme that builds up credit after you’ve spent a certain amount, check if you can use the credit to get a discount on your Christmas grocery shop.

Plan for next Christmas

Once this Christmas is done and dusted, start planning ahead for next year! Open a high interest savings account in January and contribute a small amount to it every payday. Saving $20 per week will add up to over $1,000 in a year’s time, which goes a long way when it comes time to buying gifts and supplies for the festive season.

 

We hope this 2-part Christmas Spending Guide has given you some great tips to keep your finances in check this festive season! To find out how TJL can help all aspects of your financial situation, call TJL on (02) 6554 9511 or (02) 6552 3233.