Christmas Saving & Budgeting Tips and Tricks
My busy Mum life on the hamster wheel came to an abrupt halt this week after I read four little words online. Depending on how much you love Christmas and shopping, these 4 words either excite or terrify you (I’m decidedly tepid).
Without further ado here are the four words that made me double check the calendar!
CHRISTMAS STOCK IN MYER!!!
Hit the panic button Sharon, there’s only 17 weeks until Christmas!!
Christmas chatter amongst our Christmas Mums group members in winter can leave even the most organised feeling flustered, but fear not as we’re here to help. Here at Mumspo Mag we’ve compiled our top tips to get you well on your way to an organised and well budgeted for Christmas.
*Depending on your budget and gift recipient list these estimates will vary, so to get started here’s our first suggestion.
* Use a notepad or book and write a list of everyone you wish to buy for this Christmas and allocate a figure you wish to spend on each. kikki.K release a planner each year around the $12 mark that is great for staying on track. Alternatively if you are more tech inclined, there are quite a few apps you can use too.
Two free apps we recommend are –
Christmas Gift List
By creating a check list and clear budget, this will avoid doubling up on gifts and give you a clear indication of how you’re progressing over the remainder of the year. I also highly recommend taping an envelope into the back of your book to add all your receipts to in case an item is faulty or no longer needed.
Come December we want you relaxed and humming Buble beats and here’s a few ways to ensure that happens.
1. The Big W toy sale –
It’s too late to suggest you smash out all your toy buying at Big W, but if you took advantage of the toy sale and purchased or lay-by’d on, now’s the time to boost those repayments. Adding a little extra each fortnight now will make all the difference in two months time.
A hot tip. Most Big W stores have ditched the large black garbage bags that bundled up your purchases and have replaced with clear, so please be mindful if your little poppets are in tow when collecting.
2. Flybuys –
If you already have a card then please put it to good use, and if not sign up as soon as you’re done here. Collect all your points and hang on to them until Christmas. You can collect points from Coles, Kmart & Target (just to name a few) and be sure to activate special deals and offers they send to ensure you are getting the most out of your card.
3. Everyday Rewards Card
If you prefer to shop at Woolworths, their point system is also great for earning $. You can log into your account and select the option to ‘save your points for Christmas’ instead of having them automatically deducted from your shop. This can come in very handy for your Christmas grocery shop as it’s generally the dearest of the year.
If you haven’t been saving since the 1st of January there’s still time. If you start putting $50 away each week for the next 15 weeks that will give you a whopping $750 dollars to spend this festive season.
5. Stash the cash
Another option is to put away all $5 notes and gold coins you accumulate each week and you will be surprised by how much you’ll end up with. There’s coke bottle challenges, the old school money tins, a safe, whatever you need to do to ensure you don’t spend it!
6. Gift cards
If you buy one or two gift cards when buying groceries each week you will have a decent amount come December. Gift them or use them to buy your gifts, either way you’ll be so glad you did this come chrissy.
*Fair Trading amended gift card terms and conditions and new rules commenced in March. The changes introduce a mandatory 3-year minimum expiry date on most gift cards meaning they won’t run out before December.
7. Bargain Buys
Take advantage of discounts and sales. Buying throughout the year is a great way to save money and avoid ever having to pay full price. Shop around, do your research and haggle (there’s no judgement here).
8. Stock Up
If you have room in your pantry, it’s never to early to start stocking up on Christmas staples when on special. Things like milk chocolate, biscuits and sweet ingredients for when you morph into Martha, savoury staples and Christmas condiments. Just be sure to check items have a decent expiry date and don’t forget you have them stashed.
9. Spring clean for cash
The old saying ‘someone’s trash is someone’s treasure’ is so very true. Have a good clean and cull and list your unwanted items on your local buy swap and sell site and Facebook marketplace or have a garage sale. Regardless of whether you make $30 or $300 it’s still money you wouldn’t have had otherwise and your home will be cleaner in the process. Anything that doesn’t sell you can donate.
10. Check your list twice
Go through your current Christmas items before making any new purchases. If you’re anything like me you already have Christmas cards and gift tags leftover from last year, or bonbons bought on clearance during the Boxing Day sales. Ensuring you aren’t doubling up on items might only make a small difference to your budget but every bit counts during the silly season.
We hope that one or all of these tips have been useful to you.