Getting your savings ready for Christmas

By Ellana Christakakis
In Budgeting, Lifestyle

We know you don’t want to hear this… Christmas is fast approaching. When we get to this point of the year, although we seemingly have plenty of time, it feels like the rest of the year is on fast forward and we always struggle to keep up. That’s why it’s a good idea to start thinking of all those Christmas presents now.

We know that last year, Australian’s set a record and racked up $30billion in credit card debt around Christmas time, and we can’t think of a worse way to pay for presents than those plastic cards! So, to ensure you have enough extra money in your account to pay for all the Christmas presents, decorations and food when you need it, we have some tips (no credit needed!).

Give yourself a budget

One way to make sure that you’ll have enough when the festive season arrives is to set a budget. Figure out how many presents you need to buy, how much you want to spend on each person and a general extra budget for decorations and food. Once you get the total amount, divide that by the number of pays (if you’re a PAYG worker) you have left until Christmas time. Voila! That’s how much you need to put away each pay to have all the money you need.

Get more cash flow

If that number above is looking a little high, don’t stress too much, you just need to increase your income. Sounds easier than it is, we know, but there are plenty of ways to get a little extra cash in the bank over the next couple of months. By taking up a side hustle, or an extra weekend job you can increase your income a lot! Alternatively, having a garage sale or even selling items at local markets or online (Facebook marketplace and eBay are great for this) can give you more cash to splash on more items.

Homemade is best

Did you know that the average Aussie household spends around $44 each week on restaurant meals? By cutting back on dining out meals for dinner, and additionally taking your lunch to work every day, you can save upwards of $200 each month just on food! Want another extra boost? Your daily coffee from the shop near work can cost you up to $25 a week (if you’re unlucky enough to live in Melbourne where $5 coffees are becoming regular practice). Scrimping on these just for a few months can mean a bit more room to move in December.

Make sure you’re earning a high-interest rate

While interest rate cuts on mortgages have been great for households spending, the same cuts have been applied to savings accounts too. Do you know what the rate is on your savings? It might be worth checking it out! By opening a new account with a different bank (other than your everyday spending) that has a higher savings rate than your current one can help your money work harder, and additionally can take out the temptation of dipping into the funds if it’s harder to transfer out of.

 

Good luck with saving, we’ll be wishing you Merry Christmas in no time!

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