Christmas is meant to be a time for kicking back and enjoying the festivities that come along with it.
But it can also be a stressful time for homeowners juggling repayments and additional costs, such as Christmas shopping and family holidays.
Luckily, there are ways to minimise expenses over the Christmas period, and as a result, reduce financial stress on yourself and your family.
Here are our favourite tips from the Australian Government’s ASIC Money Smart website, plus some of our own!
It may sound obvious, but simply making a list and sticking to it will help save you from buying those superfluous items you really don’t need.
Consider making a list for your gift shopping and allocating a specific amount per individual. Get creative by making cards (which will save you at least $2 to $5 per card), and only buying within budget for each person.
If you need supplies for Christmas, it is always more economical to buy in advance. If this isn’t possible head to bargain stores such as Spotlight or Big W, and purchase decorations and other items from there.
Once again, make a list of what you need to so you don’t get carried away when you actually hit the store. (It’s very easy to be distracted!)
Check out the award winning Government app, TrackMySPEND for help with tracking your Christmas spending.
Family holidays are a big part of the Australian summer tradition. Instead of getting on a plane and heading overseas or interstate, get in a car and explore your own state.
Western Australians can cruise 3 hours South to Margaret River for beautiful beaches. Brisbane and NSW are both close to the idyllic Byron Bay, and Adelaide has the Barossa and family-friendly Victor Harbour at its doorstep.
There are plenty of places to explore that don’t require air travel, and you’ll save more on travel costs too.
Look through food and gift catalogues for bargains and choose items that are on special. There usually are plenty of items available at cheaper prices, if you look hard enough.
Websites such as allthedeals.com.au offer up to date lists of food and other items on sale in different states around Australia.
Christmas is a great time to bring in the new and get rid of what isn’t serving you – this goes for household items like furniture and home wares too.
Place unneeded items for sale on Gumtree or local Facebook buy and sell groups. You’ll be surprised by how much cash you can make from items you no longer have a need for.
Additional funds can then be used to buy Christmas presents and other holiday items.
The holidays are a good time to make sure you are saving as much as you can on your home loan.
Consider visiting a good mortgage broker and asking them to see whether there are more competitive home loan products available on the market for you.
In many cases, refinancing to a cheaper rate with better terms will save you more on repayments over the long term. Consider doing this when you get a breather, just after the Christmas period, or beforehand.
For more information on saving for your home loan over the Christmas period, visit this information page on the Australian Government’s MoneySmart website. To schedule a consultation with a mortgage broker, please contact us.