How to have a Champagne Christmas on a beer budget
- Too many Australians feel unnecessary pressure to spend big at Christmas time
- $72.7 billion spent on credit cards in the lead up to Christmas last year
- finder.com.au lists 10 hacks on how to save money while celebrating in style this Christmas
October 12, 2014, SYDNEY – One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites finder.com.au has released a list of ways that Australians can enjoy Christmas this year without the expensive price tag.
Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com.au, said that many Australians feel unnecessary pressure to spend big for Christmas.
“At this time of the year, we always see many Australians struggling to keep up with the extra costs associated with Christmas, with millions of people relying on their credit cards to pay for Christmas expenses and worrying about paying it back later.
“The finder.com.au Christmas Debt Survey, conducted earlier this year, found that most people used their credit cards for their Christmas shopping and out of those cardholders, almost 200,000 will still be paying off this debt in 2015.
“We spent $72.7 billion on our credit cards from October to December last year, which was a staggering $3.4 billion more than the previous quarter.
“There is no need to spend so much money at Christmas time. There are easy hacks anyone can adopt to have a champagne Christmas on a beer budget and your friends and family will never know.”
finder.com.au’s 10 hacks for having a champagne Christmas on a beer budget:
- Make a list and check it twice: Just like Saint Nick, start your Christmas plan of attack with a list of what you need to buy, who you need to buy presents for, and a budget breakdown for each expense. Use this list while you’re shopping and don’t forget to add the actual amount of money you spent on each item. This will help you be more conscious about how much you’re spending and ensure you stick to your budget.
- Get your plastic ready: If you’re planning on using your credit card and paying off your Christmas debt later, it’s worth comparing credit card offers currently available. For instance, there are currently 38 credit cards offering a promotional rate for new purchases, with 24 of these offering no interest for up to 13 months. If you’re not planning on paying off your debt straight away, this could save you hundreds – even thousands – of dollars in interest.
- Browse in store, but buy online: To get your retail shopping fix, it’s ok to browse through the boutiques and department stores for ideas. Make a note of items you like, brands and costs, then try to find it cheaper online. finder.com.au/deals compares about 500 different coupon codes from retailers offering different discounts such as up to 35 percent off (from Run Stop Shop), free shipping and more. You could save even more if you use coupon codes on retailers’ already reduced items so don’t be scared to browse through their sale sections too. Here is a list of our best deals with some only available here: finder.com.au/best-deals
- Re-gift a free gift Some retailers are offering free gifts with purchases and some are for a limited time, such as:
- Make everyone merry with a bottle of bubbly: It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and alcohol makes a great gift at Christmas time. Buy a case of wine and give each bottle as an individual present. There are five retailers offering nine different coupons on finder.com.au/coupon-codes/alcohol.
- Combine gifts: Instead of buying two separate presents for couples, buy an experience for two and get a discount: finder.com.au/coupon-codes/online-gift-vouchers. For instance, Red Balloon has $20 off purchases over $79, Adrenalin is offering $15 off, and Living Social has 20 percent off but only until tomorrow night (October 9) so get in quick.
- Make your own: Edible gifts like homemade jams, cup cakes and biscuits always go down a treat (pardon the pun)! They are also a great way to save on the cost of presents. There are loads of free recipes online and buying the ingredients in bulk could make the cost per gift even cheaper. Get creative and decorate blank cards, paper and tags to make your own gift wrapping. It’s a great idea to get kids involved too. If you don’t want to start from scratch, there are free printable tags and templates online.
- Don’t pay for shipping, ever: Be organized and order early so you can use free shipping deals from retailers. There are 188 free shipping offers on finder.com.au/free-shipping. Also, most retailers have free shipping if you spend a certain amount in one transaction so don’t forget to read the fine print before you start shopping online.
- Re-think gift giving: If kids are a part of your family, it might be time to suggest dropping adults off the gift list and only buy for kids. Another traditional way to ease the cost of buying gifts is Kris Kringle or Secret Santa, where each person is allocated one person to buy an anonymous gift. It’s a good idea to limit each gift to a certain spend so they are equal value. It’s also worth considering family gifts rather than buying for each person individually, which can also save a small fortune.
- Balance transfer your debt: After your big shopping spree, if you’re left with a giant bill that you hadn’t planned for, consider switching your debt to a balance transfer credit card. There are currently 142 balance transfer credit card deals on offer according to finder.com.au/credit-cards/balance-transfer-credit-cards, and of which, 87 are offering no interest for up to 24 months. Make sure you compare fees and aim to pay off the debt during the balance transfer period otherwise the fees and revert rates might outweigh the transfer.
For further information
The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on finder.com.au's review pages for the current correct values.
finder.com.au is Australia's most visited comparison website and has helped over 4.8 million Australians find better credit cards, home loans, life insurance, shopping deals and more since 2006. finder.com.au compares over 250 credit and debit cards from 31 brands, over 300 home loan products, and information from 13 life insurance providers as well as online shopping promo codes, mobile phone plans, travel insurance and more. One Australian every five minutes is using finder.com.au to find better (Source: Google Analytics).