Too many of us spend money we can’t afford at Christmas and then spend the rest of the New Year saying that we will never do it again! If this sounds familiar to you and you would love a few tips on spending your money wisely this Christmas - here are 12 ways to save money and not overspend this year.

1.      Make a list: We all know that if we shop without a list, we always overspend, so avoid impulse buying by making a list and sticking to it this year.

2.      Garage sale: Earn some extra cash for Christmas by selling all the unused items that have cluttered up your home and garage.

3.      Check online: Take some time and surf the online stores, because you can quite often find a similar item online for a cheaper price, but don’t forget to include the shipping costs.

4.      Cards & wrapping paper: The best time to buy Christmas cards and gift wrapping paper is during the post-Christmas sales, when they are going for a song!

5.      Gift cards: If you have unused gift cards that are about to expire, you can use them to pay for this year’s gifts and save yourself a bunch of money.

6.      Buy during sales: Check the sales for gift items on your list during the year or even substitute a listed gift for an item that is on sale prior to Christmas.

7.      Spending limits: It’s always best to agree on a dollar limit with friends and family, so no-one is caught out and everyone feels comfortable. Even better, agreeing to buy gifts for just the children helps everyone save money at Christmas.

8.      Buy cheaper items first: This way you will have the bulk of your Christmas shopping completed quickly with only one or two expensive items left to buy.

9.      Shopping locations: Make your gift list with one eye on the location, so you can do all your Christmas gift shopping in just one or two locations, saving you a lot of time.

10.  Look for grocery discounts: Grocery shopping is different to gift shopping, because you need to compare prices in various supermarkets and be prepared to shoot in for the advertised specials or discounts.

11.  Pare back the groceries: Don’t buy enough to feed a football team and don’t buy junk food you will never eat or wish you hadn’t! Instead, be sensible and buy enough food for a few special meals and treats over Christmas.

12.  Share the costs: If everyone is coming to you this year, ask people to contribute to the meals, snacks, soft drinks and alcohol. This way you won’t have to blow your budget feeding everyone.

You can also shop in the evening when the shops are open later during the Christmas period. This cuts down on the crowds and gives you more time to carefully consider your purchases, instead of feeling rushed and harassed, and spending more money on gifts than you had intended, just to get home quickly and away from the crowds.

For help organising your household budget in the New Year, call Amanda McCall on 07 3356 6929 or complete our online enquiry form.

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