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Master the art of Christmas gifts

ASIC MoneySmart Team
5th December, 2017

The holidays are often a busy time of the year arranging gifts, food and decorations, let alone working out how you are going to pay for it all. There’s a lot of pressure to spend up big on gifts at this time of year, but pricey presents aren’t necessarily the way to go. Here are some ways to show you care and manage your spending to avoid a financial hangover in the New Year:

  • Agree on a spending limit – Suggest to your loved ones that you set a limit on how much you will spend on gifts for each other to keep your budgets under control.
  • Kids only – Talk to the other adults in your extended family about only buying presents for the kids this year, rather than for the adults.
  • DIY vouchers – We often remember the things people do for us rather than the presents they give us. Consider giving redeemable vouchers for tasks like babysitting, massages, picnics, homemade dinners or even housework.
  • Savvy sales – Take advantage of sales throughout the year to nab some bargains and store them away for Christmas, even in December there are bargains to be had.
  • Compare offers – Some stores match or beat competitors’ deals, so compare their offers and take all the details with you when you go into the store. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount – you might just get a Christmas miracle!
  • Secondhand bargains – Op shops, antique stores and secondhand bookshops can be a treasure trove for the thrifty Christmas shopper. If you’re prepared to spend the time looking through their stock, you can often find good quality items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at big name stores.

Australians love gift cards and vouchers, but too many of us let the funds expire before we use them. Check the expiry date on any gift cards you still have credit on, and consider putting this money towards your Christmas costs.

Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget these holidays. Use ASIC’s MoneySmart TrackMySPEND app to nominate a spending limit for different types of Christmas expenses and track your progress while you shop.

Merry Christmas from ASIC’s MoneySmart.

Note: This extract is from ASIC’s MoneySmart 12 money tips for Christmas article, you can read the full article here and Australia’s Christmas spending infographic is available here.

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