Here are five simple ways to save in the run up to the chaos of Christmas.
There are now less than 50 days until Christmas, which means it’s time for Santa to start loading up his sleigh, and for the rest of us to start stressing about all those presents we need to buy. Does aunt Shirley still like bath salts? Is your niece Zoe still a vegetarian? Or should we just forget the whole thing and go to Bali for a few days?
With so many financial demands on the horizon, it’s important to properly plan for the silly season and make sure your pay check stretches the whole way through.
Luckily, it’s not impossible. iSelect’s Laura Crowden has provided 5 simple ways to save your pennies in the lead up to the big day.
Tip 1: Your card, madam
You’re about to do a lot of spending so it’s important to make sure you have the right credit card. If you are someone who always pays your credit card off in full at the end of each month, then opting for a generous rewards program can be worthwhile as you can put points towards presents or gift vouchers. But if you are someone who struggles to pay of your credit card each month, then you are probably much better off opting for a low rate credit card or balance transfer card because the interest you have to pay will always outweigh any rewards you can earn.
Tip 2: Look at those energy bills
Unfortunately, your energy provider isn’t likely to leave anything exciting under the tree this year, apart from a bill for all those Christmas lights you’re using. So do yourself a favour and make sure it isn’t bigger than it needs to be. A huge number of people put themselves on a plan and then forget about it, even though it may not still be offering the best value – and that means that money could be draining out of their accounts faster than the sherry in Santa’s stash.
Tip 3: Have (cheaper) fun in the sun
If you are going away, you always need to remember to take out travel insurance. It’s a cliché but it’s true – if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel. But with so many different policies and price points, make sure you shop around well in advance of that trip and get the balance right between cover and
Tip 4: Before you binge on a box set, think about your broadband bill
People’s internet use generally changes in the run-up to Christmas. For the one thing, nobody can borrow the office Wi-Fi for downloading the latest Little Mix track, so they end up doing it at home. But with friends and relatives coming to stay, you might find that your data use increases a lot. Buying ‘extra’ data on the fly can be expensive, so make sure your internet plan includes enough data, at the right speed, for everyone.
Tip 5: Baby it’s cold…inside
As you roast alongside the turkey while it’s 35 degrees outside, think about your poor air conditioner. It certainly doesn’t get Christmas Day off. Every time you turn it up (and the temperature down), your energy bill also goes up. Consider alternatives such as closing the blinds, ceiling fans or a good old-fashioned icy pole which are much more energy efficient (and delicious