Australians urged to watch their spending this Christmas

by Super User
CHRISTMAS spending doesn’t have to be so stressful, if you take a few of these money-saving tips on board. SAVINGS plans have come a little too late for many Australians who will now face the challenge of getting through the festive season without leaving a giant hole in their pockets. Christmas is just four weeks away but only one in four households have engineered a year-long savings plan to reduce the monetary burden at this time of year. The St George Family Finances report, released today, has revealed one third of households find this time of year stressful but manageable and when it comes to splashing cash most people are expecting to spend about $543 on gifts alone.But the report found that more than one third of people expect to spend about $2000 during the entire festive season.St George’s general manager for retail banking Ross Miller said while 16 per cent of respondents will be completely reliant on their credit card, for most of us it’s about having a smart spending approach over the summer holidays. “Households are being realistic about expenses because they realise it’s not just about gifts, it’s about all aspects of the season including travelling to see family, extra grocery bills and even school holiday activities,’’ he said.“So if you’re spending about $500 on presents, that’s about $10 per week to save over the year, so for $2000 in spending it’s about $40 per week and our hope is next year families start to think about things this way for the next year ahead.” One of the biggest bugbears at this time is the peak season rates, particularly for costs such as flights and holidays, which typically can’t be avoided, so having a “staycation” may be a better option. When it comes to filling Christmas stockings, Rising Tide financial services’ managing director Chris Browne said there are a few ways to cut costs significantly.“Create gifts that are low on cost but high on thought, for example babysitting, cook a person’s favourite meal or give them a nice photo that means something,’’ he said. He also urged people to think about filing their tax return if they haven’t done so already and see if they can receive a Christmas bonus early — if they are lucky enough to get one — to give them a quick cash boost. PHONES: I saved more than $1100 in less than 30 minutes Sales are also well and truly on and today is Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day in the US, which follows hot on the heels of Thursday’s thanksgiving and Black Friday.’s spokeswoman Bessie Hassan said this is also a good time to for Aussies pounce on bargains. “Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online sales event in the US and we’re expecting to see much larger take up from Australian online retailers in 2017, with the majority of retailers keen to capitalise on the buyers out in force snapping up pre-Christmas bargains,’’ she said.

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