Planning ahead and Financially preparing for Christmas can start NOW

You could be save a fair whack of cash by buying into the Christmas hype early this year. By planning your flights, buying presents and not waiting until the last minute to make a move on prepping for the festive season, your wallet and your sanity might just thank you.

Last year it was reported that more than one third of Australians added to their credit card debt, or dipped into their savings to be able to afford Christmas.

Get started early this year and avoid the rush come December.


When to buy: October

As much as you swear each year that you’ll get your gift-buying duties over with early, when it comes down to it, you’re likely to still be pushing through crowds on Christmas Eve to get mum a bottle of cheap perfume because you’ve run out of money, time and ideas.

Save your sanity and also your dollars by staggering your Christmas shopping throughout the year.

Begin buying gifts around October. You’ll be able to afford presents that are better, and much more thoughtful. You’ll have a few months to find the perfect gift, and won’t be spending a huge lump of money at the one time, leaving you destitute until after you return to work in the New Year.

If you’re shopping online, it means that you have ample time to find a gift, have it shipped (without paying express post-delivery fees), and exchange it if it’s not quite what you were looking for.


When to book: Late August, mid September, early October

By booking your flights in late August, mid September and early October, you can save on fares. If you’ve left your booking to the last minute, you could be looking at paying up to 102% more come December. In general, ticket prices tend to rise ever-higher the later you leave booking.

While the odd deal might pop up, it’s safest to purchase your fare around 14 weeks before you depart. It’s a popular time of year, and seats fill up quickly, meaning airlines can jack up the prices — it’s best to get cracking sooner rather than later!


When to buy: As soon as it starts appearing in stores

Hosting Christmas at your house this year? It’s pretty much a given that you’ll be spending a pretty penny on feeding everyone — and it’s not Christmas without alcohol, and other must-haves like Christmas crackers and festive tablecloths.

Rather than spend a huge chunk of money a couple of days before your guests arrive, plan in advance. You know those Christmas foods that start popping up around this time of year in the supermarket? Most of those are made to last a long time.

Every week when you go shopping pick up a few bits and pieces of Christmas-related ‘stuff’. We’re talking chocolate-covered nuts and sultanas, crackers and biscuits, mince pies, shortbread, Christmas ribbon, tablecloths, decorations etc.   It will barely make a dent in your weekly shop, but it will definitely save you having to drop a whole pay cheque’s come the week before Christmas.



*The Cusp