The silly season is here, and while many people are filled with the festive spirit, many others are filled with stress. Christmas doesn’t have to be a nightmare if you plan ahead and use a little technology!
Budget & lists
The best way to avoid bill shock in the new year is to plan exactly what you’re going to buy for who, and only buy that. As tempting as window shopping can be, it’s easy to overspend or buy things just because they’re on sale. It might help to check catalogues in your letterbox or compare prices online to find the best deal.
It may also help to visit an ATM as soon as you get to the shopping centre and withdraw your Christmas budget – that way once it’s gone, it’s gone. Alternatively, set a low limit on your credit card so you don’t overspend.
Avoid peak shopping times
The Commonwealth Bank has crunched the numbers and found that Saturday December 16, or Super Saturday, is likely to be the busiest shopping day in the lead up to Christmas (based on last year’s data). As Christmas Day falls on a Monday this year, Saturday December 23 is also likely to be busy.
Stores are generally able to open until midnight the week before Christmas (depending on your state), so take advantage of this late trade.
Don’t forget your ship when you shop
If you’re shopping online this Christmas, don’t forget to factor in delivery times to avoid long faces on Christmas Day. Australia Post advises that 1pm Thursday December 21 is absolutely the last day to send anything via Express Post to arrive before Christmas.
Parcels and cards can take anywhere between 2 and 6 business days to be delivered, meaning you’ll want to have your shopping done by Thursday December 14 if your merchant uses Australia Post.
Keep your receipts
Even if you give something as a gift, keep the receipt for warranty and refund purposes. It is far easier to return or exchange an item if you have proof of purchase. If you’ve given a gift that is not fit for purpose or is faulty, consumer protection still applies. Read more about consumer rights and guarantees here.