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.
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of huge discounts on big sale days, but only buy what you need. It can be a great chance to stock up on linen, underwear and work clothes, and it’s easy to grab items just because they are 70% off.
Much like Christmas shopping, a great tactic is to plan ahead, check out the deals online ahead of time, and write a list of where you’re going and how much you’re going to spend – then stick to it. It may not be as fun as a frenzy, but you’ll still get great deals without the bill shock later. Many retailers start their sales on Christmas Day, giving you the opportunity to get in nice and early.
From all of us at GTC, we hope you have an enjoyable Christmas and New Year.
This information is general information only. You should consider the appropriateness of this information with regards to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
GTC Financial Services Pty Ltd ABN 94 010 624 914 is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Infocus Securities Australia Pty Ltd ABN 47 097 797 049 AFSL and Australian Credit Licence No. 236523