Hey guys! As you all know, Christmas is approaching, and thanks to the economic downturn, retailers are trying harder than ever to attract your money flow! What with all the gifting and personal treats, it's highly likely that after Christmas you'll be looking at your credit card balance and be going "Oh... crap..."
Don't fall into that trap! Yes there are heaps of sales going on right now but you need to think smarter - be smarter! Here are some tips that work generally and specifically for Christmas.
1. Make a list
What I tend to do is, I list ALL the things I need to buy in one go. Then, I sort them into several categories. These are: the 'needs' - generally food, drinks and other perishable; 'must buys' - gifts for others and things you are going to definitely use within the next few days; 'really want' - all the clothes/shoes/books/bags/etc that you would really like to own, and the 'want' - things you want, but you are okay with waiting for. Be strict on yourself but not too much - if you limit yourself too much you will tempted to splurge!
The internet is your best friend! Google the name of the shopping center you are likely to go to, eg Westfield, or retailers such as Myer, and search within. Here's a tip that's obvious to some but not to others - list from lowest price to highest. If something sort of matches what you want, save it and compare later. Again - make a list - the skirt at Myer has a nice colour but I'm not sure of the style VERSUS the skirt from Factorie which isn't as long as I hoped for has an okay colour and affordable. You don't need to spend too much time on comparing, just a quick browse. And sometimes things on the net may be out of stock at your local store, so give them a ring so you're not tempted to buy a similar item that isn't what you really want.
3. Boxing Day Sale and the week after
Of course, the famous Boxing Day sale is a great day to go shopping. But wait - what about the week and days after?! Sometimes prices reduce even more in the week after, so wait and see for the stuff you can live without.
4. Stock up for next year
This works really well, actually. The few days after Christmas is a great day to stock up on traditional Christmas stuff such as Christmas themed cards, wrapping and gift boxes, which are SO MUCH CHEAPER after Christmas. Just remember no perishables - unless you're planning to gift yourself of course!
5. Minimise online spending
Though yes, you can get lots of great deals online, there's a risk of your stuff not arriving in time or getting lost because LOTS of people will want to order before Christmas. There are other factors such as impulse buying and shipping prices, too.
6. Check terms and conditions
Yes, it's painful, but for electronics, white goods and gift cards, be sure to check all the necessary details. It would be a pain to buy a gift card with a narrow expiry date, now, won't it? And a bigger pain to buy a white good that breaks and isn't covered by warranty...
Hopefully, these tips will encourage you to use your money wisely.
Because the worst Christmas present is a huge credit bill...!!
Till next time!
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