How to avoid the last-minute shopping that can end up costing you

Published on November 19th, 2020
  Written by 
Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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The festive season is in full swing and you may soon find yourself with an ever growing to do list that can have you doing a last-minute dash to stores and perhaps costly favours that can end up costing you. These are the six reasons why you need to avoid last minute shopping to help you save time and money this Christmas.

Shop in advance

Premature Christmas decorations can rank as the number one pet peeve of some Australians. However, there could be some good that comes out of premature decorations as this is a reminder to kick off an early shopping spree while prices are still low. You may be part of the 7 out of 10 Australians that go online to find a great deal. Not only will this give you time to create a list of must-have items, but it can also give you time to compare prices to get the best deal before prices go up.

Curb overspending with a budget

There is a reason why a budget reigns supreme during this festive season. Not only will this be a great way to track your spending, but it can also help you avoid overspending. Remember to budget around your credit card to avoid pushing putting expenses on your card that will increase your monthly repayments.

Doing this can also prevent you from falling into a debt spiral. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shopping at the peak of Christmas resulted in Australians accumulating $52.9 billion on their credit cards.

Recycle where possible

There are some things that you don’t have to purchase year on year, like Christmas decorations and gifts. Aussies go big when it comes to forking out on these two items. Australians are predicted to fork out $1 billion in decorations and an average of $464 on gifts this year. Finding places where you can cut down and upcycle can help you cut back on spending money that can be used elsewhere. Just try to avoid awkward situations where you upcycle a gift to the same person who gave it to you initially.

Make use of your credit card rewards

If you have been accumulating rewards throughout the year, now is the best time to put them to good use. Furthermore, if you have been carpooling your points into a shared account with family members you can use them to help reduce flight expenses. Keep in mind that if you are not planning to use your points for travel you can redeem them as gift cards.

Expectation vs reality

It is also important to have the serious talk with your children and other family members on what they would like to do and what your budget can afford. This can prevent you from making empty promises or breaking your budget to meet expectations.

Hunt for sales

Keep in mind that you want your salary to cover you for the next three months of January, so you don’t want to overspend and regret later. Looking for sales is also a great way to help you save some money to last you once the festive season has ended.

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