The summer season is notorious for being a time of big spending, with Christmas and New Years just around the corner, parents need to know that it’s possible to save while shopping. Consumer finance author and mother of two, Jody Allen, shares her tips on what parents can do to start saving now in the lead up to the busy festive period.
They may not seem like huge changes in your daily life, but Jody reminds us that every little thing adds up and there could be a significant amount of money to be saved by simply changing your usual routine.
1. Create D.I.Y Christmas gifts and decorations with existing materials in the house. This is a good activity for the kids to also get involved in and keep them occupied at a low cost.
2. Invest in a few good sized water bottles, especially as the weather starts to warm up. Have one in your bag, one in your car and pack them with you whenever you go anywhere to ensure you don’t need to buy bottled water.
3. Get prepared now for purchases that are going to creep up on you when the new school year starts in January. Exploring your options could allow you to save both time, money and stress. For example, you can outsource your kids’ school book list at Officeworks, who offer a free School List Service. You can save on average $40 instead of going directly through the school.
4. Utilise money saving apps like Acorns to force savings when you are notoriously bad at putting money away.
5. Purchase gifts that have a double purpose or longevity, tech items such as laptops or tablets are a great gift for children as they can use this both at school and home for years to come.
6. Don’t feel pressured to spend what everyone else is on Christmas presents and summer holidays, set a budget that is realistic for your family and work within this.
7. Use your bank account to automatically pay a set amount per week or fortnight for things like electricity, rates and school fees. This will ensure payments are more manageable and you won’t get a huge bill every six months or so.
8. Have a money box in the laundry for when you find loose change in the pockets. If you were to put away $5 in coins each week you could save $260 a year
9. Consider using Afterpay with big ticket item purchases, to alleviate the full cost in one hit. The shop now, pay later mechanic works so long as you’re responsible about it.