How to spend your holiday season wisely
22 November 2022
Australians are forecast to spend almost $64 billion in the lead up to Christmas this year, which is up 3% on 2021.1 And Queenslanders are expected to spend more than $13 billion, which is a rise of 4.6%.
According to research by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), in collaboration with Roy Morgan and Salesforce, Australian retail sales are set to remain strong over the festive trading period, with consumers to continue spending in the face of cost-of-living challenges.1
But while it may be tempting to see out 2022 spending up big, there can be better ways to start the new year than dealing with holiday-season overspending.
So if you’re hoping to keep Christmas costs under control this year, we have some suggestions on how to do it.
Here are seven tips this festive season
Boost your festive finances by selling items you no longer want online, in a garage sale, or at a local buy-swap-sell. Cashing in on items like clothes, books, jewellery, furniture, or sporting equipment can make way for the new.
The items you no longer want could also be just the gift someone else is looking for this Christmas, so it’s a win-win.
Lists are great guard rails to help keep you on track.
Make a list for presents and how much you want to spend per person.
A list for entertainment, including food and drinks, may also be helpful to keep a check on spending.
Making lists and budgets aren’t particularly effective if you don’t keep an eye on the money going out.
Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your holiday season budget.
Use an app, write it down, or keep track through your online banking.
When the Christmas decorations have been packed away, festive season debt may linger long enough to impact you throughout 2023. So, be careful with your credit card at Christmas.
According to Reserve Bank of Australia statistics,2 there was around $39 billion in retail payments outstanding on credit and charge cards in Australia at September 2022.
Buy Now Pay Later options such as Afterpay and Klarna currently fall outside Australian consumer credit laws, meaning there’s less protection and regulation for consumers.3
Buy Now Pay Later may be one way to spread big costs out over multiple pay cycles, but they can easily end up costing you much more in fees.
Other tips that may help you manage Buy Now Pay Later spending include:
- Keep a record of your purchases
- Picking one provider and sticking with it – resist the urge to open accounts with multiple lenders
- Set payment reminders
- Check the fine print for your obligations and rights.
When you have checked everything off your list, it is time to stop shopping.
Try to avoid stopping by the shopping centres for any last-minute pick-ups or just to see what the shops might have.
If you can’t resist being part of the hustle and bustle of last-minute, late-night shopping, plan and budget for stocking stuffer purchases for this time.
You will get your shopping fix, buy something you need, and not blow the budget.
The period immediately after the holidays may be the perfect time to check over your budget and make plans for the new year. How did you do? Did you stay within budget? Were there places you could have cut back?
The days following Christmas are also synonymous with sales. This might be a chance for you to get a jump start on upcoming birthdays. This may be so much easier if you’ve stuck to your budget.
We’re here to help
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1. Roy Morgan Christmas Insights, roymorgan.com/findings/pre-christmas-sales-forecast-to-reach-63-9-billion-up-3-on-last-year, accessed 22 November 2022
2. Reserve Bank of Australia, Statistics: Retail payments September 2022, at rba.gov.au, accessed 22 November 2022
3. Treasury, Australian Government, Regulating Buy Now, Pay Later in Australia, at treasury.gov.au, accessed 21 November 2022
4. You can find out more about financial advice options at qsuper.qld.gov.au/advice or by calling us on 1300 360 750. Australian Retirement Trust employees provide advice as representatives of QInvest Limited. QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. Eligibility conditions apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide (pdf) for more information.