6 clever money hacks to stay on budget this Christmas

6. Research what you want to buy

If there is a particular product you’re set on getting for someone, look around for the best deals. With several sales on at this time of year, many stores are offering discounts on items they know will be popular and in high demand.

However, be cautious if you’re shopping online. Not only are scam ads and emails becoming more frequent, but they are also more sophisticated as well, especially at Christmas time. The Australian Cyber Security Centre has a guide on how to recognise and report scams, and how to check if a business is legitimate.

Think more about giving and helping others

Rather than thinking “What do I need to buy for my friends and family this Christmas?”, reframe it as “How can I give and help those who are most important to me?” Besides, that has always been the true meaning of Christmas.

We can all spread joy and hope at a time when so many people need it. Send Christmas cards to people to let them know you’re thinking about them. Prepare something for neighbours or friends who live alone or might be feeling left out. Support local businesses by buying Australian-made gifts. Donate to charities you’re passionate about – you’ll even get a tax deduction on donations over $2.

However you decide to spend your money this Christmas, the most important thing is to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford. Then constantly check yourself so you’re immune to that impulse we all have and unnecessarily going over budget.

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