Let's face it: Aussies are Christmas obsessed. According to a recent study from Pay Pal, this has reached the point where getting ready for the holidays is taking precedence over the festivities themselves.
"The average Aussie spends around 46 hours — or almost two whole days — getting ready for Christmas but only spends on average, eight hours celebrating the actual day," the report states. This includes an average of 14 hours spent buying gifts!
Combine this with data from mobile app Pocketbook released at the start of the year, and consumers might have cause for concern. Australians spent 123 percent of their income last December, and swiped their credit cards ten percent more than in other months.
Given this, it might be useful to have a few shopping hacks up your sleeve to take advantage of this December.
Rather than spending dollars and hours fighting off other shoppers for an overpriced product, consider the serenity — and affordability — involved in the online shopping experience. Not only is it more convenient, simpler to navigate and easier to compare prices on, but you'll often also find the prices are markedly lower.
Making use of travel rewards
Plenty of people use the Christmas period to take work off and go travelling, whether overseas or domestically. Rather than dipping into your well-funded savings account, why not make use of the points you might have built up on your rewards credit cards to fund the trip? If you don't have any rewards points built up, consider getting an airline-branded credit card in advance for next Christmas.
Don't be afraid of bargain bins
Often there is a stigma attached to the products kept on the shelves and aisles for clearance — you might think they're defective or in some way lower-quality. During Christmas, however, keep in mind that stores are desperately trying to get rid of old stock, and have simply marked the price down to get it off the shelves, rather than due to quality issues.
Zero-interest credit cards
In the lead-up to Christmas, banks tend to offer a lot more of this type of product, giving you zero percent interest on the loan you build up for a fixed period of time. Given the statistics provided by Pocketbook, look for this feature if you're trying to compare credit cards — it could be a good solution for your short-term Christmas spending.
Monitor price drops
There are a number of ways to do this. You could sign up to newsletters of all kinds in order to get notifications of deals and sales for certain retailers. This could leave you with a messy inbox to clean up at the end of the day. Alternatively, try a price drop alert website like ShoppingNotes.com, which will email you when prices fall for the retailer whose URL you provide.