Your Christmas feast will be your most expensive meal this year

Your Christmas feast will be your most expensive meal this year

11.2 million Australians have admitted to overspending on food and groceries during the holiday season compared to the rest of the year, according to new research from Commonwealth Bank.

The Christmas Day feast has also been found to be the most expensive meal of the year for more than half the country (54 per cent).

38 per cent of Australians admit to starting their food shopping up to one month beforehand.

CommBank research found:

  • 89 per cent of Aussies will celebrate the Christmas meal at home, or at the home of family and friends. Only 5 per cent are dining out in restaurants.
  • Baby boomers are the most likely to host the Christmas meal (46 per cent), as well as spend the most on groceries (65 per cent) and begin shopping up to one month beforehand (45 per cent).
  • A quarter of Millennials (24 per cent) believe that overspending on food and groceries is why they struggle to stick to a Christmas budget. 22 per cent will end up having post-holiday regrets on how much they spend at this time of year.

Rohan Ritchie, General Manager Everyday Banking and Retail FX, said “it’s only natural we want to give generously to our friends and family at Christmas and hosting a delicious meal is a great way to do this.

“Unfortunately, how much we’re spending is often the last thing on our minds and we often don’t add it all up until after the holiday period.

“To keep this festive period carefree and avoid a spending aftershock, it’s helpful to keep track of how much you have spent and work from a budget,” Mr Ritchie said.

CommBank Christmas financial tips:

  1. Make a budget (and check it twice): Make sure you’re specific with your money and split it into categories such as fresh produce and grocery staples.

  2. Portion control – Work out how many people are coming and read up on serving guides so you don’t over cater.

  3. Watch out for bargains: Shop for bargains and bulk buy items in the supermarket to make sure you’re getting the best price.

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Learn more about bank accounts

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The traditional way to deposit cash into your bank account is to go to a branch and give it to a teller. These days, many banks will allow you to make deposits through an ATM as well.

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Transferring money to another bank is often called a bank transfer, and it can be done a few different ways.

Customers generally need three pieces of information to transfer money to another bank account. Customers need the account name, BSB and account number of the account they wish to transfer money to.

One way of transferring money to another bank account is in a branch with the help of a staff member; they will often give you a receipt as well as confirmation of the transfer.

Transfers can be also made via internet banking and phone banking.

Some banks also allow customers to make transfers via partnered ATMs, especially if the account is with the same bank.

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One way to deposit change into your bank account is to visit a branch. Many lenders will also allow you to deposit your change through one of their ATMs.

What do you need to open bank accounts?

Opening a bank account is one of the simplest online tasks you could perform. The hard part is deciding which type of bank account you want to open.

All banking institutions have a website where you hit ‘apply’ on the account of your choice and step through an application in less than 10 minutes.

Here’s a list of information that is generally required for applications.

  • Identification (driver’s licence, passport, proof of age card, proof of citizenship and/or birth certificate)
  • Tax file number (so you don’t get charged the highest tax rate)
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If you decide to open a new account at the branch, make sure you ask beforehand what information you need to take with you, or take all of the above to be safe.

How do I overdraw my Commonwealth Bank account?

Overdrawing a bank account can happen by accident. It’s often hard to know what your balance is, particularly with direct debits, scheduled repayments and pending transactions competing for cash.

To avoid being stuck with a bank fee every time your account is overdrawn, you can apply for a personal overdraft. This will enable you to overdraw your account up to an approved amount.

A personal overdraft is connected to your CommBank Everyday Account, so you can enjoy easy access to extra funds once approved – anywhere from $100 up to $20,000.

Your overdraft funds can be accessed via your CommBank keycard or Debit MasterCard, or online through NetBank and the CommBank app.

To apply you can either call the Commonwealth Bank directly or visit your local branch.

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The best thing to do is to thoroughly research the market before opening a business account. And when you do open an account, you should reassess your options every year or two, because the market moves quickly. A particular bank might offer the best account today, but be surpassed by one or several rivals tomorrow.

Can you open another account at the same bank?

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Generally, though, it is possible to have more than one everyday account, one personal account and one joint account, or have different types of accounts – such as a transaction account and a savings account.

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There are a number of ways to open a new bank account – online, over the phone or in the branch. The trick is to decide what type of bank account you want beforehand.

It might sound like a simple enough task, but there are literally hundreds of bank accounts to choose from. And each offer their own banking features and benefits.

A comparison site like RateCity can help you work out what bank account product matches your needs.

Once you’ve made up your mind what you want, it’s advisable to have the following information ready for the application process.

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Just because you’re in business doesn’t necessarily mean you need a business bank account. You could be a sole trader not registered for GST, and use your personal bank account for business.

If you do want a business account, there are plenty of benefits attached to business transaction and savings accounts, as well as business term deposits.

There are business bank accounts designed for businesses with a high volume of transactions, and those for start-ups with a small amount of trade. You could also include an EFTPOS service with your account.

Some business bank accounts charge for the number of transactions per month, while others offer a pay-as-you-go fee structure, where you only pay fees for transactions you make.

It’s up to you whether your priority is mainly transactions, or earning the maximum amount of interest on your principal. There’s a business banking solution for you if you need one.

Can you deposit money into somebody else's bank account?

One of the easiest banking tasks in the world is depositing money. You can even deposit money into someone else’s bank account if you wish.

The basic information you need to deposit money into a third-party bank account is:

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To find ‘live’ bank accounts in your name, you’ll have to ask individual lenders, which involves contacting them one by one and proving your identity each time. To find ‘unclaimed’ bank accounts (those that have been inactive for at least seven years), you can use this website.

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Despite having a bad rap for facilitating tax evasion, it is possible and legal to open a bank account in another country, also known as an ‘offshore account’.

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Once you’re logged into your Paypal account, the account balance will appear on your home page. Below your balance are two options:

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