It’s December!  That’s great because it’s the start of summer and Christmas Season.  It’s a fantastic, happy time of year for Australian families, but it often means we are left counting the cost in January.

If you have children, you have the extra challenge of keeping the little “mum, I’m a bit bored” ones happy and entertained – and out of your hair when possible.

So, here is the big trick – when you can save, save.  That extra saving is gonna help down the track very soon.  A penny saved is a penny earned, and you need to pay attention to that adage the most during the Christmas summer holiday season.

At Cash Direct, We Help, and our team of helpers has put together a top 10 list of great Australian family savings ideas for this summer, starting at number 10:

  1. If you can avoid it, or at least postpone a spend during Christmas, do it.  Some things you might need now or for Christmas day (fair enough when it’s for the kids), but if you can wait, get it later when the pressure is off, or when the Boxing Day sales start!  Plan ahead maybe buy next years Christmas wrapping, tree, stockings, decorations from Boxing Day when they are super cheap
  2. Watch the “Yay” in AfterPay, Zip Pay and all the other Pay, Pay, Pay offerings.  They seem great at the time – but “After”, there is a “Pay”.  If it feels too easy, be careful.  Many spend up with this through December, and then tally up the big cost in January – the retailer is the only real winner here. AfterPay Disadvantages
  3. Drive less during Christmas where you can.  Save on fuel, parking and the stress of finding a car park.  Many shopping centers even provide free shuttle services.  Walk or ride and enjoy the summer sunshine, it all helps save on reducing the running costs of a car
  4. Take the kids to the movies but look out for the cheaper matinee and off-peak sessions.  You should also look for discount movie deals with your phone or energy companies, and use coupons.  Cheap Movie Tickets is a great way to use someone else’s air-conditioning and make an outing of it – catch the train or bus there.
  5. Eat at home, almost always.  Find some great summer recipes that your kids can help with and find your best-discounted supermarket (Costco and Aldi are worth trying to cut your family costs).  Eating out or clocking up UberEATS can be very expensive when you add it up, and it’s more fun and healthier to eat at home.  Discover “go-to” meals that you can roll out regularly with little fuss, and big savings. See Brendon Fevola’s UberEATS $35k bill for what not to do.
  6. Just get out and do something as a family – with free or cheap kid holiday activities.  From going camping, to teaching your kids to fish, hitting the beach or lake, or building a cubby house.  Here’s a bunch of cheap activities to choose from – Cheap School Holidays
  7. Pay your bills, credit card and loans on time! Earn discounts and avoid extra fees, interest expense and other costs by on time or early.  Otherwise, you are just throwing your money away.
  8. Cancel, cancel, cancel – all subscriptions you just don’t need in summer.  By now you likely have at least one subscription you don’t need for summer.  The Author just canceled Foxtel and saved over $100 per month, but just do a sweep on your phone and home to look for those sneaky subscriptions you just don’t need right now – they’ll take your money later if you change your mind!
  9. Shop your bills – car insurance, health insurance, energy bills, phone, internet, loans.  If you’ve got the time, go one by one.  You can also try comparison sites like www.iselect.com.au, www.comparethemarket.com.au, www.finder.com.au  and they can do it faster as an extra check.  Stop paying a lazy tax!
  10. Teach your kids about savings, and it will help you also!  Give them pocket money to help them measure and contain what they spend, and make them do jobs to chip in.  Pay them to cook for the family and avoid fast food and eating out.  Here is a great framework to help teach your kids about money – Teachings kids about money

If you need a little help with your budget this the Christmas Season, Cash
Direct can help with affordable small loans from $200 to $2,000 that can be tailored to fit into your budget, just apply here, or visit www.cashdirect.com.au Stay safe, happy and frugal this Christmas.