It’s that time of year where we are getting to the countdown until Christmas with only a few days left to purchase those last minute gifts.
Our budgets are definitely getting getting smaller and there are extra presents that we need to buy that we didn’t count for.
Your credit cards and bank accounts have probably had a bit of a work out by now as you rush around buying last minute gifts and perhaps don’t even consider the costs.
However, your Christmas spending habits could be costing you more than you think with retailers amongst others, being naughty and not so nice by taking advantage of your spending this holiday season.
Bessie Hassan, Consumer Advocate for finder.com.au, mentioned that this time of year is definitely the most expensive for many Aussie households. People are spending more than normal, going on holidays, spending on petrol, shopping and taking of time from work. Not to mention the Boxing Day Sales.
Any spending plans that you had may have been thrown out the window becoming out of control. Therefore it’s not a surprise when retailers start to look for ways to take advantage of spenders.
Here’s how to avoid getting ripped off and keeping more money in your pocket:
1. Gift Wrapping
Often you think it’s a great idea when the retailer offers you free gift wrapping. However did you know that sometimes it is included in price of the goods, as they may be at full price or from a higher end department store.
Buying wrapping paper can get expensive in general if you have a whole lot of gifts that need to be wrapped. It could be an idea to use plain paper and have it decorated by your kids!
We have all been guilty of purchasing hampers, probably because it’s the quickest and easiest option. Though it can be much cheaper to make them yourself.
Some are even very disappointing in size, and don’t include the products you want or some of low quality.
If you’d like to give hampers this Christmas, purchase the items you like in bulk to make multiple of the same all at once. Check out discount stores for cheap offers on baskets and cellophane.
Buying online can be a cheaper option while saving a lot of time, but it’s only worth it if you don’t spend extra money on shipping.
Many retailers offer free shipping on orders over a certain amount, so sometimes it pays to shop around or buy most of you items from the same store.
4. Credit Card Fees And Interest
Many people spend the most on their credit cards in December alone and we are spending more every year.
It’s easy to spend up big on your credit card without knowing what you’ve spent and worrying about it later. Though it can be an even bigger debt and a bad start to your New Year if you don’t pay it off right away.
It can be beneficial to compare credit cards with zero purchase per cent and those who offer interest free up to 10 or 15 months on purchases.
If you are travelling overseas, make sure you are aware of the extra fees that may be charged to your card for foreign transactions.
5. Extended warranties
Are you making a big purchase this Christmas on a TV, washing machine or other big household spends? Don’t be talked into extended warranties that retailers will try to charge you. You still have the right to a refund, repair or replacement under Australian Consumer Law.
Check the paper that it is printed on to see if it is worth your money.
6. Over-priced sports gear
How often do you see the latest sports gear promoted on social media? There’s no doubt that fashion can get expensive but you might not be getting what you paid for.
Many New Year’s resolutions involve fitness gear, but with some branded gym pants and tops costing well over $200, it pays to do your research and shop around. Price does not necessarily mean performance. Some of the gym gear sold in clothing shops rather than shops exclusive to sporting gear, can be just as good in terms of quality and better on price!