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It’s the season to save! 5 ways to make your money go further this Christmas

Australia may have become a nation of savers, according to ING DIRECT’s latest Financial Wellbeing Index, but Business Analysts IBISWorld are predicting consumers will be loosening their purse strings this Christmas as they splurge on gifts, food and entertainment to see them through until the end of the year.

Want to get into the festive spirit whilst keep control of your savings this season? Here are a few quick tips to get you off to a flying start.

1. Make a list, check it twice

We all know the premise behind writing down what you need to buy – if you stick to your list then there’s less temptation to stray. So before hitting the shops, decide how much you have to spend and who you need to buy for.

2. Compare prices

Gone are the days when you had to wait until the New Year to bag a bargain; pre-Christmas sales are becoming the norm as retailers battle it out to drive sales. Don’t fancy trawling the shops to get the cheapest deal? There are some useful websites out there such as Shopbot and Getprice which allow you to compare product prices. And talking of online…

3. Save money, save time!

Ernst & Young predict 35% of all Christmas gifts will be bought online as Australian shoppers swap stress for convenience this season. It’s also estimated that 1 in 4 online consumers will buy their gifts via a mobile device this Christmas according to recent research by Shopify, with tablets being the preferred option for shopping on the go.

But whether you choose your smartphone, tablet or PC, shopping online has some real benefits: an expansive range of products through multiple retailers, competitive pricing, and focused shopping.

4. Self-gifting? Buy ahead

Research from the National Retail Federation in the USA predicts 60% of shoppers will indulge in self-gifting this Christmas, factoring their own special treat into the budget.

If you’re planning to factor some ‘me-time’ into the gifting process, then you could turn your splurge into a save by buying your winter woollies in advance – and at sale price – from overseas sites.  According to research by Nielsen, purchases on UK websites have increased by 8% in the past year and the Christmas sales in the Northern Hemisphere can help set you up for winter down under in six months’ time.

5. Stimulate the second hand economy

Many of us are expected to receive an unwanted gift this Christmas, but as the saying goes, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. Earlier this year it was reported that the second hand goods market has grown by 40% as frugal consumers look to buy and sell pre-loved items. According to research by Gumtree, the second hand economy is now worth $18bn per year in Australia, with the average Australian earning $2,874 a year selling used goods. With Gumtree estimating the value of unwanted or unused items lying around at home at $44bn, there’s never been a better time than post-Christmas to round up your unwanted gifts and get a slice of the pie.

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