finance

"The simple money hack I'm using to help me save an extra $300 by Christmas."

So… there are six weeks till Christmas Day and it is safe to say I am a wee bit excited.

Yep, I’m a Christmasphile. I started playing my Christmas Spotify playlist on heavy rotation weeks ago and my Christmas tree has been bursting out of its box since the day after my birthday at the beginning of October.

But Christmas is undoubtedly a very expensive time of year. In fact, Aussies will spend on average $1235 each this festive season.

What the heck.

I always begin to worry a couple of months before December rolls around: “S***, I better start saving money to pay for my travel and buy presents and frosé.”

 

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So I’ve devised a bit of a life hack that has helped me afford the festive season for a couple of years now.

And I promise, it’s really simple.

All I do is round up every purchase I make to the nearest $5 or $10 and put the remaining aside in a separate bank account.

For example, if my morning coffee costs $3.50 I round it up to $5, and put the balance of $1.50 into the account.

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That doesn’t sound like much, but if this is done five days a week I’ll put aside $45 by Christmas time.

Sunday night’s Uber Eats (I was too lazy to go to the supermarket – don’t judge) cost $26.50. So, that meant $3.50 into the savings account.

Spotify is $11.99 a month. I have two payments left before Christmas – so that means $6.02 will be put aside.

And I do this with everything because every cent and every dollar adds up.

Brunch, Afterpay payments (again – no judgement pls), my gym membership and Netflix subscription, the moisturiser I bought from Sephora over the weekend. Plus, all the boring things too: Groceries, rent, health insurance, electricity bill. They all get rounded up.

With six weeks till Christmas, I’ve worked out I’ll save about $300 between now and then just through this method.

This means I’ll already have money sitting there waiting to be used on holiday season-specific purchases like a ride to the airport (home time!), the aforementioned frosé and of course, presents.

It also has the added benefit of making me more frugal: I’ve been more strict on making my lunch to bring to work, because with the rounding up, coffee + sushi = $20 a day instead of the usual $15. And that hurts way more.

Admittedly this does takes a fair bit of discipline: Don’t procrastinate. You’re best to transfer to balance as soon as you’ve purchased something.

But trust me, it becomes really satisfying and somewhat addictive.

I’m currently using this as my Christmas-only saving plan (with maybe also a bit left over for Boxing Day sales…) so am keeping this money separate from any other savings, but of course this would be a good tactic to use year round.

Six weeks till Christmas still gives you a good amount of time to save – so give it a go. Even if you only put aside enough for a summer’s worth of frosé. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

What are your money saving tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments.

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