By Maureen Jordan
1. Only buy what you can afford. It's best to set yourself a pre-Christmas budget plan. Allocate how much you can afford for gifts and entertainment. Stick to it. Remember credit cards have to be repaid and the joy created during the festive season can fade quickly when your statement comes in. Big credit card bills cause stress and take a long time to pay off, running up interest charges as well
2. Ask at the store if the products you're going to buy will be on sale or reduced after Christmas. Nothing worse than paying full price and a few days later they're so much cheaper. Think about giving loved ones cash and let them get the better deals after Christmas.
3. Consider opening up a Nabtrade or Commsec account for your older children to encourage them to get involved in the stock market. You could always put a cash amount in there as well so they can buy some shares to kick off their account. Always remember, money makes money.
4. Consider giving a money education gift like the Switzer Super Report! Education is power and knowledge can make you wealthy.
5. Avoid impulse buying. You just don't need to overspend on food so those extra kilos stretch your girth but thin out your wallet. Think twice before you buy.
6. Ask for a 10% discount for cash. Sensible traders should be so happy to get cash and this way they're also not paying credit card charges.
7. Don't leave your shopping too late because you can't compare prices at alternative suppliers
8. Use the internet or download an App to check comparative prices. There are many good comparative websites that can get you a good deal. Some apps provide daily savings offered by restaurants and suppliers in your local area.
9. You don't need to stick to central business districts. Venture further afield and Shop in suburbs where the rents are lower and prices should be lower.
10. Make a resolution to plan for Christmas 2016 by putting a small amount of money each week in a mortgage offset account. This has a double effect. Firstly it can just sit there reducing your mortgage - but don't touch it. If you simply leave it there, the added bonus is that you'll enter the 2016 Christmas season with a stash of cash to have a very merry Christmas without money being tight.