How to save in 2018

With the holidays behind us, and last month’s credit card statement coming your way soon (boo!), it’s not too early to start thinking about how to get your finances sorted for next Christmas.

To help you get ahead of the game, we asked our friends at St.George Bank for a few tips on how to get through this year's festive season without a huge hole in your pocket. While their recent research (from the St.George Family Finances report) indicates that a third of Australians find the festive season to be stressful, the good news is that there are some simple ways to make it more manageable – and you can put some of them into practice right now.

1. Put away $10 a week
Almost a quarter of us have a year-long savings plan in place, which helps take away the stress at the end of the year. The research found that on average, we spend $543 on Christmas presents - so putting $10 away in a separate account each week (less than a takeaway salad and drink for lunch) will get you most of the way there come late November.

2. Start shopping early
A lot of us love Christmas enough to celebrate it again in July – but what you might not know is that it’s also the time when nearly a third of Aussies start their Christmas shopping. Not only are there mid-year sales to take advantage of, it also means your Christmas gifts won’t be competing with sunny after-work drinks for a slice of your weekly budget come December.

3. Secret Santa
KK, Kris Kringle, Secret Santa… whatever you call it, it’s a clever way to cut down on the number of presents you need to buy, and therefore cut down your Christmas gifting budget. It also means less time flicking through gift guides to see what you can get Aunt Doris this year, and more time perfecting your eggnog recipe…

4. Have a stay-cay
The number one pet peeve from the research was paying peak season ‘school holiday’ rates for flights and accommodation, so beat the system and have a holiday at home - after all, you’re paying rent or a mortgage for it anyway! The harbour city is full of great things to do in summer (like that long harbourside lunch at The Streets that you keep dreaming about), plus there’s plenty of day trip options on the South Coast, Blue Mountains and Central Coast (just to name a few).

If you’re after more savings tips or just a helping hand with your general finances, pop in to our neighbourhood bank, St.George, and have a chat to the team. They’ve got competitive savings rates and a handy 24/7 ATM lobby, and will make it easy for you start saving and get ahead for next Christmas!

St.George Bank Barangaroo is located on Mercantile Walk (Tower Two, International Towers Sydney). Head in and speak with Matthew Thripp, the Branch Manager, or any of the friendly staff.