If we cut our costs this Christmas, we can save our mortgages in 2024
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Hey, guess what? Until after Christmas, we appear to be out of rate-hike danger.
Inflation came in at just 4.9 per cent last week, lower than expected. Yes, that’s just the monthly indicator, which is a smaller basket of goods, but it’s moving comprehensively in the right direction.
A champagne Christmas on a beer budget this year could stop a big interest hangover next year.Credit: iStock
The fact that new Reserve Bank governor Michele Bullock is talking a tough interest rate game will help, too. Indeed, it’s probably why she is doing it.
Fear of further rate rises can be almost as effective as actual ones in getting us to shut our wallets, if we understand there is a real threat. But the less said about her suggestion we are still indulging in hairdresser and dental visits, the better.
In any case, 82 per cent of economists and experts believe the RBA will keep rates on hold this week, according to Finder’s RBA Cash Rate Survey.
It all means the next move is probably ours. And it’s how – and with how much – we celebrate Christmas.
This year, let’s make it the sensible season, and save ourselves further interest rate silliness in 2024.
A champagne Christmas on a beer budget this year could stop a big interest hangover next year.
Here are five rate-friendly festive ‘swaps’.
1. Swap multiple presents for the Santa strategy. You may find you are all giving each other tiny trinkets anyway, but the costs really mount up. Have the conversation today about instead doing a secret or stealing Santa.
You no doubt know the drill. With secret Santa you draw names out of a hat, but with stealing Santa you draw numbers and then open presents designated for no one in particular in that order. When each person opens their pick, they can steal any subsequent one.
My family has been doing this for years and there is controversy and hilarity, particularly if you have a mix of naughty and nice presents. Either approach means everyone could get a present worth, say, $50… that is potentially good!
2. Swap the presents for vouchers. If your loved ones love giving individual presents, see if they will agree to all giving vouchers instead.
These days, you should never pay face value as there is 15 per cent and even more available through loyalty schemes with companies, associations and even health funds. Then, you can all shop in the Boxing Day sales and stretch your dollars even further.
3. Swap the parties to home or outside. The invitations flow thick and fast at the time of year, but see who you can enlist for drinks and nibbles at home instead of at a bar, for a picnic instead of a pub lunch and for an everyone-brings-a-dish dinner party, instead of a night out at a fancy restaurant.
4. Swap an extravagant one-chef festive feast for a communal culinary explosion. Is one person burdened with all the preparation and expense in your Christmas crew? This is the year to share that load, similar to the dinner-part-at-home, as above.
And do you really need that same amount of seafood? Look at how you can all still partake in a delicious meal, but for fewer dollars.
5. Swap the expensive attractions for the beach and outdoors. Sure, the kids want to go to theme parks, but they are hot and congested at this time of year anyway.
See if you can sell them on beach trips instead… they are far cooler. And you can take an esky with home-made sandwiches and snacks, and supermarket-bought drinks to save an small fortune.
C’mon, this year, let’s make it the sensible season, and save ourselves further interest rate silliness in 2024.
Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon is the author of How to Get Mortgage-Free Like Me. Follow Nicole on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
- Advice given in this article is general in nature and is not intended to influence readers’ decisions about investing or financial products. They should always seek their own professional advice that takes into account their own personal circumstances before making any financial decisions.
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