Seven Christmas finance tips from our gurus

THESE Christmas finance tips could save you a packet - and you could enter to win a $1000 EFTPOS card as well. 

We regularly run sage advice from our finance gurus Noel Whittaker and Paul Clitheroe and over the years we've collected a few relevant to surviving Christmas with your wallet intact. 

So while those two are helping you start and maintain good money habits around tinsel time, we'll try to help out by putting six $1000 EFTPOS cards up for grabs. 

All you need to do is click here and enter. Entries are now open and will close on Wednesday, December 16.

So here are some flashbacks to the ghosts of Christmas smarts (the links will take you to the full article on each topic.

1. Regifting is completely legitimate and might just make the difference

Paul Clitheroe writes: "The Commonwealth Bank is forecasting the average Australian will spend an extra $1,079 between the start of December 2014 and early January 2015. Most of this money will go towards gifts and vacations."

"That's a lot of additional cash, and according to ING DIRECT research, about one in four households will lighten the financial load by re-gifting unwanted presents."

2. Books as gifts can be tools for buying many more presents in the future

Noel Whittaker writes: "Christmas is a time when tens of thousands of dollars are wasted buying gifts that have no lasting value to the recipient."

"A carefully chosen book is the exception because it is relatively cheap, and has the potential to improve both the assets and the income of the person who is fortunate enough to receive it."

3. Knowing how to shop around properly is still important the in the online age

Paul Clitheroe writes: "The traditional rules of careful buying still hold true even in the online world. First and foremost, be sure to shop around. The holiday season can be expensive enough without paying more than you need to." 

"When it comes to online auction sites like eBay, be careful that you don't get swept up in a bidding war and spend beyond your budget."

4. Knowing how to pay off your credit card and small debts is handy to have

"A better solution is to list all your personal debts and then use all your resources to attack the smallest one."

"When that is paid off, use the money no longer needed for it to attack the next smallest one.  Keep doing this and you will be back on track in no time."

5. Knowing how to use your credit card properly is vital during Christmas

"Using your credit card over Christmas may not be a problem if you can pay off the purchases before interest charges apply."

"If that's unlikely to be the case, it may be worth looking at ways to cut the cost of your card."

6. Knowing that you're not alone in want to save, not spend, might give you some resolve

"But here's the interesting thing. 28% of households say they'd prefer to knuckle down and pay off debt rather than go to town with Christmas spending."

"A further 37% say they want to get debt under control before they kick start household spending"

7. Looking for a gift for yourself? There may be something little, or big, hidden away in your lost super

"If you need a little extra cash for Christmas, it's worth checking to see if there is any unclaimed money that belongs to you in a forgotten bank accounts or long lost investment."

"You could be owed anything from a minor windfall to a small fortune - and it costs nothing to check the government's records to find out."

Keep reading for handy Christmas shopping tips and don't miss your chance to win a $1000 EFTPOS card.



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