04 December 2017 7 ways to save this silly season! In the lead-up to Christmas, it’s easy to overspend, so we’ve come up with some smart ways to share the love over the silly season. 1. Clever planning Starting Christmas shopping early should help you to stay calm and in control of your spending. Do your research online and compare prices first. If you have something particular in mind you could do a web search to find stores that stock the item and compare the prices on offer for that item. Lists are a Christmas shopper’s best friend – so make sure you have one for gifts, food and beverages, detailing how much you’re prepared to spend on each item. 2. Gift hacks Gift-giving at Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. Some families agree to buy gifts for kids only, others go with Secret Santa to keep numbers down. Acts of kindness can be more meaningful than expensive gifts, so why not give loved ones redeemable vouchers for things like babysitting, massages or homemade dinners. You could also bake your own gifts – homemade gingerbread, jam, rumballs or shortbread wrapped up beautifully are inexpensive gifts that your friends and family will love. 3. Holiday savings If you’d like to get out of town for the holidays, a house swap could save you a considerable amount of money. To get started, register with a reputable house swap website where you can list your house, view other houses and arrange swaps. 4. Debit over credit In the lead up to Christmas, consider leaving your credit card at home to avoid spending money you don’t have. Home Loans or RAMS Action account customers can apply for our Tap and Pay eftpos card1 which allows you to shop with money from your account rather than credit. Best of all, for purchases under $100 you do not require a PIN. 5. Free shipping If you plan to shop online, be wary of retailers that charge excessive fees for delivery/shipping which can add significantly to your total at checkout. Larger retailers often offer free shipping, so do your research. Also check delivery times as goods can take longer to arrive around Christmas time, so get in early to avoid having to pay extra for express shipping. 6. Points and vouchers Another good way to save over Christmas is to use accrued reward points to help pay for presents. Many of us also have unused gift cards floating around from last Christmas – why not put these to good use before they expire and use these to purchase gifts. 7. Smart savings Finally, pop the money you save this Christmas into a RAMS Action with Offset2 account linked to your eligible variable home loan. Savings in this account are offset daily against your outstanding balance, which over time could reduce the interest payable on the home loan. Things you should know: Fees, charges, terms and conditions apply. Information in this material does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. 1. Not available to companies or trusts. eftpos Tap & Pay™ and eftpos Tap & PIN™ are trademarks of eftpos Payments Australia Limited ABN 37 136 180 366, used under licence. 2. Not available to companies or trusts or on a line of credit or on any home loan while the interest rate is fixed. RAMS Financial Group Pty Limited ABN 30 105 207 538 AR 405465 Australian credit licence 388065. Credit provider and issuer of RAMS deposit products: Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.