8 Tips to spend less during The Extravagant Quarter (Spring/Xmas)

During a progress meeting with a Leader client this week, the agenda addressed cash-flow and spending.

My clients mentioned that they’ve cut down on how much they are spending but were conscious that “The Extravagant Quarter” had just begun.

They were referring to the October to December quarter when there are a lot of birthday parties, Xmas and other distractions like the Spring Racing Carnival.

I love that they’ve named it:  The Extravagant Quarter.  It tells me that they’re aware of what impact it has on their plan.

This prompted me to ask:

Is there anything we can do to feel a bit more in control during The Extravagant Quarter?

Can we save money in a quarter when there is typically a lot of spending?

I posed this question to my clients, my wife and the Roskow team in Melbourne team, and some of the feedback/ideas (in my mind) are fantastic!

As you will see, there’s a consistent theme: GET ORGANISED.

If you have any ideas of your own, we invite you to add to them to this LinkedIn thread.  Here is the list:

  1. Xmas Presents: Make a list now for all the people that you need to buy for.  By making a list now and starting your shopping early, there is more chance of you finding a bargain.
  2. Xmas Presents #2:  Stick to your list.  Do not buy any ‘just in case’ this year.  Stick to the plan!
  3. Limit takeaway.  Over this period you’re not going to miss out on some amazing food and experiences.  So don’t get lazy about the shopping list and planning out meals.  Drop into the local butcher for some pre-prepared meals like Lasagna or Chicken Pie – it’s more expensive than making from scratch but far cheaper than takeaway.
  4. Races #1: How about getting public transport there, instead of an Uber?   Sure, get the Uber home if you have babysitters waiting or you’re just tired.  The excitement of the event overpowers the need for comfort on the way there.
  5. Races #2: Borrow accessories from a friend.  My wife and (female) client said dresses and shoes are a rare lend, but a hat or head piece that can cost in excess of $150 can be borrowed from a friend for free.  Once again , you’ll need to get organised and plan in advance because the weekends are busy, and dropping in to pick up the hat isn’t that easy.  However, on your way to Dan Murphy’s you could take a small detour.  It’s also a great excuse to catch up with a friend and kill two birds with one stone.
  6. Races #3: Getting your nails done?  Instead of going to the upmarket one where you can just drop in anytime and get seat, plan ahead.  Get organised and book a time to go to a much lower cost option (with the same or similar quality outcome).
  7. Alcohol: plan ahead and buy bulk.  Go to Dan Murphy’s and buy a case, not single bottles of wine or a six-pack.
  8. THIS IS MY FAVOURITE (apologies if people have been doing this for years, I only just discovered it): Start shopping online for Xmas presents (because you’ve made your list and are super organised), put the gift in your basket, and then leave the site.  This drives some websites nuts.  They hate seeing items sitting in the basket not checked out.  They hate it so much, that if they have your contact details, they start sending you discount offers.  Last night, I added a pair of Nike running shorts to an online basket and walked away to test this theory.

This spring, take the opportunity to shave $50 off the total spend here and there by getting organised in advanced.  That way, you can feel more relaxed and guilt free when living it up and having fun with friends.  Good luck.  See you in the next quarter.

Matthew Ross

Director and Independent Financial Adviser