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Dad’s not getting socks this year

Do you want to get your dad something a little more exciting than foot warmers for Christmas?

Buying gifts for your family is hard enough, but buying on a budget can be a little bit tougher. And now that we’re into September (really? Already?!) you might want to start thinking about spreading your Christmas cheer.

We’ve come up with some simple pre-Christmas strategies to make sure your family gives you extra servings of Christmas ham after they open their pressies:

Put a little money aside each week (or each time you get paid) into a separate account and use that to pay in bulk for presents for your loved ones. Even if it’s only $10 a week, you’re still taking a proactive approach to saving!

Buy your presents intermittently throughout the year leading up to Christmas. Not only do you miss out on the crazy pre-Christmas shopping hype and massive crowds, but you can also shop for presents when sales are on (plus, who doesn’t love being super organised?!).

Have a plan of attack for when you do eventually hit the shops. There’s nothing worse than wandering aimlessly through the millions of people Christmas shopping. Make a list and only buy exactly what’s on there. Put a maximum price next to the gift so you don’t blow your whole budget on one present.

 

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If you’re on the lookout for some DIY and low cost fun, here’s some cool, cheap gift ideas for family (no socks in sight):

  • Experience-based presents work a treat. Shout Dad a game of golf – the benefits are endless! You get him a rad present and you get to spend some quality time with your old man.
  • Get your creative pants on and invest in a candle-making kit to melt wax in old teacups or one-off vintage cups from St Vinnies. They look and smell delicious!
  • Bake all the things! Baking someone their favourite cupcakes or cookies will show how much you know them and they might just share the treats with you (hint hint)!
  • Notebooks and pens have come a long way since high school. Decorate pages of a diary with photos, quotes and reminders of the person you’re buying for and then they’ll be enjoying your present all year long.

Chocolate muffins on the table

Shop online! Some of the best / weirdest / most awesome presents can be found on the old world wide web. We’ve done the research and found some winners so you can shop around and save:

Whatever you do, remember Christmas is first and foremost about spending time with family and friends so don’t get too ‘wrapped up’ (Dad joke in the spirit of this article) in the money side of things.

 

The information in this blog post is general information only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. The information in this blog post is not intended to imply any recommendation, endorsement or opinion by Nimble about any financial or non-financial product. Nimble does not recommend or advise on the suitability of a product or suggest or imply a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a particular product. This blog post is for information purposes only.

Tips for a great road trip on a budget

Going on a road trip is a classic travel archetype that many people dream of doing. Packing up your belongings to fit in a car and hitting the open road can be a spirited and freeing way to see the place you’re in. While often a more economical travel method, costs can still be high and with rising petrol prices, costs can be downright exorbitant. Here are a few tips on having the best possible road trip while sticking to a budget.

Use applications

While this seems like it may defeat the purpose of unplugging and driving along the country, there are so many different (and useful!) applications for finding free camping, attractions and cheap petrol. You can also use these to map out traffic patterns so that you can avoid detours or traffic jams (did we mention saving money on petrol?). Wiki camps is a great application that tells you the closest picnic grounds, camping, even BBQ sites nearby that cost little or no money. The technology is there, you just need to use it to save yourself some time and money while you’re hitting the road.

Go green and go reusable

In addition to leaving less of a carbon footprint in the world, using reusable tools at home will save you lots of expenses in the long run. If you can, purchase a water bottle with a built in filter so that you can fill up wherever you are. Bring along your favourite reusable coffee cup (hello KeepCups) so you can cut down on cardboard while you get your caffeine hit. Definitely scrap the paper plates and plastic utensils and bring a picnic set for each person in the car.

Picnic for twoBuy food, keep food

Always keep food in the car so that if hunger strikes, you don’t necessarily have to eat at the petrol station, unintentionally wasting money on food that probably won’t be the best anyway. Every time you are near a grocery store, just restock these items and you’ll always have something to nibble on in the car. The best non-perishable items for road trips are: cereal, dried fruit, peanut butter, wraps, bread, canned tuna, pasta, couscous, or the old faithful, trail mix and nuts.

Don’t waste fuel!

Petrol is probably going to be your biggest cost next to accommodation and there are so many ways you can prevent wasting fuel in your car:

  • Be sure your tyres are properly inflated. Slightly deflated tyres can decrease fuel mileage.
  • Pack light. The more weight in your car, the worse your mileage will be.
  • Maintain a steady speed. Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain consistent speed.
  • Avoid rapid acceleration and braking, which uses more fuel.
  • Park your car and walk whenever possible if you want to explore an area.

By following just a couple of these tips you can make your road trip friendly to almost any budget. A cheap road trip is on the horizon – just be responsible, plan carefully, budget your money and you will have a truly enriching experience. Oh, and don’t forget to make a playlist…music is of great importance!

Will Norquay is part of the team at Stayz. He’s a  great travel and photography lover. He likes to discover new places and eateries around Australia and share his experiences and stories with other travellers.