Each year, Christmas seems to arrive more quickly and with it the cost of yummy food and gifts. Saving for Christmas during the year is a good way to prepare for the demands of the festive season. Here is some useful information about some Christmas savings products to help you decide if one of these products is right for you. We’ve also got some great Christmas saving tips for you.
The team here at Kiwi Families has been hard at work evaluating Christmas savings products so you don’t have to do the leg work. Here’s our report on four popular products currently on the market.
|What it is||A prepaid Visa card issued by New Zealand Post to help you to save and shop for Christmas. It offers the security and convenience of New Zealand Post and Visa plus bonus partner offers and prize draws.|
|When it’s available||The card is locked from 14 January until 19 November. You can spend funds on the card from 19 November to 14 January and as it’s prepaid, you only spend what you load.|
|How to get it||Anyone over the age of 10 can get a card at any PostShop. You can use the Loaded for Christmas calculator to plan your Christmas savings. TXT, phone, and online services are available to keep track of your savings or you can get text or email alerts.|
|Spend anywhere, bonus partners, and prize draws||As it’s Visa you can use your card in stores, online, over the phone, and to get cash from ATMs here and worldwide.During the spend period you get discounts and special offers when you use your card in store at any of the 13 bonus partner retailers. Every month there are two prize draws of $200.|
Conclusion: Encourages you to save, gives you the flexibility to shop around for the best bargains, and provides access to bonus partner specials and cash draws. The online tools are really useful and you can only spend your savings from the 19 November until the 14th of January – which is a great way to protect your savings. However, an application fee and annual fee apply.
|What it is||A savings card you add money to during the year, which earns you a bonus to spend in store. You decide what to buy and spend your funds and bonus in store.|
|When it’s available||The Christmas Club Year runs from 1 December to 30 November. You can redeem the funds in store any time of the year, but then you do not get the bonus.|
|How to get it||Sign up in store. Add funds at a checkout, by Direct Debit, or Automatic Payment.|
|Bonuses and redemption||Bonuses are added at the end of the Christmas Club Year. For example, for amounts deposited between 1 December 2010 and 30 November 2011, the bonus is credited on 1 December 2011 and can then be spent in store.Bonus eligibility is as follows:Period of deposit For every $5 deposited* Total you can spend when you redeem
1 December to 29 February $5 $5.32
1 March to 31 May $5 $5.27
1 June to 31 August $5 $5.22
1 September to 30 November $5 $5.17
* Bonuses will be calculated as a proportionate percentage of the paid amount.
Conclusion: Helps you to make regular savings, earn bonuses on what you save, and you can spend your savings and the bonuses on items you choose in store. However, you are restricted to spending at PAK’nSAVE and you lose your bonus if you spend the funds before 30 November.
|What it is||A way to save during the year for Christmas hampers, toys, gifts, home furnishings, electronics, and vouchers. You can order for yourself or as a gift for someone else with a New Zealand delivery address.|
|When it’s available||You make weekly payments to enjoy a debt free Christmas – payments depend on when you place your order and how often you pay. You can pay by Direct Debit, Automatic Payment, or Credit Card. Christmas products are delivered between mid-November and mid-December.Products are available via a payment plan, with no interest charges and no credit traps. You can add products throughout the year and Chrisco guarantees that its products are good quality.|
|How to get it||Order online, or by mail, phone, or fax. You can change your order up to the Last Change Date (which can change your payments). For example, the Last Change Date and the Final Payment Date for Christmas Hampers 2011 is 21 October 2011.|
|Prices and cancellation||The price you pay is fixed for the year and includes the cost of collecting your payments, packing, delivery, and GST. Chrisco charges a little more than some supermarkets because of these extra costs.You can cancel your order within 21 days with no cancellation fee but then a cancellation fee of 20% of the amount you have paid towards your order applies (to a maximum of $250). Your order cannot be cancelled once it is fully paid.|
Conclusion: Helps you to make regular payments towards items for Christmas, avoid Christmas crowds, and save time – the goods are delivered to you. However, Chrisco charges more than supermarkets and the hampers need to be stored somewhere, and may include unwanted items.
|What it is||A card to help you save for Christmas. Once you’ve joined you can’t spend the money on your card until December, then you can spend the money in store and get 5% off purchases you make on the card.|
|When it’s available||Use the funds on the card during December to buy any product at The Warehouse or The Warehouse Pharmacy (except medicines and lay-bys). You can get the balance refunded or exchanged for cash, but you can spend the balance on another purchase in December.|
|How to get it||Pick up a card at the checkout and activate it with a minimum deposit of $5. Add money during the year at the checkout, by Direct Debit, Automatic Payment, or Internet Banking. There is a 7-day period to get your money out if you change your mind, but after that, you can’t get your money out. You can check your card balance at any checkout or use the scanning posts in stores.|
|5% discount, prize draw||The 5% discount applies to all the products being purchased using the proceeds from your Christmas Club Card (excluding medicine and lay-bys) and is calculated after all other discounts have been worked out. There is a monthly prize draw to win $500 to be added to your Christmas Club Card.|
Conclusion: Helps you to save for Christmas, you can spend your savings in store and get 5% off purchases you make using the card, and you get the chance to win $500. However, you can’t spend the money until December and you are restricted to spending your money at The Warehouse.
- Set a goal – work out what your Christmas spending is likely to involve and set a budget. How many gifts do you need to buy? How much do you want to spend on each gift? How much do you need for Christmas food?
- Start saving early – Pay off any debt from last Christmas first. Work out what you need to save weekly or monthly and regularly put money into a specific account. Or, choose a Christmas savings product that works for you.
- Be wise when buying gifts – Set a budget per person or family and stick to it. Buy in December and look for special offers and sales, or buy at sales during the year.