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4 easy ways to save cash before Christmas

Here's how you can reduce your spending and build your savings.

With Christmas fast approaching, the festive season has turned into a stressful time as many households try to keep up with the rising cost of living. Comparison website Finder recently found that only 46 per cent of Aussies could live off their savings for up to a month, while just 24 per cent said they could last six months or more. Thankfully, there are a few simple things you can do to potentially save up to $1,000 before — or even after — Christmas.

Here's four steps to put more money back in your pocket.

Cash decorations on Christmas tree
Many Aussies say they've saved little or no money for Christmas. (Source: Getty)

Cancel subscriptions

According to Airtasker data, Aussie households have an average of 4.4 paid subscriptions, paying about $52.97 a month (not including telco, energy and other services), with many of these going unused or forgotten after free-trial periods end.

Airtasker CEO and co-founder Tim Fung says one of the first things Aussies should do right now is take a closer look at their subscriptions. "One of the few things about subscriptions is it takes a lot of effort to take a look at — to go through your subscriptions to make sure you are turning things off that you are not using... It saves so much money," Fung told Yahoo Finance, citing that people should take a look at everything from their medical insurance to streaming subscriptions, and to make sure they're on the right kind of plan. "Financially, it makes total sense," Fung said.

Many Aussies use Airtasker to find people who can help streamline subscriptions, he said. "There are some real experts in our community who help out other customers with basically that job of going through your subscriptions — making sure you're on the right plan and turning off what you don't need," he said.

Plan your meals

Take-away meals can blow a budget quickly, so meal planning can help reduce impulse buying and ensure food isn't wasted. Fung says Aussies are able to use Airtasker to lower their food budgets in the lead-up to Christmas and beyond. "You can save money by cooking at home but a lot of people on Airtasker use it to talk to nutritionists and get advice on how to save money."

Re-sell household goods

Aussies are also encouraged to start selling unwanted items such as sports and exercise equipment, power tools, musical instruments, books and clothes on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay. Personal sellers are available on Airtasker to do this if you don't have the time.

Maintain and repair, don't replace

Another thing Aussies should consider is spending a little cash on maintenance instead of forking out hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace items. Twenty-year veteran handyman Tony Stenaj, in a separate interview with Yahoo, explained that if Aussies want to save some money, they need to remember the old adage, "Prevention is better than cure".

Stenaj, a qualified electrician and service technician, cited that some people make the mistake of skimping on maintenance. "A very small service fee of $350 could prevent a $10,000 job," he said as he stressed the importance of regular maintenance and spending a small fee for a service technician to take a look at an appliance such as an air conditioning unit at the first signs of it not working as it should.

"Everything in life needs to be looked after including us. Cars, computers, buildings — it's as simple as that," he said.

Fung shares a similar thought process, pointing to tradies on Airtasker. "Think about repairing and to find people who can help streamline subscriptions," he said. "There are some real experts in our community who help out other customers with basically that job of going through your subscriptions — making sure you're on the right plan and turning off what you don't need," he said.

Once you've reduced your spending, Fung recommends boosting your savings by setting up regular direct payments from your main bank account into a savings account, so you're putting aside money without thinking about it.

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