5 November, 2021 5 November, 2021

50 Days to Go....50 Ways to Save for an Australian Christmas

Community

1.     Contact your local Salvation Army and ask about the Christmas Cheer Program

2.     Seek out which church based organisations are offering Christmas day lunch in your area

3.     If don’t want to feel the financial pressure of Christmas Day, consider volunteering your time on Christmas Day to help others

4.     Contact your local council, community centre or library to see what free Christmas activities are offered in your area during the Christmas period

5.     Visit your local op shop for Christmas supplies

6.     If you are considering buying a pet as a gift for Christmas, consider adopting from a rescue centre

Food

7.     Buy in bulk and split the cost with friends and/or family members

8.     Start buying non-perishable groceries now

9.     If you know that there will be non-perishable groceries that you will need for Christmas, buy 2 of them when they are half price, that way you will have one for now and one for Christmas

10.  Instead of an expensive hot turkey, consider a non-traditional, southern-hemisphere inspired Christmas Day menu of cold meat and salads

11.  As most supermarkets are closed on Christmas Day, pay them a visit the night before right before they close to see what food has been discounted

12.  It doesn’t snow this side of the equator on Christmas Day, so take Christmas outside. As an option, suggest that everyone bring a salad or a packet of sausages to cook on the public BBQ at your local park.

13.  Instead of trying to buy (or make) a Christmas pudding, consider making a ‘non-traditional’ ice cream cake

14.  Consider using accumulated supermarket loyalty points to buy your Christmas food

15.  Instead of hosting a Christmas lunch or dinner, consider the cheaper option of a Christmas breakfast (no turkey required)

16.  Avoid Christmas hampers that have year-long payment arrangements. You can end up paying a lot more for items compared to if you purchased them outright.

17.  Don’t feel pressured to serve ‘traditional’ food at Christmas time. In Japan, it is tradition for around 3.6 million families to get a ‘holiday party bucket’ from KFC on Christmas Eve… 

18.  Instead of buying a whole turkey, ham or chicken, consider buying separate cuts of meat (e.g. legs, wings, roasts, etc.)

Presents

19.  Commit to a budget. Draw up a table with who you are buying for and how much you can afford to spend on each person. Do not go over your budget.

20.  If the children in your family are getting older, consider the option of a Secret Santa (each person is responsible for only one gift)

21.  Take advantage of the extended Christmas shopping hours. There will be less people around, which means you may feel less stressed and rushed

22.  Don’t feel pressured by others, or yourself, to buy Christmas presents you cannot afford

23.  Wrapping paper can be expensive. Consider newspaper, material, cellophane, brown paper, etc

24.  Consider baking cookies or making a Christmas pudding as alternative to buying someone a Christmas present

25.  Consider making homemade pickles, jams, preserves and giving them as gifts

26.  Only go shopping for Christmas gifts when you know what you want to buy – avoid impulse purchases that are not within your budget

27.  Save money on buying Christmas cards by sending your Christmas greetings electronically via email, text or social media

28.  If you are creative, try a DIY present – soaps, candles, a knitted scarf, a tie dye t shirt, a photo frame, a painting, etc

29.  Consider giving the ‘gift of time’ to someone. Create a coupon book of activities that you could do together in the future (e.g. watching a movie of the other person’s choice)

30.  Do not put yourself in financial hardship just so you can buy what others consider to be ‘the most amazing, best Christmas present of 2021’… it will be something completely different by Christmas 2022

31.  If you don’t know what to get someone, consider a small charity donation on their behalf

32.  Consider giving gift cards instead of actual gifts

33.  Avoid the temptation of getting ‘quick, easy’ money through pay day lenders to buy Christmas presents

34.  Recycle Christmas wrapping paper and gift bags from previous years

Decorations

35.  Get your children involved by making your own Christmas cards

36.  Buy your 2022 Christmas decorations on or after Boxing Day

37.  If buying a new Christmas tree is not in your budget this year, consider designing and building your own

38.  To give the traditional ‘Christmas tree’ a modern twist, decorate an indoor plant

39.  Make your own table decorations – i.e. use a roll of wrapping paper as a table runner or pick foliage from your garden

40.  Make your own Christmas stockings by decorating old pillow cases

41.  Use newspaper and craft paint to make a home-made Christmas garland

42.  Choose solar Christmas lights over electric

43.  Do not put yourself in debt trying to make your house look like something you saw online. You don’t need to make people believe that you live in a European, snow covered cottage…

Budget

44.  Are you a casual employee and does your work place close over Christmas? Make sure that you have funds saved up to cover essential living expenses over the Christmas break.

45.  Do not put yourself into financial hardship for the sake of others. If you cannot afford to attend a Christmas function, it is ok to politely decline the invitation.

46.  It is inevitable that there will be people out there that will spend more/less than you at Christmas. Remember to work within your budget this Christmas

47.  The weather at Christmas time can be extremely hot. Consider doing a home energy audit on your air conditioner/cooling system to see the amount of electricity it uses and what it is costing you

48.  For Christmas 2022, consider putting money away each fortnight into a separate bank account

49.  Create a Christmas spending budget and keep track of food, presents, decorations, etc 

50.  Try to avoid using the money you would spend on essential living expenses (rent, electricity, etc) to pay for Christmas. This will catch up with you when Christmas is over.

 

 

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25 December, 2020 25 December, 2020

12 days of Christmas with Affordable SA

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

An emu up a gum tree?!

Merry Christmas!

It feels like the Christmas season starts earlier every year, with shops, online stores and businesses putting up decorations and holding promotions in the months leading up to Christmas day. But, did you know that the Christmas season and the 12 days of Christmas actually begin on Christmas Day itself?

The 12 days of Christmas is the period in Christian theology that marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi, the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings’ Day). 

The 12 Days of Christmas song that most of us are familiar with comes from an English composer named Frederic Austin. In 1909, he set the melody and lyrics (including changing 'colly' to 'calling') and added as his own flourish, the drawn-out cadence of 'five go-old rings'. The earliest known version first appeared in a 1780 children's book called 'Mirth With-out Mischief'.

Learn more about the history of the '12 days of Christmas' in this interesting article: https://www.vox.com/21796404/12-days-of-christmas-explained

Australian lyrics of the 12 Days of Christmas: https://www.thechristmastreefarm.com.au/australian-12-days-of-christmas-lyrics/

 

Christmas Day

It’s Christmas Day – time to spend time with family and friends. To be honest, I’m not even sure why you are reading this? Go, get off your phone or computer and enjoy Christmas.

If you're alone this Christmas for any reason, take a moment to pick up a phone and connect with a friend or family member.

If you don't have access to a phone or wi-fi, all Telstra pay phones are free to use over Christmas till New Years Day: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-23/telstra-payphones-made-free-for-christmas/13009548 - This includes Telstra Air wi-fi access points.

Here's some tips from the ABC if you're in isolation or alone on Christmas Day: https://www.abc.net.au/everyday/tips-for-spending-christmas-alone/100004504

Lifeline provides a 24/7 helpline for crisis support and suicide prevention on 13 11 14.

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/health-care/lifeline


From all of us at Affordable SA, we wish you a safe and very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year for 2021


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18 December, 2020 18 December, 2020

Only a Week till Christmas

Where does the time go? Only 7 Days until Christmas!

Time to pick-up last-minute gifts and prepare for celebrations with family and friends. There’s presents to wrap, food to make and lots and lots of little jobs that can make it a very busy time. 


Christmas Finances

The tricky thing about the festive season is that life doesn’t stop. Your real estate agent will still direct debit your rental payment, your electricity company will still want your quarterly bill paid and your telco company will still demand your BPay payment on a set day of the month.

With the added expense of Christmas, the end of the year can put a lot of pressure on people’s financial situation and unfortunately here on the Affordable SA helpline we tend to see the aftermath at the start of the new year.

Being part of the billion-dollar Christmas debt hangover is no way to start the New Year. If you are struggling with your expenses call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 to speak to a Financial Counsellor.

You can also find a range of programs that can help here:

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances


Food for Christmas

Have you got enough food for you and your family this Christmas?

There's still time to access food pantries and emergency relief, but be quick as services may be closed, providing limited service or have different hours during the Christmas and New Year period.

A food pantry offers free or low cost food and groceries to the community. Find a local Food Pantry here:

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/food-pantry

You can find local, emergency relief here:

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/food/emergency-relief

You can also call the Affordable SA helpline to be connected to services near you that can help. Call the helpline on 1800 025 539


A Christmas Together

It's also an important time to check in on people you know who may be experiencing loneliness or hardship.

Spare a thought for your elderly neighbour who lives alone, your friend who is experiencing financial hardship, your relative who is going through a separation or your co-worker who is struggling with depression.

If you know someone who finds this time of year especially difficult, consider reaching out to them to show that you are thinking of them.

If you or someone you know finds this time of year especially difficult, services such as Lifeline are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to take your call on 13 11 14

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/health-care/lifeline


Have a Merry Christmas South Australia

From everyone at Affordable SA, we wish you a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2021!

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2 December, 2020 2 December, 2020

Salvos Christmas Cheer

Christmas is meant to be a time of celebration and joy, but if times are tough it can be challenging and isolating. 

If you are unsure if you have enough food for Christmas, or you don’t know how you will afford presents for your kids, please contact your local Salvation Army. COVID-19 and other challenging circumstances may have you facing unexpected financial difficulties. The Salvos are committed to giving you non-judgemental and confidential support to help you through this season.

Christmas Cheer

Every year, local Salvation Army centers and churches give hope to individuals and families in need by providing food hampers and gift assistance. Christmas hampers are prepared with care using donated goods and shared with those in the community who have fallen on tough times and during the Christmas season.

Accessing Support

Registrations for Christmas Cheer close soon! 

Each Salvos Centre and Corp organises 'Christmas Cheer' slightly differently, but the overall practice is much the same. You contact your local Salvos to register for Christmas Cheer. You would normally then go to the Centre for a brief interview and fill out some forms. You will be given a timeslot to attend to collect the hamper/vouchers and toys.

This year things are being done differently due to COVID-19. Contact your local Salvos or the Salvos Assistance Line on 1300 371 288

More information is available on the Salvation Army website: https://www.salvationarmy.org.au/christmas/need-help-this-christmas/food-hamper-and-gift-assistance/


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1 December, 2020 1 December, 2020

COVID SAfe Check-In

The South Australian Government is introducing COVID SAfe Check-In, to enhance contact tracing and keep our community COVID safe.

If someone in South Australia tests positive to COVID-19, the COVID SAfe Check-In enables SA Health to quickly contact others who may have been exposed to the virus and stop the spread of COVID-19.

For the community

COVID SAfe Check-In is a new feature that has been added to the free mySA GOV app

https://my.sa.gov.au/

You can download the mySA GOV app using your smart phone. In the mySA GOV app, select the COVID SAfe Check-In tile when you arrive at a venue or business, and follow the prompts to scan their unique QR code and check in.

You are not required to login to use the COVID SAfe Check-In feature.

Download the app from Google Play or the App Store from the afternoon of Tuesday 1 December. Apple users will be able to sign in manually until the Apple version is updated and available on Tuesday afternoon. If you already have the mySA GOV app, make sure you have the latest version, which may require you to download the app update.

If you do not have a compatible smart phone, a paper record will be available for you to provide your details.

When you first enter the COVID SAfe Check-In tile, you will be asked to fill in your details and mobile number. You will then get a text message with a unique code to enter in to the app. This is to verify your phone number. You will only have to do this once.

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20 November, 2020 20 November, 2020

SA Lockdown to End Early

South Australia will come out of lockdown at midnight on Saturday, three days early! 

Outdoor exercise with family or housemates will be allowed "effective immediately”

After record numbers of tests there has only been three new coronavirus cases linked to the Parafield cluster since yesterday.

Everyone has been doing a wonderful job of staying home and staying safe! Well done South Australia!

Read more about the changes to the lockdown on ABC News: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-20/sa-coronavirus-hard-lockdown-to-end-early/12903834

Not Out Of The Woods Yet!

There are still a lot of unknowns and potential for the situation to change. Remember to wash your hands regularly, practice socially distancing, wear a mask if you’re going out. Let’s make sure we stop the spread here in SA: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/health-advice/stop-the-spread-in-sa

Are You In Quarantine?

For those in quarantine and who are directly affected by the Parafield cluster, there is direct government financial support and payments available. You may be eligible for ‘Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment’ or the ‘SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment’ which is a single $300 payment to provide financial support to workers in South Australia who are required to self-isolate because of a public health direction from SA Health and mandatory COVID-19 testing, and do not have access to paid leave or other income support

Find more information here: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/school-and-community/financial-support-for-individuals

Feeling Financially Stressed?

If you are feeling overwhelmed about your current financial situation and you would like to talk to someone, call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 to speak to a free Financial Counsellor. You can find a range of options here: https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services

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19 November, 2020 19 November, 2020

You've Got This SA

Keeping yourself fit and healthy can be difficult in normal circumstances, so it’s going to be very tricky during the lockdown. The best advice seems to be to keep it simple. Make sure you move as much as possible and eat lots of fruit and veggies. Drink plenty of water and get quality sleep (about 8 hours is ideal). Dance and sing often! 

Try to keep some routine for you and your family, so make exercise time consistent if you can. Start the day with free online yoga, or get some cardio into your lunch break, learn a new language with Duo Lingo or try making meditation a standard part of your day. This can be an opportunity to do something positive for yourself and your family.

It's an important time to keep in touch with friends and relatives who are living alone. A quick phone or facetime call to see how a loved one is going could make all the difference in that persons day and is an opportunity to lift their spirits and also lifts yours. Keep connected and support each other.

If you are feeling stressed or finding it hard to cope and you need to talk to someone, you can find support here: https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/well-being/covid-19-virtual-support-network

Affordable SA believes that your health and well-being is an important part of managing yourself through troubled times and financial hardship. Helping you to respond to the challenges that we all face today and the future. Check out the Well-Being and Healthcare section of the app and website to find more ways to look after yourself without breaking the budget.

If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 it is important to contact your providers and creditors straight away by visiting their websites or giving them call to see what immediate assistance is available. If you're experiencing financial hardship ring the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 or make an appointment to speak to a financial counsellor. They are free, independent, confidential and most of all, they are there to help you.

If you are in need of support with accessing food, food pantries are operating as essential services - find a food pantry location near you here: https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/food

Remember to wash you hands with soap and water and practice social distancing as much as you can. Wear a mask if you do need to go out. Stay safe but focus on keeping healthy and busy at home – its up to you now!

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18 November, 2020 18 November, 2020

Lockdown for South Australia

South Australia will be locked down for six days as of midnight tonight.

People will be restricted from going outside of their homes – only one person per household will be able to leave the home each day, but only for specific purposes.

Get the latest updates here: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

From midnight the following facilities will be closed:

  • All schools, except for those servicing children of essential workers and vulnerable children
  • Takeaway food
  • Universities
  • Pubs, cafes, coffee shops and food courts
  • Elective surgery, except for urgent operations and cancer treatment
  • Open inspections and auctions
  • All outdoor sport or physical activity
  • Construction industry
  • Factories other than food and medical products

Other restrictions will include:  

  • FIFO work will be stopped for six days
  • Regional travel is not approved
  • Aged care and disability residential facilities will be in lockdown
  • Holiday homes will not be available for lease or rental
  • Wedding and funerals will be banned for six days
  • Masks will be required in all areas outside of the home
  • Exercise will not be available outside of the home

The following services are considered essential and will remain open:

  •  Water power and telecommunication
  • Supermarkets, but they will be limited in terms of access
  • Medical including mental health, supplies andaccess to services
  • Public transport
  • Airport and freight services including courier services
  • Petrol stations, access to financial institutions and postal services
  • Essential parts of mining, smelting and large factories
  • Childcare but only for families of essential workers
  • Veterinary services

COVID-19 Support Network

If you need support during this difficult time, you can find a range of support services in South Australia that can help people with issues as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Providing support and services in a COVID-19 safe-contact environment and beyond.

https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/well-being/covid-19-virtual-support-network

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17 November, 2020 17 November, 2020

New COVID-19 Restrictions

A number of COVID-19 cases have been identified in the community in South Australia. For the latest updates and advice, visit the SA Covid-19 information web site: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

You can also call the dedicated SA COVID-19 information line - 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, 7 days.

1800 253 787


Restrictions and responsibilities

You can find all the latest on restrictions for activities, travel and gatherings here: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities


Contact Tracing

If you visited any of the locations in the link below during the listed times, you do not need to self-quarantine but you should monitor for symptoms and get tested immediately if symptoms appear.

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/testing+and+tracing/contact+tracing


Testing for Covid-19

https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/testing+and+tracing/testing+for+covid-19

People who have any of the symptoms below, even if mild, should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as symptoms appear:

  •  fever OR chills (with no alternative illness that explains these symptoms)
  • cough 
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste or smell

Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency, such as difficulty breathing or chest pain.


Everyday Precautions

Practising good hygiene is the first step in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

  •  Wash your hands often with soap and running water, for at least 20 seconds. Dry them with paper towel or a hand dryer. Alternatively use alcohol based hand sanitisers.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Stay home if you’re unwell to avoid making others sick.


Physical Distancing

Physical distancing (or social distancing) means avoiding close contact and crowded places wherever you can. You should:

  • keep at least 1.5 metres distance from others wherever and whenever possible
  • avoid hugging and kissing
  • swap handshakes for a wave
  • turn face to face interactions into phone or video conference calls
  • consider working from home
  • pay using tap-and-go instead of cash.


Financial Impacts

If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 it is important to contact your providers and creditors straight away by visiting their websites or giving them call to see what immediate assistance is available.

If you are feeling overwhelmed about your current financial situation and you would like to talk to someone, call the Affordable SA Helpline on 1800 025 539 to speak to a free Financial Counsellor. You can find a range of options here: https://affordablesa.com.au/programs/money-and-finances/financial-counselling-services

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