Christmas crackers

If you can’t get enough of the dad jokes you find in your Christmas crackers, here are a few more for your festive feasts.

What did Santa do when he went speed dating? He pulled a cracker!

Why was the turkey in the pop group? Because he was the only one with drumsticks!

What do you get if you cross Santa with a duck? A Christmas Quacker!

What goes “Oh, Oh, Oh”? Santa walking backwards!

Why was the snowman looking through the carrots? He was picking his nose!

Why does Santa have three gardens? So he can ‘ho ho ho’!

How did Mary and Joseph know Jesus’ weight when he was born? They had a weigh in a manger!

Why is it getting harder to buy Advent calendars? Their days are numbered!

How did Scrooge win the football game? The ghost of Christmas passed!

What do angry mice send to each other at Christmas? Cross-mouse cards!

What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby? Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!

What did the beaver say to the Christmas Tree? Nice gnawing you!

How will Christmas dinner be different after Brexit? No Brussels!

How does Christmas Day end? With the letter Y!

What happened to the turkey at Christmas? It got gobbled!

Top money-saving tips for the new year

How’s your credit card looking after doing all the Christmas shopping? Have you made yet another New Year’s resolution to be better with your money? Whatever your situation, we could probably all do with spending a little less and saving a little more.

How to save money on bills

Avoid the lazy tax

If you’ve been with a particular provider for a while, shop around for a better deal before you continue doing business with them to avoid paying the ‘lazy tax’. It’s also worth asking your current provider what they can do to keep your business. Do some research before your policy is due to auto-renew. What you’ll get as an existing customer is unlikely to be as good a deal as what you’ll get as a new customer.

Travel insurance

With international travel off the cards, many Aussies are planning to travel at home this year. Domestic travel insurance is unlikely to cover you for COVID-19 or related travel bans. Remember the bushfires that extinguished our summer holidays last year? Well, this year, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology is predicting floods. 

If you’ve paid a lot for your Aussie holiday, are hiring a rental car, or travelling with sporting equipment, you can get good value out of domestic travel insurance. But if you’ve scored a budget airfare and cheap accommodation, you might be better off claiming what you can from the airline and accommodation provider if things go awry.


Don’t pay more in fees than you have to. If you call your credit card company just before the annual fee is due and threaten to cancel the card, they may just waive it. And if you’re paying a lot of interest, switch to a low-interest credit card. 


Beat the bowser blues by doing your homework on when and where to fill up your car, and check out sites like MotorMouth which tell you which service stations currently have the lowest rates.

How to make your money go further

Special entitlements

If you’re a pensioner or hold a Health Care Card or Seniors Card, find out what benefits you can get through your local, state and federal governments or businesses. You may be able to get concessions on transport, motor vehicle registrations, rates, utilities, medications and medical supplies, animal registrations, events and movie tickets. You may also be able to have your credit card fees wiped when paying bills. Don’t hesitate to ask if any business or service offers reductions based on your having one of these cards.

Online shopping

When shopping online, especially for hotels or clothes, search around for a discount code or coupon (e.g. “ discount code”). New promo codes pop up all the time and there’s a bunch of websites that keep track of them. If you’re willing to sacrifice your email address, you can often get 5–10% off by signing up to a newsletter (and once that code lands in your inbox you can always smash the unsubscribe button).

5 ways to shop a little smarter this Christmas

If cash flow is looking a tad grim this year, here are some ideas to up the presents under the tree, noting it’s the presence around it that really counts.

We don’t need to list the events of 2020 to say it’s been a big one, particularly as we approach the festive season, where many common face-to-face
interactions will be limited to a phone or video call. As we grapple with a slightly different-looking Christmas, the good news is
many of us will go into it with a new-found appreciation of the presence of loved ones over the presents of the material kind.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for some tips around managing the costs of gift giving, here are some ways you could potentially shop a little smarter, so
your money goes a little further.

Create a plan and write yourself a list
While we might love the sound of ripping through wrapping paper, much of this generosity is unplanned, with nearly 75%
of Aussies indicating they don’t budget for gifts, which could lead to increased pressure on household budgets well into
the new year. While there’s much to be said for the spur-of-the-moment splurge, more of our generosity could be planned, with a bit of
time being spent thinking about what you might buy before hitting the shops. As many events, such as Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays fall on the
same day each year, it may also be somewhat easier planning for these occasions in advance.

Buy in bulk and look at cheaper alternatives
Bulk buying multiple gifts that aren’t intended for a specific occasion is a growing trend, with one in three of us
doing it, providing a way to save both time and money Women (31%) are more likely than men (24%) to be wise to the blessings of bulk
buying, however it’s an even more popular trend among young families It also goes without saying to keep your
finger on the pulse when it comes to sales. In the lead up to Christmas, there’s Click Frenzy, Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
Green Monday and Free Shipping Day, not to mention Boxing Day if you happen to be seeing someone after the 25th.

Give the gift of time or skill
There’s more to giving than things you can wrap – experiences matter too. Instead of another bottle of wine or a vanilla-scented
candle, taking someone out for lunch, or providing a home-cooked meal, could be more up their alley.
In fact, given the choice, 61% of us would opt for quality time, with only 30% preferring cash or a tangible gift. Intangible gifts are
also particularly important for those aged 18 to 24, with more than half saying that an intangible gift such as time, an experience,
or learning a new skill has had a more significant impact on shaping their life. On top of that, if you’re lucky enough to
be going to someone else’s place this Christmas and you’ve got skills in cooking, decorating or manicuring lawns, offering
these services to help with the prep work may be a highly valuable commodity for those taking on the job of hosting.

What is your Christmas shopping hack?