Tips to save this Christmas

Just because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.

No matter how much planning goes into Christmas, there always seems to be something not accounted for, whether it be an extra present or an extra relative at the dinner table.

Christmas is one of the most expensive times of the year, with Australians tipped to spend $25 billion collectively in 2018.

Not to worry though, we’ve created a set of easy to follow tips to help you save this Christmas without sacrificing the merriness of the holiday season.

1. Check to see what you already have

You don’t need to purchase new Christmas decorations every year. The ones you brought last year will do just fine. And savvy shoppers will attest that the best Christmas decoration deals come on Boxing Day.

After searching through your old decorations, why not have a look at what else you have around the house. If you have any clothes, books, jewellery, music and other items that someone in your family might enjoy, there is nothing wrong with regifting. Just make sure the gift recipient didn’t give it to you in the first place or the person who did is around when you regift. Some items could also be sold online or through a garage sale to make extra funds for new presents.

2. Make a list

This tip comes directly from the jolly old fella himself. Before you venture out to the shops, make a list and check it twice.

Like grocery shopping, you will be less likely to overspend and buy unnecessary items and presents if it is all written down beforehand. Best of all, it is much easier to track your spending if you have a written list of everything you’ve brought.

3. Cheap out on gift wrapping and cards

Some people love buying gift wrapping or cards with their favourite characters on it. But let’s be honest – most of the time it all gets ripped up and thrown in the trash.

So, if you’re looking to save costs, why not have the kids draw on some paper and create their own Christmas cards. It’s far more personal than store-bought and cost effective too.

The same can also be done with Christmas wrapping if you buy a neutral colour and have art supplies that can write over the top of it. Otherwise, basic coloured wrapping will do just fine.

4. Set some limits

It’s very easy to go overboard at Christmas, so set some boundaries. You can do this by discussing with other family members a value limit to spend on gifts, or only buy presents for kids, or even secret Santa.

Outside of being money poor, Christmas often leaves us time poor, so set some boundaries to the amount of time you will spend at the shops, cooking and travelling. The day is meant to be enjoyed, after all.

5. Plan for next year

It’s never too early to get a jump start on Christmas for next year. As mentioned earlier, the best time to buy decorations is just after the current Christmas.

You can also shop the sales throughout the year and layby, so it is not a massive hit all at once next festive season.

The best advice would be to start saving now. If you can squirrel away at least $10-$20 a week throughout the year, you will be all set next Christmas.