Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the most squandered. According to the Financial Planning Association of Australia, Aussies spend $19.8 billion on gifts each year, including Christmas gifts. That doesn’t include other Christmas expenses, such as alcohol, food, decorations, or perhaps even a Christmas getaway.
Unfortunately, such lavishness can leave you deep in debt once the holiday season is over. So, if you want to have a Merry Christmas and rock around that Christmas tree without punching a hole in your hip pocket, here are some easy Christmas tips to help you save cash this season.
Set a budget
If you want to be on Santa’s nice list, set a budget before you even think about all the wonderful things you want to buy for Christmas. More importantly, you have to stick to it, if you don’t want to dig yourself a Christmas debt hole. Think about how much cash you have and how much you want to allocate for those Christmas indulgences. Spread your budget across all areas of Christmas spending and earmark a suitable amount for each of them. Setting a budget should help to curtail any impulse buying.
Push your sleigh through the bargain bins
Bargains and sales are up all year long. Don’t wait for the last minute before you buy Christmas gifts or grocery items that you will need come Christmas day. Bring your sleigh and scour through the bargain shops and discount bins. Keep a close watch on the sales because buying price-reduced items as early as possible can obviously save you a lot of cash. And if you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet there’s no need to worry - retailers across the board have had a tough time this year so there are bound to be plenty of discounts to take advantage of before the big man slides down the chimney.
Find deals online
If you’re time poor – or if walking through the bargain bins and stores isn’t your thing - there are also heaps of great deals online. It’s also a very convenient way to do your Christmas shopping from the comfort of your own home. But the earlier you do it, the better. Not only will you be able to avoid the high cost of rush shipping, but you’ll also get your purchases in time for Christmas. Remember, deliveries always take longer in the lead up to the festive season and with COVID-19 thrown into the mix, things are bound to slow down even more than usual.
Reduce the number of gifts you give
While Christmas is the season for giving, you don’t have to be the Santa Claus of your neighbourhood. There’s no need to stop giving Christmas gifts completely, but trim down your list to only the most special people in your life, such as your immediate family members and closest friends. If you simply can’t reduce the number of people you give a gift to, you can keep things low-cost with a beautiful hand-made Christmas card and an inexpensive box of chocolates or some aromatic bath soaps. After all, it’s the thought that counts.
Give homemade gift items
There’s nothing better (or more wallet-friendly) than giving away gifts that you’ve created yourself. If you really want to save cash this Christmas, taking the DIY route is something we highly recommend. From sweet treats to home-made candles and potpourri, there are an endless number of amazing gift ideas that you can pull together on a shoestring. Check out these great ideas for gifts and Christmas decorations from Country Living, DIY & Crafts and House Beautiful. They’re not only budget-friendly - it’s also thoughtful and sweet to give a gift that you’ve exerted some effort into.
Check your list twice
Santa checks his list twice, and so should you. People tend to overspend if they don’t stick to their list. Break the budget you’ve set, and you can kiss your money-saving plan goodbye this Christmas. So, check your list twice and stick to it. If you need some last minute emergency gifts (handy to have if someone pops over with a gift when you’re empty-handed) make a few extra DIY treats so you’ve got something to exchange. And for something that’s easy-peasy but with a bit of a wow factor, check out these gorgeous DIY snow globes (and as an added bonus they’ll also keep Santa’s little helpers occupied for a bit).
Have a Merry Christmas!
We know Christmas time can be expensive, so if you want to go easy on the bank balance this year just follow our tips, and you’ll be fine. But if you do need some extra money to add to your Christmas budget, we’re here to help. Just take a look at our cash loans from $1,000 to find out how quick and easy it is to get your hands on some extra funds. Once a loan is approved, we can usually deposit the cash into your bank account within a few hours - so you can start your shopping while there’s still time.