Christmas is a time for thanks and reflection. It’s a time for families to gather together, exchange presents, decorate their homes and enjoy delicious food. However, it's no secret that Christmas can be an expensive time of year. Nevertheless, with some careful planning and creativity, it's definitely possible to save some money. Below are our top six tips to help you keep your expenses in check this holiday season.
1. Create a Christmas budget
If you follow our blogs, you'll know we highly recommend creating and maintaining a monthly budget, however, at Christmas time, your budget may need a rethink. Begin by calculating how much you can afford to spend and then assign specific amounts for all your Christmas expenses, such as gifts, decorations, and food. While you're at it, suggest a gift exchange with spending limits for adult family members and close friends. Or, consider drawing names from a hat, so each person only has to buy a gift for one adult.
2. Go DIY
If you're looking for unique gifts to give your loved ones this holiday season, creating something yourself is a great idea. If you need inspiration, look no further than Country Living's 100 DIY Christmas Gifts to Spread Christmas Joy. Our favourites include:
3. Regift or pass on
We’ve all received gifts that were not quite our style, and they usually end up in the back of the storage cupboard, waiting for the day we might rediscover them and decide they are now back in vogue. Not only that, we’ve all spent money on items that seemed like a good idea at the time but have never been used. As the lead-up to Christmas approaches, it's a good time to take stock of all those new and unused things that could find a better home elsewhere. Just because you don’t like a gift, doesn’t mean your friends or family won't love it. Just try not to give a present back to the person who gave it to you in the first place!
4. Plan your meals
Although it's best to purchase some Christmas items closer to the big day, you can still buy many things in advance, particularly if they are on special. Christmas pudding, festive nuts, crackers, cheeses, stuffing mix, sauces, and frozen vegetables are all examples of items that can be purchased a few months beforehand so your December budget doesn't take such a big hit.
5. Plan your travel
If you're planning to travel during Christmas, it’s a good idea to plan well in advance, as airfares usually skyrocket at this time of year. If you can be flexible with your travel dates, you’ll often find cheaper fares a few days before or after your preferred departure dates. And if you choose to travel with carry-on luggage only, you’ll also save money. Nowadays, there are amazing bags available that are designed to maximise your carry-on space. They're not cheap but if you travel a few times a year, you'll soon pay for them from the money you save by not paying for checked baggage. Here's a comprehensive review of the best carry-on luggage for 2023.
6. Create a festive table setting from the garden
If you take a look out your window, you’ll see loads of natural, living elements that you can use to create a beautifully festive table setting. Starting with a white tablecloth, you'll have a blank canvas on which you can place some eucalyptus tree foliage, green palm fronds, jasmine branches or even bunches of herbs tied together (such as rosemary and mint). You can also attach small stems of greenery to your wine glasses for an additional festive touch.
It might be too late for Christmas 2023, but the Boxing Day sales are also an excellent opportunity to purchase some Christmassy napkins, plates, and serving ware so you can have plenty to celebrate next year.
Have a magical Christmas
Remember, the holiday season is all about spending quality time with your loved ones and expressing your gratitude towards them. It's not about how much you spend, but rather about creating meaningful memories and experiences. We understand that Christmas can be tough on your budget, even if you try to save and be creative. So, if you need some financial support, we're here to help. Our cash loans of up to $5,000 are quick and it's easy to apply. Once approved, the funds are usually available in your account within a few hours. This way, you can enjoy a stress-free Christmas with the people who matter the most.