The nine cash saving tips of Christmas
While Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, it can cause a lot of stress on the average bank balance.
According to market research by Roy Morgan, Australians will spend about $63.9 billion in pre-Christmas sales this year — up 3% from last year1. But with interest rates going up and food and fuel costs soaring, your Christmas budget might not stretch as far in 2022.
To make this silly season a little easier, here are nine tips to keep more cash in your pocket this Christmas.
1. Have a budget (and stick to it)
We know budgets aren't very festive but knowing how much cash you can spare and having a plan of attack is the best way to ensure you don't end up on the debt naughty list.
Remember to include gifts, decorations, food, drinks, fuel, and entertainment. This way, you'll know if you're going overboard and can rein in that spending.
2. Bring back Secret Santa
Buying gifts for every aunt, uncle, and blow-in cousin can stretch any Christmas budget — especially for big families. Instead, bring back Secret Santa to spread the joy more evenly without breaking the bank.
Besides reducing the time spent elbowing through busy shopping malls, buying just one gift means you can spend more time getting your loved ones something truly special.
If money is tight, you can also limit gift prices, so everyone can afford to take part and enjoy the gift of giving.
Plus, it's fun! Who doesn't love a little added mystery when opening gifts?
3. Don't go overboard on kids’ gifts
Instead of buying seven stocking fillers (five of which they'll likely lose or break before the end of the holidays), limit yourself to one or two that will have the most impact.
When it comes to what to buy, some people like to use the rule of four: something they need, something they want, something they read, and something they wear.
If you really want your kid's Christmas to feel special, play with them! The joy they get from any toy will be far more special if they can share it with you.
4. Embrace homemade gifts
When the COVID lockdowns hit, many of us reconnected with old hobbies or picked up entirely new and novel skills. Now it's time for that effort to pay off!
Bake a loaf of delicious bread, stew homemade jam, pot a seedling from your garden, personalise a picture frame, write a song, crochet a scarf or macrame up a custom plant holder.
Knowing it's something you created with care will make it much more special too.
5. Save on decorations and wrapping paper
Despite what Instagram tells you, Christmas isn’t just about picture-perfect decor. Instead of blowing cash on sparkly tinsel and fake snow, make custom decorations from things you already have.
Reuse gift bags, recycle old newspapers and catalogues, or upcycle old scarves and totes. If your kids have a drawer bursting with artwork, fish them out. These make excellent personalised wrapping paper that their grandparents will cherish.
Best of all, you're not adding to the Boxing Day garbage pile.
6. Save on postage — go digital
If you're buying for friends or family interstate, digital gifts are a great option to save on postage and the stress of getting your gift in the mail on time.
Online gift vouchers can be emailed directly to the recipient and are available from many online retailers.
Also, consider combining orders with friends. Many online shops offer free delivery for larger orders or free in-store pickup. So, if you and your mate are both buying hilarious novelty tees this season, bundle and save.
7. Share the burden of catering
They say many hands make light work, but they can also put on an impressive spread.
To save costs (and time) when hosting Christmas lunch or dinner, ask friends and family to bring a share plate or drinks for the communal esky. This will reduce catering costs and get you out of the summer-time kitchen faster.
8. Cut down on extra power costs
With energy prices soaring, many households are looking to reduce their energy use this Christmas. This includes using the aircon less, switching off unused appliances at the wall, and ditching the second fridge or freezer. A little planning can help too. Instead of having a hot Christmas lunch in the middle of the day, shift the celebrations into the cool evening. This will mean fewer people reaching for the aircon remote.
9. Stock up for next year
Post-Christmas is the best time to cash in on wrapping and decoration bargains. So, plan ahead. Stock up on everything you'll need for next year's celebration while everything is cheap.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come will thank you for it.
1 - https://www.roymorgan.com/findings/pre-christmas-sales-forecast-to-reach-63-9-billion-up-3-on-last-year