December is creeping up faster than you can say ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’, so we’ve put together 12 Christmas tips that will keep you on top of your spending, and on the nice list with your friends and family this holiday season!
1. Have a plan
Planning is key when it comes to sticking to your budget! Make sure you outline how much you want to spend, and break it down into categories. Think about Christmas presents, food, entertainment expenses, travel plans and decorations. List who you need to buy gifts for and what you’d like to spend on each person. Consider what you’ve spent in previous years and see whether you need to increase or decrease your budget. Remember that Christmas is about giving, but your loved ones won’t want you to fall into debt just to make them smile.
2. Don’t be afraid to DIY
There’s nothing more special than receiving a handmade gift! Combine this with handmade wrapping paper, Christmas cards and decorations, and you have the key to happiness. Visit your local homemaker centre and pick up some butcher’s paper, stamps and ink (and glitter if you’re feeling sparkly), and go crazy making your own masterpiece! Don’t forget about those baked goodie baskets as a great gift option also. If you do have a family, this is also a great way to get the kids involved and even more excited about Christmas!
3. Online shopping = discounts
Found something in store that you could possibly buy online? Search online for discount codes related to that store, or check out their social accounts for coupons! A lot of stores offer great discounts online if you know where to look. If it’s your first purchase with a specific online retailer, you’ll often receive a “welcome” discount or a certain percentage off once you create an account.
4. Cash in
Has it ever crossed your mind that you could have money or points just sitting there waiting to be redeemed? A quick login to your loyalty program accounts will tell you if you have earned enough points to cash them in for gift cards or other rewards. Then you can put them towards your Christmas shopping.
5. Donations welcome
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to buy for your loved ones, especially those who seem to have everything they want or need. What about donating to an organisation that’s important to you or your family? That way, you’re helping someone in need during an often tough time of the year, as well as giving a gift.
6. Play it by ear, literally
You may not know exactly what your friends or family want, but they could drop hints without even realising it! Make sure you listen and take note when someone suggests they like or need a particular item… it will make your job a whole lot easier when the time comes to exchange gifts.
7. Forget me not
Don’t get caught out on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning by forgetting batteries or running out of sticky tape. If you have to make a mad dash to the servo, it’s your wallet that will pay the price! These items can generally be found easily at your local $2 store, so make sure you stock up before the big day.
8. Your time is valuable
Time is more important than money, and it could be the greatest gift you give. If you’re really strapped for cash, try creating some personal gift vouchers for a massage, homemade dinner, or even some housework. There are loads of options! This is a great opportunity for kids who want to give their Mum or Dad something special.
9. Secret Santa
There’s nothing more fun than organising a Secret Santa. Whether with your family or friends, it’s a great gift option to keep spending down for Christmas. Decide on a budget and pull names out of the hat, or have everyone purchase a gift each that’s suited to both males and females. That way each person can pick a number and choose their own gift! Try challenging your gift-givers by excluding easy presents like alcohol or gift cards, or give them a theme to stick to.
10. Sharing is caring
Hosting a Christmas party? Make sure to share the load! Have your friends and family chip in to bring an item to the party – meats, salads, desserts, bon-bons, and don’t forget the prawns! Allocate who’s bringing what and it will be less of a hit on your pocket.
11. Ditch the plastic
Of course it’s easier to use plastic plates, cups and cutlery, but It’s bad for the environment and costs you money. Keep it old school and use your own tableware. You’ll have plenty of hands to help with the washing up!
12. Open a People’s Choice Christmas Savings Account
Take the stress out of the festive season in 2020 and plan ahead with a Christmas bank account. We offer a Christmas Savings Account that is only accessible between 1 November and 31 January, making sure you only chip into it during the silly season. Something as small as $20 a week can put you ahead of the game!