Christmas-the best time of year!
But also the most expensive….
Every year we tell ourselves we aren’t going to go overboard again, we are going to watch what we buy and how much we spend.
Yet the same thing happens over and over again each time…
Below are some tips I use to help cut costs at Christmas.
Being prepared is the number one key!
Before the New Year starts, make a Christmas account for the following year-if you’ve got no self control-make it one you can’t touch or see from your internet banking, or go into your bank and ask if they have a Christmas Club.
If you have a set budget for Christmas, work out what that will cost you weekly and make a direct debit each week into your Christmas account.
This will make the stress of things financially so much better as you’ve slowly saved up throughout the year.
Now-don’t stop reading and think ‘well its too late for me now!’
Make that account NOW-start setting that money aside NOW!
There’s 8 weeks left until Christmas, don’t put that pressure on yourself the week before. Start putting aside and saving for it now.I know I said above to not touch your money before Christmas, but if an item on someones Christmas list goes on sale throughout the year-take that opportunity to save some money and buy it then!
If you’ve already got some money put aside in your Christmas account, you don’t need to stress that you can’t afford it that week-because you’ve budgeted for it and you can!If you use reward cards-save up all those points/dollars for Christmas time-whether its for your grocery store, retail stores, vouchers etc.
Anything to help towards the costs at Christmas time is a bonus!Don’t wait until December 1st, or even worse-December 24th!! to do your Christmas shopping.
We know every single year the date of Christmas-so get in early and be organised!
If you’ve got time to shop around, or wait for something to go on sale then you’re able to save yourself more money.
Write out your list super early-even if in January you know that you’re going to buy your Mum or your Kids a certain item the following year-write it down because that way you can keep an eye out for it on sale.
As for supermarket items-they’re on the shelf even before October comes around these days.
So if you’re hosting Christmas Day, or are planning on making a platter or some other foods for the day-start buying things months in advance. (non perishables obviously)
Buy a bottle of soft drink or a packet of crackers each week in your weekly groceries, buy a box of chocolates when they’re on sale for half price. Before you know if you’ll have majority of your grocery items already paid for, and you’ve cut the cost of your grocery shop the week of Christmas down dramatically.If you can, buy everything on your list while on sale!
Like I’ve stated above, buy those grocery items when they’re on sale for half price in the months or weeks leading up to Christmas.
Take advantage of the EOFY sales, or even Boxing Day sales for the following year.
If there are items you’ve been wanting to buy, keep an eye out for Discount Codes on Social Media, or even google to see if you can find one.
If there’s something I know I want to purchase soon, I always sign up to their emails and keep an eye out for any sales and discount codes they send through.
Before you buy something, do a quick search online-it takes 2 seconds! and see if you’re getting the best price for it.
Is it cheaper at another store?
Is it cheaper to buy online rather then at the store.
Does one of the stores price match, or even beat lowest prices?
I’ve been able to save up to $100 off big ticket items from doing a quick google search while in the store and price matching at the counter.
It’s always worth checking and asking!Is Online Shopping Actually More Expensive?
We all love online shopping-sitting in the comfort of your dressing gown while ticking off all the items on your Christmas list, and then they get delivered to your door.
No having to deal with the Christmas crowds at the shopping centres!
BUT-with all those online transactions and shipping costs, is it actually worth it?
$8 one store, $10 the next, before you know it you could be spending over $100 on shipping costs!
If you’re able to get the items on your list from a store-allocate one day to venture out and get all those items-and if you’re organised early-you can even beat those Christmas crowds!
I love online shopping-but shipping costs will turn me off. I’ll wait until there’s a free shipping code (I can keep my eye out with those emails I signed up for) or at least until there is a sale on the products so the shipping cost evens out.
Or even better yet-ask someone to get the item for you.
I’m always messaging my Mum who loves a good wander around the shopping centre’s on her days off asking ‘next time you’re at ****** can you please pick me up ******’Sell Items You No Longer Use/Need Around Home:
I think most parents do a Christmas clear out of toys in their home before Christmas arrives to make some room for the new toys to come.
What do you normally do with those toys?
Bin them? Donate them to the op shop?
I’m all for giving things away to others for nothing, and a huge believer in Paying It Forward.
But if you’re a bit short on cash this Christmas season, or maybe some of your items-toys or household are in perfectly good condition but just grown out of/not being used-try listing them on local Facebook Buy Swap Sell pages, Ebay or Gumtree and see if you can make a little bit of cash off of them.
Then make sure you save that cash by putting it towards your Christmas shopping.Do you have a budget for Christmas?
Or do you just get carried away with buying gifts?
Sit down and write out who you need to buy for and how much you are going to spend-then make sure you STICK TO IT!
It’s so easy to go over budget
‘I’ve gone over by $15 on one gift, so now I need to put everyone else’s gifts up by $15 so that its fair’
No, No you don’t!!!
You take away that extra $15 and keep it in your wallet!Hubby desperately need some new jocks?
Kids school drink bottles getting a bit ratty looking?
Kids need some new summer clothes or shoes?
Hold out those extra few weeks-they will survive! and add them into the Christmas stockings.
Especially if you’re struggling to think of things to gift them.
There is nothing wrong with practical presents, in fact, they’re my favorite kinds of presents!Don’t Buy ‘Crap’ Just For The Sake Of Buying A Gift.
You know what I’m talking about, the knick-knacks, candles etc.
Like really, how many ornaments can one possibly have in their home?
It really is just wasted money.
Ask someone what they want for Christmas-if they respond with nothing-get them nothing!
Or something small like some chocolates or home made gifts-or be practical and get them a Visa Card that they can spend wherever they want on whatever they want.
If my family members and I don’t need or want anything-I don’t bother wasting my money. I’ll save it for the next occasion where they might have something they want-and if its a bit more expensive I don’t mind because I’ve got the money there from the occasion beforehand.
You know those presents I just mentioned above?
The 200th ornament you know you have no place for?
If there’s someone else you know that will like it/use it-then re-gift it!
We all do it!
There’s no point it sitting in the back of your wardrobe, or being taken to the Op Shop-or even worse-binned, if you know someone else who can make use of it.
Just make sure you keep a track of who has bought you what so you don’t re-gift it back to them-whoops!
There is nothing better then receiving a little bundle of home baked treats!
After all-its the thought and effort put in that really counts isn’t it!?
Get the kids involved, bake some bundles of Christmas Treats for all those relatives and loved ones. Add a personalized message or card and I bet everyone will love the effort put in!
Don’t know how to bake?
Either do I!
Pinterest has some great ideas/hacks of easy Christmas treats to make.
If your Christmas list is getting too big-ask your family if you can start doing Kris Kringle, I’m sure everyone will be happy to cut out some gifts and save some $$$.
Or ask if you can buy gifts for just the children in the family rather then every family member.Don’t Start Huge Expectations From The Beginning-Teach Your Children That Christmas Is About Spending Time With One Another:
From day one-don’t ‘budget’ a ridiculous amount of money for each child and then feel like you have to reach that limit.
I don’t have set budgets for my family members-I buy them what they want/need.
If its only $20-who cares!
Maybe next Christmas they might be wanting that big ticket item.
It all evens out eventually.
Teach your children/family the importance of Christmas-and most importantly spend time with them…
Start traditions or Christmas light looking, going and picking a tree together, decorating the tree, donating old toys to Children in need, baking Christmas treats together.
Your children/family will only expect what you teach them to expect.
Hopefully you were able to get some tips on saving some money this Christmas season.
Christmas is meant to be an enjoyable time-so lets take away the financial stress of it-and enjoy it for what it really is!
Thanks for reading,