Christmas is the most stressful time of year for most families.
The added excitement and expenses can leave even the most budget-conscious parents feeling the burn. Start putting a plan in place NOW to be organised for the big day ahead.
1. Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards from Coles, Big W, Target, Woolworths and other grocery and toy store staples can save you during the festive season. At the end of each month, if the budget allows, purchase a $25 gift card from one of your go-to stores. Store them in a safe place such as your bedroom dresser. At the end of the year, when Christmas rolls around, you will have an extra $300 to spend on food for Christmas dinner, wrapping paper, decorations, presents and other necessities for the festive season. And, best of all, you don’t have to dip into your savings the money is there, sitting in a drawer.
Wrap a few of the gift cards themselves for when those ‘unexpected’ relatives that drop by!
2. Work with Lay-by
Toy sales across Australia happen in July which means you have six months to save before you need to pay for these items. Using lay-by means that the store will keep these items for you. You don’t have to worry about finding the space in your cupboards where the kids won’t look and you don’t have to worry about the interest on your credit card.
3. Bake, Don’t Buy
Buying small presents for people in your office, your neighbours, your friends and your mother’s group will add up. Even a $10 scarf or a box of chocolate for these acquaintances can end up setting you back several hundreds of dollars. If you have any baking talents hidden away, now is the time to showcase them. Set a weekend to bake and choose a few of your favourite Christmas treats (think shortbread, fudge, sugar cookies, rum balls, coconut puffs, etc). Buy some Christmas cellophane wrap or cheap gift boxes and viola! the perfect personal present.