It’s that time of the year again when bank accounts seem to haemorrhage cash no matter what we do to stop them.
Yes, when Christmas rolls around, even dollar saved counts. Yes, it sure does!
That’s why it’s important to have a few Christmas money saving tips up your sleeve to get you though. Luckily, we have more than enough to share. Here are a few ideas to help stretch your dollar a bit further this Christmas!
Implementing just a few of these ideas might result in you saving big this Christmas, so why not have a read and try some out?
1. Getting Back to Basics
It’s easy to lose the spirit of Christmas when the festive buying bonanza starts, but a ‘back to basics’ Christmas is the perfect way to enjoy the holidays on a budget. Opt for simple things this year, like lightly used second hand books as gifts, homemade biscuits and treats instead of store bought, and a focus on spending time with family and friends. Avoid putting too much focus on gifts, and spend more time having fun as a family. It really is the thought that counts.
2. Saving Up for Christmas
Many people discount the idea of saving a small amount every week, but when you get to the end of the year, that money really counts. You can have a silver change tin, where all your small coins go all year, or have a place where you can put any pocket change, to be cashed in and use for the Christmas season. A 600ml Coke bottle filled with $2 can add up to around $1,000, which is money that can be used on anything from food to presents.
3. Price Limits
It might not be very festive, but having a price limit on gifts is the smartest way to save your hard earned dollars this Christmas. Talk with your family about the price limit and get anyone who you’re doing gift exchanges with to be involved. A low limit like $10 can actually make Christmas shopping fun and more of a challenge. Alternatively, do a gift exchange with just homemade gifts, which almost guarantees they’ll be cheap as well as cheerful.
4. Make The Morning Special
To really mix up your Christmas morning, particularly for the little ones, buy a big pack of balloons (only a few dollars), blow them all up and scatter them around the room where your tree and presents are. On Christmas morning, the kids can come down to a balloon wonderland that’s just begging to be run through. This makes for a really exciting Christmas morning tradition, not to mention it really makes it about more than just the presents, which is definitely worth it.
5. Budget Decorations
If you want to have the stunning Christmas tree, but you definitely don’t have the budget to match, we have a solution. Buy all your Christmas decorations a year in advance, on Boxing Day and the sales days that follow. Many high quality Christmas decorations are heavily reduced on these days, often at half price or less. Over the years, you can build up a great collection of Christmas decorations without spending big, meaning you’re able to put on a stunning show every year. If you have the space, get your wrapping paper and cards on sale too, for all the Christmases coming!
6. Cheap Chocolate
It can be difficult to manage the tendency for people to drop in with unexpected gifts around Christmas time, and the feeling that you should be giving something back. But, there’s a simple solution. Depending on how many people you know that tend to give gifts when they ‘drop by’, purchase a few family sized blocks of chocolate. Woolworths and Coles sell these for almost nothing sometimes, but the quality is fine. If they have a foil inside layer, then remove the outer layer but keep the foil intact. If they don’t, take them from the outer layer and wrap them in foil (with clean hands!). Then just wrap Christmas wrap, ribbons, and other little decorations around them and have a few in the fridge ready to be handed over.
7. Christmas Baskets
For those with a few ‘difficult to shop for’ individuals in their family, don’t let the stress build on you as the festive season rolls around. Instead, shop for them all year around. Just buy a little basket in the Christmas sales (or a few!) and fill with bits and pieces over the year. This is great for kids and adults, and can be anything that you pick up on sale or even in second hand shopssecond-hand Christmas comes around, just wrap in cellophane and ribbon, and give as a gift!
8. Charitable Giving
Christmas is about giving, but if you only have a small amount, it can feel like your money isn’t going very far. With that in mind, it might be worth considering giving charitable gifts to your friends and family on their behalf. Places like World Vision and Oxfam (there are many others) allow you to buy school supplies, chickens, fast growing seeds, and much more for $10 or less. These donations help people struggling in other countries, and are a great way to make your Christmas money go further. Donate in someone else’s name, and give them a little card to commemorate it.
9. Support Op Shops
There are so many great gifts to be found in op shops if you’re willing to have a look and think outside the box, particularly for young kids. A big box of old cooking utensils and pans makes for a great pretend kitchen, or drum kit. Similarly, a big box of (washed) second hand clothes can be used to fill up the dress up box, another gift your kids are sure to love. At op shops, you can often find interesting, and cheap, jewellery items, wallets, and other little gifts that those around you will love. Plus, you’re helping to support a charity too!
10. Spread It Out
One of the tips that comes up most often in figuring out how to save money over Christmas is to spread out your Christmas buying over the entire year. Make a point to pick up things that can easily be given as Christmas presents when they’re on special, like stocking fillers, picture frames, cheap toys. That way. when Christmas actually arrives, you’re more prepared. Also, as you make many small purchases over the year instead of large purchases all at once, you’re less likely to notice your bank draining in a depressing way!
When it comes to gifts, many feel there’s no way to really save money over the festive season, but you’d be wrong. As a bonus to our Christmas saving ideas, here are a few ways you can save get frugal with your gift giving these holidays.
12. Sample All The Way
Some people call this one cheeky, but we just call it thinking ahead. Many companies offer free samples of their products. If you jump on their website, you can order these samples for free. Over the year, just order them and pop them in a little box or a basket to be given as a gift. Also, whenever there’s a buy one get one free on any cosmetic or beauty product that you’re buying, put the free one aside to give as a gift at Christmas.