With Christmas just around the corner, many people are feeling the financial crunch. And, we get it. The holiday season can be an expensive time of year—there are gifts to buy, bottles of wine to bring to parties, and, of course, those tempting sales.
But, that doesn’t mean you have to run into debt or look like a Scrooge. Ahead, you find six of the best tips for keeping your spending on track during the holidays without sacrificing the fun of Christmas.
Top tips for enjoying a budget-friendly festive season
1. Shop smart
Santa is always well-prepared, so take a leaf out of his book and make a list. List who you’re buying for, what you want to buy, and how much money you’ve allocated for each person. To hold yourself accountable to your budget, use cash instead of credit cards. For pricier gifts, consider using lay-by or Afterpay so you can pay them off over time.
2. Avoid a shopping centre meltdown
If you’re willing to brave the sale-induced madness at your local shopping centre, be sure to get in and get out. That way you aren’t tempted to spend more time (and money!) than you wanted to. And, most importantly, be sure to take advantage of extended trading hours and go when it’s less crowded so you can choose carefully without having to jostle for space and deal with crazed parking lots. Alternatively, take your Christmas list to an antique store. You’ll most likely find something that’s unique, more personal, and far less expensive.
This year, it’s time to flex those creative muscles. If you’re a whiz in the kitchen, why not create a personal, tasty gift (check out our healthy holiday treat round up for some inspo). Or, if you have a knack for painting nails, massage, or even babysitting, give an IOU.
4. Use discount codes
The best way to nab a bargain online is to do a Google search for a discount code for the website you’re shopping on. Check out websites like finder.com.au, oz-coupons.com and groupon.com. Also, if you follow your favourite brands and retailers on social media, you may be able to get exclusive discounts through these social channels. Their newsletters may also alert you to sales and deals.
5. Keep track of your spending
Keeping track of your festive spending is the best way to avoid going over your budget this Christmas. Apps like Pocketbook and Mint are great options for managing your money, consolidating your accounts and paying your bills.