Christmas – on a budget

While Christmas can be a time of joy, it can also be a time of financial pressure. However, the good news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a merry Christmas.

Here are our top 10 tips for how to do Christmas on a budget:

1. Work out a budget

Planning is everything. In preparation for Christmas, sit down and work out exactly what your budget is and stick to it. This applies to presents, food and trips away.

2. Take advantage of sales

Keep an eye out for sales and discounts. This can save you quite a bit of money. Remember to stick to a shopping list to avoid impulse buys.

3. Make your own treats

There’s nothing more touching than receiving a home baked gift from somebody. It could be something as simple as Christmas biscuits or homemade spreads, pickles or jams. Knowing someone has put the time and effort into making something is heart-warming.

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4. Bring a plate

If you are hosting Christmas lunch or dinner, ask your guests to bring a plate. This helps keep the cost down plus saves you time in the kitchen. Conversely, if you are going somewhere for Christmas lunch or dinner, take a homemade treat to help save money.

5. Use the kids’ artwork

If you’re wondering what to do with that large pile of kids’ artwork, it has a use! Use it as wrapping paper for presents or buy an inexpensive frame and frame it for a present. Priceless.

6. De-clutter and sell

Gather up all the toys, clothes and other things around the house you don’t use, wear or need anymore and sell it online. You might be surprised what you get for it. Not only will you make some money, it gives you a chance to have a clear out and de-clutter the house.

7. Secret Santa for the extended family

If you’re having a large family gathering, do a Secret Santa. This involves each person buying one present for a randomly selected member of the family. You can even put a price limit on the present. It helps keep the cost down and is super fun.

8. Make your own Christmas decorations

Find some old pinecones, bust out the glitter, pens and other craft stuff lying around the house and make your own decorations. It’s fun, cheap, and the kids will love doing it. Look on Pinterest for lots of creative ideas. 

9. Volunteer your time as a gift

Volunteering your time as a gift is a great way to save money. It could be a “voucher” to wash somebody’s car, babysit or help out with something else. Or you could organise an outing or adventure so you get to spend quality time with your loved ones. 

10. Put a money limit on presents for your partner

Come to an arrangement with your partner on a price limit for a present for each other. It’s amazing what you can buy for under $20, or even $10, and you’ll love the challenge.