On the first day of Christmas, my true love said to me – we need to cut costs!
Here are 12 quick and easy ways to start cutting costs at Christmas (and to increase Santa’s slush fund in the process!)
1. Create a Christmas budget
A budget can make you feel more in control of your finances. Break your budget up into the main costs for Christmas: presents, food, decorations etc and track your spending as you go. There are plenty of free budget tracker apps out there to help you, or check out this online guide to creating a budget and sticking to it.
2. Make a list and check it twice – find out what costs are naughty or nice!
Unplanned spending over the holiday season (particularly on food and drink) can really tip the budget balance. Try pre-planning the food and drink you’ll need for upcoming social events and then buy it on special and/or in bulk (and BYO snacks to Christmas events when you can!) Trim down the cost of Christmas alcohol by choosing less expensive beverage brands and buying cheaply from the discount stores (Aldi alcohol is actually really good!).
3. Set limits on family gift-giving
Without getting too Grinch-like, try to agree on a spending limit for family presents or limit gift-giving to the kids only. Some savvy families exchange adult gifts a few days after Christmas, so they can buy them for half the price in the Boxing Day sales!
4. T’is the season to be jolly and crafty!
Why not swap the commercial Christmas for a DIY-style Christmas? Encourage younger children in particular to get creative by hand-making Christmas cards and wrapping paper. Save on gifts for teachers at school, kinder and childcare by baking cookies or gingerbread instead of giving a store-bought gift.
5. Look out for Santa sales
Keep an eye on the many pre-Christmas sales in department stores and even your local shopping strip, and snap up toys and gifts when they are on special. Try to limit the number of times you visit the shops before Christmas, and keep impulse buying to a minimum.
6. Review your health insurance to save money
Is your health insurance policy the best one for you or your family or are you paying fees for services you don’t need? Could you be saving money by reviewing it and making sure you are on the best deal for you? (by reviewing and switching you could potentially free up some extra Santa cash in the process!)
7. Pay for shopping not shipping
Be careful of added shipping costs that make your online bargains less attractive. Check if there’s an option to pick up in-store or take advantage of online retailers that offer free shipping.
8. Compare credit cards
According to Money Smart, 20% of Australians put Christmas shopping on the credit card, so it’s important your card is giving you the best deal.
Reviewing your credit card is a quick and easy process that could save you hundreds of dollars this Christmas. You’ll be surprised at the impact a simple switch could have on your festive hip pocket.
9. Trim those spending extras
A straightforward way to save money is to be selective about the Christmas extras you buy. Cheaper Christmas crackers are just as much fun!
10. Recycle, recycle, recycle!
Set aside a night to review your family’s wardrobes and cupboards. List unwanted goods and clothing on online selling sites, or hold a pre-Christmas garage sale and watch your Santa slush fund swell!
11. Have fun without spending
Having fun doesn’t have to involve spending. Christmas traditions – like touring the neighbourhood Christmas lights or attending one of the many free, council-run Christmas carols events held all over Australia each year – cost nothing but are truly priceless.
12. Stand under that mistletoe and kiss your wallet
Here’s cheers to you and your plumper Christmas bank balance!
This article was originally published on #GetLifeRight: https://www.iselect.com.au/getliferight/12-ways-to-cut-your-christmas-costs-with-kids/