Have a frugal Christmas … without being a Scrooge


Australians spend a whopping $25 billion each Christmas, including $1,325 per person and $464 on gifts. While it’s easy to overspend at Christmas, there are lots of ways to save and reduce the amount you spend. Let’s take a look at some great tips to make sure you don’t wake up with a financial hangover when the tinsel and the tree come down.

Make a list and check it twice

The best way to control your costs this Christmas is to set a budget for all your major expenses – food, presents and decorations. Make a list of all your major expenses so you know how much you need to outlay and check items off the list as you buy them.

Also, you don’t need to shop at expensive stores to get your turkey or ham – Aldi and Costco are great, cost-effective options for food and also decorations. Similarly, there are lots of inexpensive options for presents. Everyone loves a handmade gift such as homemade cookies and treats. For the kids, your local buy, swap sell group will have great, often new toys that are not dear.

The year of the staycation

Going away on holiday during peak periods such as Christmas is much more expensive than at other times of the year. So why not stay at home this Christmas and enjoy all the attractions your local area has to offer? It might be a quiet time of year where you live and a great opportunity to enjoy the local sights while everyone else decamps for the summer.

Home swaps are another option if you’re keen to go away. There are lots of different sites you can search and arrange to swap your current abode with someone else’s house either here or overseas.

Credit where credit’s due

Unless you have the discipline to pay off your credit card balance in full before the end of the interest-free period, putting Christmas expenses on your credit card will cost more than their face value and increase your debt.

So rather than splash on the plastic at this time of year, it’s an idea early in the year to open a Christmas club account. Many banks offer this style of account, which lets you save up throughout the year so you have a tidy sum to spend at Christmas.

There are also options to contribute to a Christmas hamper throughout the year to help manage your spending at this time of year.

If you do overspend, make your New Year resolution to get your spending under control so that when Christmas comes around next year, you’re totally on top of your finances.

The information contained herein is of a general nature only and is not intended to be relied upon nor is it a substitute for appropriate professional advice. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of the material, it is not guaranteed to be accurate. Individual circumstances are different and as such require specific examination. Asparq cannot accept liability for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of the use of or reliance upon all or any part of this material. Additional information may be made available upon request.

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