Hands up who loves Christmas?… We do! It’s one of our favourite times of the year. However, the financial burden associated with Christmas can also be really stressful.

40% of Australians use credit to buy gifts for Christmas. On average Australians wrack-up over $1600 in credit card debt during the festive season, which takes most people more than 12 months to pay off! *

It’s important to have fun during the festive season, but you shouldn’t have pay for Christmas long after the day has passed. If you have the spending side of Christmas under control, it can be a far more enjoyable experience.

Here are our favourite tips and tricks for a wallet-friendly Christmas.

Budget-friendly gifts

  • Research online to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Try shopping around for gifts before you purchase, scour on-line to find the best price, discounts, and promo codes.
  • We do a ‘Secret Santa’ to alleviate the financial pressure of gift giving for extended family. Instead of buying every family member a gift, everyone is given a family member to buy a gift for. We set a spending limit that everyone agrees on.
  • Reuse your children’s drawings as wrapping paper.

Celebrating for less

Entertaining during the festive season can create a real dent in the budget.

  • To avoid over-spending and purchasing too much food, we use the Love Food Hate Waste Calculator.
  • Sharing the cost and the cooking for Christmas lunch can make a huge difference to your overall spend.
  • If you’re hosting Christmas, you could invite everyone to bring at least one dish. This tip not only saves money but spreads the cooking responsibilities across the family so there’s more time for everyone to enjoy each other’s company.

Get a head-start on next year

The real key to a magical budget-friendly Christmas is to start planning early. So, before you pack away this year’s tinsel, pour yourself a generous glass of eggnog and plan for next year! Try out these tips for forwarding Christmas planning:

  • Make the most of Boxing Day sales. Buy non-perishable items such as wrapping paper, cards, and bonbons. Gift packs (for example perfumes and cosmetics) are also usually heavily discounted on Boxing Day.
  • The last thing you want is a financial hangover after Christmas. With some forward planning, organisation and by using a few budget savvy strategies you can enjoy a beautiful Christmas and start the new year with money in your pocket and without looming credit card debt.

What are your best money saving Christmas tips? Let us know in the comments

* https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/spending/australias-christmas-spending 

Jo and Carl Violeta are self-confessed numbers nerds, parents of an energetic toddler and a super switched-on teenager, and co-founders of the award-winning business, Violeta Finance. They are a husband and wife team who are passionate about empowering their community with financial education, love the odd glass of wine, and get a kick out of helping families achieve their homeownership and financial dreams.