Christmas is the highlight of the year for many of us and it’s easy to see why. It’s a rare chance for us to catch up with family and friends, pop on our party hats, give and receive gifts and share delicious food and drink.

With all the excitement of the occasion, it’s easy to get carried away and spend a little more than you should on gift shopping and fancy food for the spread. All this expense comes during the year’s longest holiday when the budget might already be a little tight.

With that in mind, to help make sure your Christmas is all about spending time - not money - we’ve come up with seven ways to save during the holiday season.

1. Give the gift of creativity

A Christmas gift that surprises and delights doesn’t have to cost the world. In fact, if you’re willing to get a little creative, it could cost next to nothing. With that in mind, instead of buying your Christmas gifts why not try making them yourself?

Here are a few things you could try crafting to get you started:

  • Home baking
  • Homemade soaps
  • Scented candles
  • Jams, preserves and pickles
  • A mulled wine spice jar
  • Homemade flavoured butter
  • Handmade jewelry

While it might seem strange to gift something homemade, chances are the receiver will be more touched that you spent time making the gift than if you’d spent money.

2. Switch to Secret Santa

Christmas gifting for friends and families is expensive, especially for those with large families. Luckily there’s an easy way to cut down the costs while retaining the fun and excitement of giving and receiving gifts - Secret Santa.

If you’re not familiar with Secret Santa, it’s easy - simply put your family’s names in a hat, then have each member pick a name at random (without telling anyone whose name they get). They then only need to buy a gift for the person whose name they drew making for an exciting (and cost effective) Christmas. Remember to agree on a budget beforehand so that everyone spends the same amount of money on each other.

3. Set a pre-Christmas savings goal

While it may be a little late for this year, now is a great time to consider setting a savings goal for next year. Take a little time to log-in to your online banking and look at your transactions during Christmas to figure out how much you’ll need for the next one. Once you’ve got a rough number in mind, set that as your savings goal.

Consider opening an online savings account if you don’t have one already and put money aside from each pay day from now until Christmas. It will take the sting out of the spending next year, helping you spread out the cost, so you may not even notice it. Check out our great range of online savings accounts here.

4. Make a budget and stick to it

If you’re prone to overspending during the holidays, setting a budget could be the key to cutting back. Simply take the number you set in step three, cut it back to a level you feel is achievable using the other tips in this list, then only allow yourself to spend that amount.

You could even move all your funds over and above your budgeted amount into a savings account to make it even harder to overspend.

5. Give to those in need

This Christmas, why not consider giving your family the gift of helping those in need? Giving to a charity on behalf of a family member can be more affordable than your usual gifting and your present will make a real difference for someone less fortunate than you.

Here are a few great charities you could try:

  • Foodbank: provide hampers full of nutritious meals and grocery staples to struggling families.
  • RSPCA: taking care of unwanted and neglected animals.
  • NextSense: provides vital support to those living with or supporting people living with hearing or vision loss.
  • Oxfam: helping people living in poverty.
6. Head online for discounts

If you’ve got your heart set on a gift for someone, it might not be the best idea to run to the nearest shop and buy it. Instead, consider jumping online and comparing prices from several different sellers.

Prices can vary considerably between shops and spending five minutes researching online could save you hundreds this Christmas.

7. Try a potluck Christmas dinner

One of the best things about Christmas is the food, glorious food. But unfortunately, the cost and time spent preparing these lovely Christmas spreads often fall to one generous family member.

If that’s you, consider trying a potluck Christmas dinner instead. Simply ask everyone who’s coming to bring a dish and enjoy a cheaper, easier Christmas.

Christmas can be a tricky time of year when it comes to spending money, but it doesn’t need to be. Take a little time to plan and get creative when buying gifts and you could enjoy a cheaper Christmas, that’s just as merry!

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305. The information in this article is of a general nature and has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.

You should read and consider the Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services and our Financial Services Guide available on our website before deciding whether to obtain any of our financial products or services.

 Published December 2021