As we get into the holiday spirit, it may be worth taking money matters into account. While each person and family have their own individual traditions, it’s a season generally focused on extending generosity and support to those who matter.

We break down 5 money traditions below for a more memorable (and frugal) Christmas, setting you on a strong financial start for the new year.

Why do Christmas traditions matter?

Christmas has always been considered as a “time for giving”[1]. Though its charitable roots have been linked to the biblical Christian story of the Three Wise Men (in which Jesus was given the gifts of Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh), its generous traditions continue to be celebrated among both religious and non-religious folk to this day. Such practices can have a significant impact on one’s family, friends, and community – as it’s not just a season for helping those you love most, but to also give to the less fortunate.

Your deeds don’t have to break the bank, however. By setting and practicing the right money traditions, you could support those who need it, and get a head start on your financial goals for the new year.

What money traditions can I create/commence this Christmas?

Avoid debt by setting a strict holiday budget

According to the latest statistics by Finder, the average Australian is expected to spend about $1,232 this Christmas on gifts, food, and travel expenses[2], with gifts coming out on top. However, those hoping to spend less could avoid these steep costs by having a strict “Christmas budget” in place.

A concrete budget may help you limit the amount spent on each gift and encourage you to get more creative. For example, you may opt for handmade presents that cost no more than $10-15 each, browse through the many available retail sales, or thrift a second-hand (though good quality) version of an item that may be expensive at full price – such as a book or a fashion accessory.  

Save by going DIY

Making your own presents, Christmas gifts, and decorations is not only a fun and fulfilling activity to do with family and friends, but it also adds a more personal touch to the occasion while helping you and your loved ones save.

You can get crafty with a couple of scissors and scrapbooking paper. Consider upcycling some of the unused items around your home – such as empty jam jars, old fabrics, and empty wine bottles – to make inventive and economical Christmas decorations. These handmade items could add more meaning to your festivities and offer memorable bonding activities for families, while helping you stay within your holiday budget. 

Give to those in need

If you’ve got the extra cash, taking the time to donate to local charities could make the holiday season a more meaningful one for those less privileged. You’ll get to spread the Christmas cheer and help those who truly need it.

Families can also make this a yearly practice amongst themselves, such as pooling funds throughout the year or gathering items (i.e. old toys) for charity.

Charitable acts don’t have to be limited to donations, however. Volunteering at a soup kitchen, homeless shelter, or fundraiser are all great options for giving back to your community.

Invest in experiences, rather than physical items

Rather than purchasing items that can quickly lose their value or excitement over time, consider making your Christmas a more memorable one by investing in thoughtful activities to look forward to. This could be a day out with friends, a holiday with your partner, a dinner with your family – or even simply a relaxing day of self-care.

Shared experiences such as these may not only help you save, but they also form lasting memories that hold greater long-term value than the latest toys or fashion items.

Set your financial wants and goals for the coming year

On top of setting budgets for friends and loved ones, it may also be worth setting out your personal financial goals for the new year. These could include new ways to save – such as setting monthly budgets, cutting out unused subscriptions, and opting for homecooked meals rather than frequently eating out.

However, there’s no harm in brainstorming a financial wish list too. Whether it’s a vacation you can look forward to or the latest gadget you’ve been eyeing – get yourself excited for the coming year by also planning out what you hope to save for.

If you’re looking for a saving or an investment account which could help support your saving goals, explore our saver products.

How can I start teaching my family healthy money habits?

With Christmas tending to rack up expenses, it’s an ideal time to start discussing money matters among family. Here are some tips which could help you set better financial habits for the new year:

  • Get the whole family involved. Consider taking your children with you on your Christmas shopping trips – these activities are great opportunities for teaching them how to budget, identify good prices, and understand the finite nature of money.
  • Teach your children the value of saving. Discuss with them on their wish lists for the new year and help them set the incremental savings goals to achieve this. They may get a head start with any money they receive as a Christmas gift, but you can help them continue this practice with the occasional pocket money.
  • Practice your habits throughout the year. Of course, healthy money habits aren’t limited to the Christmas or New Year seasons. Exercise these newfound financial habits with family throughout the year – whether it’s setting strict budgets for each month, including your children on your weekly grocery shopping, or setting aside the money for more experiences rather than material things.

With the right financial traditions, you could grant you and your loved ones a more memorable holiday season without the financial stress. By considering these new habits this Christmas, this could help boost your financial wellbeing for 2023.

As 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.

Before opening an account with us, you should read our Terms and Conditions for Savings Accounts and Payment Services and Financial Services Guide.

Qudos Mutual Limited trading as Qudos Bank ABN 53 087 650 557 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 238 305.


  1. 2019. “Why is Christmas a time for giving”.

  2. Wallis, Sophie. Finder AU. 2021. “Australia’s Christmas spending statistics 2021”.

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