5 Savvy Money Tips For Christmas

With Christmas around the corner, we have 5 money tips to share with you in preparation for Christmas.

For most people Christmas is a joyous time of year, spending time with family, enjoying their summer holidays, etc. However, the lead up to the festive season can be stressful and can really stretch your finances. Hopefully our 7 savvy money tips can offer you some easy ways to spread the Christmas cheer without blowing the Household Budget.

1. Make a list and set a budget: When buying presents for family and friends, write down all the people you intend to buy for and set a limit on how much you wish to spend on each person. Having lists will help you plan your spending and keep you on track.

2. Shop online & save not only money but time: If you know what items you are looking for, rather than going to the shops and dealing with all the hassle of finding a car park, shop online instead. Not only will you save time, but potentially find what you are looking for cheaper online. Search online auction websites where you can 'bid' for items, including supplies you need for Christmas Day. Make sure you include any shipping costs when you are comparing prices. Alternatively, look for items or shopping days that have free shipping.

3. D.I.Y. Christmas Gifts: Rather than spending up big to fill the Christmas stockings, get creative with your gifts instead:

- Get crafty and make personalised gifts: If you are handy in the workshop at home, build your grandchildren a wooden toy.               

- Give the gift of food: If you’re creative in the kitchen, why not make something to give and create a personal tasty gift.

4. Host a Xmas Gift Exchange Party: Suggest to your family you host a gift game, such as “White Elephant”, where everyone buys only the one gift with a limit on how much you spend (say $50). Then, everyone draws a number from a hat to determine the order you select your present from under the tree. The first person selects a gift from the tree and opens it in front of everyone, the second person has the option to either ‘steal’ the present from the first person or go to the tree for a surprised present. If your present is stolen, then you have the option to go back to the tree. This is a real fun way to host a family Christmas party.

5. Plan for next Christmas: Once this Christmas is done and dusted, you should start planning ahead for next year. Here are some ideas to make sure you are set up for next Christmas:

- Start saving now: Open a high interest savings account in January and contribute a small amount to it every payday. Saving $20 per week will add up to over $1,000 in a year's time.                                                                                                                                   

- Shop the sales: Shop for presents throughout the year, especially during sales. This will spread your costs and make them more manageable.

Source: Moneysmart website