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Budgeting for the holiday season

Summer is fast approaching, which means that school holidays and Christmas are right around the corner. For many Australians, this means enjoying a lot of the freedoms that we’ve missed out on during the year, as well as spending time with family and friends over the holiday season.

As we all know, when the holiday season starts, our wallets start to hurt. Don’t worry, we’ve put together a guide on how to get on top of your budget this holiday season.

Plan your presents

No one likes a last minute rush trying to figure out what presents you need to buy and where from. It’s always worth starting Christmas present planning as early as possible. That way you can make sure you’re not stuck with last minute deliveries covered from online shops.

Instead of splurging in the weeks leading up to Christmas it might even be worth buying your gifts throughout the year. Think about the different ways you could spread out your costs across the year.

You can help manage your Christmas costs by:

  • spreading out the cost over the year
  • using buy now, pay later services (if suitable)
  • buying on sale - EOFY, Black Friday, Cyber Weekend.

Resist shopping sprees

While you are shopping for gifts, it’s easy to get carried away and start a full-blown shopping spree. We all love a shopping spree every now and then, but during the Christmas season there are plenty of other costs coming up. Your wallet will thank you if you avoid those few extra shops.

You can try to avoid shopping sprees by:

  • avoiding tempting stores
  • creating a list and sticking to it
  • budgeting your shopping money
  • not window shopping.

Once you’ve got your holiday spending sorted, there’s no reason why you can’t treat yourself after!

Use a savings account

To help you save for the Christmas time rush, you can open a savings account early in the year. A specific savings account for Christmas could help you build up your spending money throughout the year.

It could be a good idea to open up a Christmas Club Account. That way, you can’t access your savings until closer to Christmas and you aren’t tempted to touch them earlier.

Get creative

Not all gifts need to be bought ready-made. Get creative and break out the DIY kits.

Homemade gifts can be as meaningful and fun to receive, especially when they’re made with love from family and friends. You can also create connections with people by giving them a personally made present.

Some simple gift ideas that you, or even kids could try could be to create a:

  • hamper of home baked goods
  • Mixtape with memory-filled tunes
  • video montage of your lives together
  • scavenger hunt
  • voucher booklet.

The internet is filled with ideas. If you’re on a budget, head to Google and create the ultimate Christmas gifts.

Take a staycation

Lastly, instead of spending a lot of money on overseas and out of state trips, you can take local holidays.

Get out and about. Go on sight-seeing day trips, hikes, and find other hidden gems that are free to visit, such as:

  • your local botanical gardens
  • the National Gallery of Victoria
  • the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia
  • your local farmer’s market
  • your local beach or lake.

The holiday season holds many things to look forward to. Whether that be some much overdue time with family and friends or just enjoying the outdoors during summer.

Hopefully these tips help you enjoy the holidays a little more without worrying about your wallet.