There’s one thing that no one can deny about Christmas – it doesn’t come cheap. In fact, according to Mozo research, Australians are set to spend a massive $28.2 billion this festive season alone.
So if you’re one of the many Aussies facing a budget blowout this Christmas, remember this, it’s not over until the fat lady (or perhaps that should be fat bearded man) sings.
Sit back and take stock of these 7 creative ways to come out of Christmas debt free:
1. Think about a one gift family Christmas
This may not be for everyone, but similar to a secret santa exchange it can be a way to ensure everyone gets a gift while staying on budget. Team up with your family and pool together to buy a gift for each member with $50-$100 limit. My family has been doing this for a few years now, and giving part of the money we save towards a different charity each year – so it feels rewarding on two fronts!
2. Share the cost of lunch
Hosting the family this year but worried your centre-piece may look more pigeon-sized and less turkey-sized? Why not suggest sharing the cost of the lunch so everyone gets to pitch in for a proper spread. Alternatively, give every guest a specific dish to bring or task to help out with on the day so you can focus all of your attention on basting that turkey.
3. Buy decorations second-hand or make them yourself!
Instead of laying out on expensive decorations, try and find some second-hand. Aside from jumping online to ebay or gumtree, check out your local op shop or recycling centre for pre-loved baubles that will still make your Christmas tree sparkle.
Or better yet, why not make an afternoon of it with the kids and craft some yourself for that personal touch. Pinterest’s got you covered with thousands of homemade decoration ideas.
4. Regift (with care)
Regifting is a delicate art, but one that can save you some cash and time in the shopping line. While there are many finer points you may wish to consider, there are two cardinal rules: don’t regift to someone who knows your original gift-giver, and only re-gift presents that are worth receiving (and not that pair of walking socks you only wore once).
5. Create your own gifts
Let’s be honest, nothing really says Christmas as much as a gift that someone’s put their time and love into creating. In saying that, let’s not go overboard by carving a replica of Michaelangelo’s David. If you’re comfortable in the kitchen try your hand at some Christmas sweets like homemade gingerbread men, mince pies, or even a Christmas pudding. Not only are they fun to bake, they’re sure to fill the hearts (and tummies) of your family and friends.
6. Cash in your reward points
Rather than resort to maxing out your credit card on gifts, why not tally up all those rewards points you’ve been saving up and put them to good use instead. Not sure what the best ways to redeem those points are? Check out our latest blog on the four best ways to use your reward points over Christmas.
7. Buy now, pay later (take home layby)
Not happy about the prospect of splurging $200 at once on those shoes your partner just has to have for Christmas? Well there’s a solution. Take home layby is now a thing, and with services like Afterpay available at many major retailers you’ll be able to split the total purchase price of your item into four easy payment installments. Just be aware that there are some fees involved, and the service doesn’t currently accept AMEX.