Snoozing Santa - What to do if you haven’t saved up enough for Christmas

It started out with a few drinks on the weekend, a new pair of shoes to treat yourself for a great work week and a coffee every morning to keep you sane. Now you’ve realised that December has arrived and you’re caught with little savings stashed away. But there’s no need to panic, because you can still guarantee yourself a merry Christmas with our top 10 Christmas savings tips.

Give each recipient a ‘spending limit’

One of the ways to make the most of your bank account is by budgeting down to the last dollar. This means giving all your gift recipient's a spending limit, for instance, only spending $50 per person. You’ll be able to keep spending under control and you can even use budget apps like Santa’s Bag to plug all your Christmas shopping into one place and keep track of your spending limit.

Compare until the reindeers come home

If there’s one piece of advice we can pass on, it’s never accept the first offer for anything. If there was ever a time for you to be frugal with your spending, shopping around on gifts is it. You’ll need to make it your mission to ensure that you’re not spending a dollar more than you have to, so stock up on catalogues or head online with the hope of finding the best deal possible!

Keep up your strength with food from home

Gift shopping in December is exhausting and to keep up your strength while you bounce from store to store, it’s likely you’ll want to  make a few trips to the food court. While having multiple options for lunch at your fingertips is enough to make anyone drool, make the effort to pack your own lunch and snacks to cut the cost of eating out.

Let Santa treat you

While we do our Christmas shopping, it’s not uncommon for many of us to throw a little something for ourselves into the shopping cart. But for frugal shoppers such as yourselves, this is not a luxury you currently possess - especially if you’re planning to use your plastic to get through the season. Instead of treating yourself now, be patient and see what you get for Christmas. And if you’ve really got your eye on something special...isn’t that what for Boxing Day is for?

Be a shifty regifter

If you’re really strapped for cash this holiday season, it might be time to do some sneaky regifting. There are many ways to successfully regift an unwanted present, in fact, we’ve even got a few tips to get you started. But the only way to turn pro is to practise the two crucial regifting rules: always rewrap gifts and make sure that they’re being distributed within different social circles.

Let creative juices flow

With this tip, you’ll need a weekend and lots of PVA glue. If done right, DIY Christmas gifts can make anyone’s Christmas Day a little bit brighter. But if you come from a big family,  making Christmas gifts for everyone can become overwhelming, so it might be better to have a combination of bought and hand-made gifts. And if you’re self conscious about your craft skills, put your baking skills to the test instead by making some of your family’s favourites.

Sacrifice your rewards points

If you’ve had a busy year, you might not have gotten around to redeeming points on your rewards card. However, this could work in your favour, especially if you’ve been racking up points all year! Depending on your plastic, you could redeem points for gift cards, mystery flights and other retail products from your provider's rewards store, which all make excellent last minute gifts.

Make Secret Santa a tradition

As families grow and change, so do Christmas traditions and what better time than now for some fresh inspiration. There are a number of things you can do to change up the dynamic of your family’s Christmas Day, for instance, trying Secret Santa to keep gift-buying costs manageable, but guarantee that no one goes home empty handed.

Have everyone bring a plate

Between the multiple voices in your ear begging you to make their favourites and the growing grocery list, preparing Christmas lunch is tough. Keep it simple this year by suggesting that everyone bring a plate to Christmas lunch. For instance, you prepare the main meat, like the ham or turkey and ask everyone else to bring a side dish, like potato or pasta salad. Everyone always offers to bring something along, so let them!

Pick up an interest-free credit card

But if you’re really feeling the heat this December, another tip worth considering is picking up an interest-free credit card to cover the Christmas spend, and paying it off in the new year before the interest-free term ends. However, before you venture down plastic lane, ensure that you have a strong financial plan so you’re not sending yourself into debt.

Need a new credit card to keep up with your Christmas shopping? Our credit card comparison tool can help you find your next plastic match.