Doing a Christmas budget? Make your money last all summer long

Little girl hugs dog with reindeer antlers on, in front of Christmas tree.

We know this time of year can be tough financially, but the thing is Christmas doesn’t have to cost the earth. In fact, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you spend less on Christmas and keep your finances healthy over the holidays.

Christmas, time not money

The key to not spending a lot at Christmas is to give people time rather than money. Instead of buying more stuff for your loved ones, why not bake up some tasty goods. You could even go to a local park and have a picnic. Bring out the family board games and have a ball or do arts and crafts together. 

Honestly it’s really about changing our attitudes towards the holiday season. After all, if you think back to some of your happiest Christmas day memories, they might not be about presents but more about a relaxing day spent with loved ones.

Shop pre-loved

If you still want to buy a gift or two for the special people in your life, why not opt for pre-loved instead of new. This kind of buying is not only better for your wallet but also the planet. You can find some great, one-of-a-kind pieces in op shops or even on websites such as Gumtree.

There are even websites and apps where people give stuff away for free these days, such as Freecycle and Olio.

Shift your budget

Of course, you may want to take a mini break, which will cost a bit extra. The trick is to rework your budget a little over December, January and even February.

Money saving app Pocketbook’s head of partnerships, Freya Hunter says that “enjoying yourself over the summer period doesn’t mean you need to put a dent in your savings at all. It just means you need to plan a little more ahead before and after summer, to ensure it all evens out over time.”

Hunter suggests depositing a bit extra in January to make up for your indulgences in December. For next year you could even start saving more ahead of time, say in October and November, so that you’re prepared for the Christmas rush. 

The point is to plan for the extra spending in December and possibly the beginning of January and to make sure that you can make up for it afterwards. Plus, as Hunter says if you have a young family, you could even encourage your children to get involved in your savings journey.

“Incentivise them by treating saving money like a game by getting them to think about odd jobs around the house they could do for extra pocket money,” she says. 

Cost-friendly mini break

Although borders are starting to reopen, for the sake of your budget it might be a good idea to plan a mini break within your state or territory. Have a scoot around Google maps to see if there are any little hidden gems you haven’t discovered. In pre-Covid days many of us might have been guilty of always looking to jet off overseas on holiday, without first discovering the beautiful spots on our doorstep.

Some other tips to make sure your mini break doesn’t break the bank include:

  • Booking accommodation well ahead of time. The sooner to your holiday you book, the higher prices will be.
  • Bring pre-packed meals and snacks. Depending on how long you’re going for, you could bring pre-packed meals and snacks. Eating out can really add up and if you intend to do some nature walking or strolling on the beach, it might be a great idea to bring your own food and save a bit of cash.
  • Look up free things to do. Speaking of nature walks, do some research before you get there on all the free things you can amuse yourselves with. This could be bushwalks, visiting museums or going for a swim in the sea.

You can honestly have a truly great time on a budget.

Lastly, Hunter says that Pocketbook data shows a steady increase in savings over the past three years. She says this could be motivated by people wanting to save for a house, holiday or a car.

If that sounds like you or even if you’ve just started out saving, you might want to ask yourself if your savings account is really cutting the mustard? There are so many to choose from these days, including lots with different features to help you save. So, why not check out the offerings below, or head to Mozo’s compare savings accounts page for a longer list of options.

Compare savings accounts

Mozo may receive payment if you click the products below. We don’t compare the entire market, but you can search our database of 274 savings accounts.
Last updated 22 July 2024 Important disclosures
  • Savings Account

    5.35% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    4.75% p.a.(for $0 to $1,000,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus variable rate is available for the first 4 months.

    Competitive introductory variable rate for first 4 months (on deposits up to $250,000). No account keeping fees to pay. Multiple 2024 Mozo Experts Choice Award winner.

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    5.25% p.a. (for $0 to $1,000,000)

    0% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Intro bonus rate of 5.25% for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months, reverting to 3.25%. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals.

    Introductory bonus rate for balances up to $1,000,000 for the first 4 months. Minimum deposit of $50 and no withdrawals. Start your account online in under 10 minutes and earn interest on balances up to $1,000,000 (T&Cs apply). No monthly account fees, helping you save smarter and faster.

  • Savings+Bonus

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    2.00% p.a.(for $0 to $250,000)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Minimum $100 monthly deposit and no withdrawals to earn bonus interest each month.

    Earn a generous interest rate on your at-call savings (T&Cs apply). Interest is calculated daily and paid to you monthly. A $5 monthly membership fee will not apply if your total account balances with First Option Bank exceed $1,000 or you have a credit card or loan with the bank.

  • Bonus Saver Account

    5.00% p.a. (for $0 to $250,000)

    0.05% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    Bonus rate when at least $20 is deposited each month and five Visa Debit transactions are made each month using linked Glide transaction account.

    Start saving and earn interest with just a $20 deposit and make 5 eligible transactions each month. No fees or penalties for withdrawing money.

  • Mozo Expert Choice Badge
    Savings Maximiser

    5.50% p.a. (for $0 to $100,000)

    0.55% p.a.(for $0 and over)

    Yes up to $250,000

    For customers who have an Orange Everyday account, deposit $1000 into a personal ING account, make 5 eligible transactions and grow their nominated Savings Maximiser account each month.

    Great variable rate every month when you grow your balance each month in addition to other eligibility criteria. No ING fees to pay. Save even more with ING Everyday Round Up. Mozo Experts Choice Awards Everyday & Savings Bank of the Year winner for 2024.^


^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Savings Account Awards

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