Everyone has a different approach to Christmas saving and spending. But Mozo research has recently shown that 1 in 4 parents are cutting back on buying presents for their kids this Christmas - a clear sign that Aussies are feeling the pinch.
In case you need a little help with your Christmas saving strategy and with the festive holiday right around the corner, our Christmas savings advent calendar has 18 frugal tips to take you all the way to Christmas day without breaking the bank.
Day 1 - Clean up for Christmas
While you’re putting up Christmas decorations, take the chance to round up any household items you no longer need or use. Then sell them on Ebay, Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree to make some extra cash to spend on Christmas items!
Day 2 - Plan your spending
Use Mozo’s budget calculator to get a complete picture of your financial situation, then set yourself a Christmas budget. Keep in mind all the festive extras such as wrapping paper and decorations you might be buying and see if there's any you can skip.
Day 3 - Lighten your Christmas cooking load
The annual Christmas lunch can become expensive if you are the only one cooking and preparing. Instead suggest that everyone bring a dish to save money and time, plus it’s a great chance for family bonding.
Day 4 - Give the gift of D.I.Y
Homemade gifts are often a great way to save money on family and friends. Consider baking cookies or crafting a photo album to give as a sentimental gift. Just remember to research and plan ahead so you have plenty of time to create.
Day 5 - Suggest a Secret Santa
Rather than spending money on all your friends and family, try setting up a secret santa exchange and putting a limit on how much you spend on the person you’ve drawn. This way you can save money by putting your focus on one person.
Day 6 - Online shopping just became better
Online shopping is a great option for buying Christmas gifts for family and friends, but international transaction fees can start to add up if you’re shopping at overseas retailers. Choosing an online-friendly card is key to saving online. Checkout Mozo’s debit card comparison to find some options that don’t charge international transaction fees!
Day 7 - Recycle wrapping paper
Got some old gift bags floating around the house? As long as they’re in good condition don’t be scared to reuse them this year. Aim to keep as much of the wrapping paper and ribbons you can because the more you can salvage, the less you will have to spend on for next year.
Day 8 - Be aware of loyalty programs
Many shops, cafes and restaurants have loyalty programs, which around the Christmas season to snap up free or discounted items. Most places only ask for a free member sign up, which in return can get you some great specials just in time for Christmas!
Day 9 - Use rewards cards to your advantage
Now is the best time to use those rewards points that you’ve been accumulating! Depending on the type of rewards card, you can score gift cards, free travel or retail freebies with points instead of paying cash.
Day 10 - Switch off your Christmas lights
With the house covered in coloured lights, it can be tempting leave them on when you’re not home. Opt for more energy efficient lights with LED globes and remember to turn them off during the day.
Day 11 - Opt for fans on Christmas Day
With Christmas Day in Australia falling in the middle of summer, you’ll want a foolproof way to stay cool. Using portable fans has less chance of stinging you with a severe energy bill as they use less energy than air-conditioners to keep you and your wallet cool this season.
Day 12 - Before you take-off...
Going overseas for Christmas? If you pre-book your airport parking spot now you can save up to $40 through the official Sydney Airport parking website.
Day 13 - Be savvy about foreign exchange
Before leaving the country make sure you go online and compare foreign exchange rates to get a great deal for your Christmas budget. Remember, the airport is not always the best place to score a great exchange deal!
Day 14 - Think outside the box for your holiday accommodation
Hotels and accomodation prices skyrocket around the Christmas and New Year period. Checkout holiday accommodation sites such as Airbnb and Stayz, where you can often find a killer place to stay at lower prices than regular hotels.
Day 15 - Make bigger changes to your financial setup
Christmas holidays are the best time to recharge and prepare for the new year, and it is also a great opportunity to reflect on things like your home loan. Take a look at the deal you’re currently on, and if it’s no longer competitive, it might be time to refinance and start saving.
Day 16 - Find a better savings rate for Christmas
Saving money is hard enough, so you want to make sure you’re earning a decent interest rate and avoiding any unnecessary fees. Using Mozo’s savings account comparisons you can find a better rate for your hard earned savings just in time for Christmas.
Day 17 - Don’t leave everything to the last minute
Keep an organised list of the people you need to buy for and what you are going to buy them, as well as what you need on the day to avoid a mad rush the week before Christmas. This way, you’re less likely to blow out your budget with impulse buys or unnecessary spending.
Day 18 - Start planning for next year!
Once you’ve got this year locked down, it’s time to start planning how to save for next Christmas. Starting your shopping early in the year means you have time and access to more sales and discounts throughout the year. For example, Easter sales and the Black Friday sales are a great time to grab a bargain, leaving less stress in the December period.
Need more essential saving tips to get through the Christmas period? Then head over to our Life and Money section!