Christmas is just around the corner, however, so are an onslaught of expenses. The holiday period is filled with presents, food and leisure, and if you aren’t properly managing your cash flows, you could end up in financial strife. According to The Salvation Army, 1 in 3 Aussies have felt financially stressed in the last year, with 41% of Aussies feeling especially financially stressed around Christmas. Do you think you’ll be left with no money for Christmas? Are you looking for ways to manage your expenses to better your financial position coming into the new year? Check out what our experts have to say with our 10 tips below:
1. Plan Out Your Expenses
First and foremost, with a lot of money moving in and out of your account over the next month, it is key to plan and understand when and how much you will need to spend. Check out an example of this plan below:
|5th December||Gift Card for Phoebe||$50|
|11th December||Video Game for Harry||$75|
|15th December||Office Christmas Party||$60|
|19th December||Christmas Groceries||$110|
|29th December||Camping Trip Fund||$250|
This helps you understand your upcoming cash flows and plan your income around them. You can also use this plan to determine expenses that you can reduce or avoid.
2. Go Online Bargain Hunting
If you’re worried about having no money for Christmas gifts, there are plenty of websites that are dedicated to sourcing the lowest priced goods possible. Catch.com and Kogan are examples of sites that provide great bargains for gifts. You may be able to find some 2-for-1 specials, or large discounts.
3. Use Coupons/Discount Codes for Expenses
Coupons and discount codes are another way to save big this Christmas. They can grant you large discounts, access to new cheaper deals, and 2-for-1 deals. You can utilise sites such as Groupon, Honey, and Karma to find online coupon/discount codes that can dramatically reduce the cost of presents, groceries or holidaying expenses.
4. Look Second-Hand
Facebook Marketplace, Depop, Gumtree and eBay are all examples of sites that provide a range of second-hand goods at low prices. You can snag Christmas gifts at a dramatically reduced price from these sites, with electronic goods being significantly reduced.
5. Get Creative With Your Gifts
If you’re struggling to afford the cost of gifts for everyone in your life, get creative! You could try out some personal DIY creations, with some quality examples of these shown here. You could make a coupon book for services you could provide to friends or family, e.g. 2 Hours of Backyard Work, 2 Hours of Painting, 5 Free Lifts, 3 Cooked Dinners, etc. You could also offer an experience to one of your friends or family. For example, if you are a good surfer, you could provide them with Surfing lessons. If you were good at English in High School, you could offer tutoring services to friends and family.
6. Eat at Home Before Going Out
With many New Years, birthday, housewarming, Australia Day and office Christmas parties occurring over the silly season, there is the potential for expenses to blow out. To save yourself on having to fork out for an expensive pub meal/Uber Eats, you can save yourself an easy $20-30 and have your dinner at home.
7. Avoid Cocktails
Over the silly season, there is always a temptation to splurge and get yourself an expensive cocktail or two on a night out. With these sometimes being priced over $20, it is a quick way to burn through a budget for a night out. Try and stick to beer and wine for the best bang for your buck.
8. Be a Savvy Grocery Shopper
Getting groceries for a Christmas lunch can be an expensive endeavour. To reduce these costs, shop at Aldi and bring a shopping list. This will ensure you are buying cheap groceries, and that you don’t impulse purchase.
9. Stock Up On Fuel
With a lot of families getting on the road for a Christmas holiday, petrol prices tend to jump up dramatically. Stock up on cheap petrol sooner rather than later using the NSW Government’s Fuel Check to find the cheapest fuel around you.
10. Be Honest With Your Friends and Family
2021 has been a tough time for many, both mentally and financially. If you have no money for Christmas, and are unable to afford gifts, food and holidays with your friends and family, it is not unreasonable to ask to not be financially involved. One thing we all can afford to give is time to spend with those we love. Be honest about your situation with friends and family, they will understand.
We hope these tips have been helpful for your Christmas finances. If you have any other money-related questions, feel free to reach out, we’d be more than happy to help.