According to Finder.com, Christmas shoppers will be left with $3.9 billion debt after splurging on gifts this year, with the average Aussie spending almost $1,000 over the festive season. What’s more, around 36 per cent of us will charge that to the credit card!
But the good news is, there are practical ways to lower your spending this season without becoming a Grinch.
Tip #1 Set a budget
Many of us fall into the ‘spend now, worry later’ thinking, but if you’re not in a position to pay off debts once the credit card statement comes in the new year, that’s a risky position to be in. Make a list of everything from presents to travel, food and decorations – and check it twice. Set a budget for each item and don’t be tempted to go over it.
Tip #2 Switch up your Christmas traditions
We all want to get our family and friends gifts they will cherish. But be honest – can you remember what you bought or received last year? Spending time together with loved ones far outweighs gifts, so why not introduce a Secret Santa and buy just one gift instead of one for each person? It’s fun and will save you time and money this Christmas.
Tip #3 Take your Christmas into the digital era
Let’s be honest – Christmas cards and wrapping paper are the first things to get thrown out. Why not send ecards this year, write a personal note, or add a touch of humour or sentiment by recording a Christmas message on video for family and friends.
Tip #4 Fill your Santa stocking with extra income over the holidays
Last year more than 180,000 savvy Aussies (1% of adults) paid for their Christmas using money made from online sites like Uber, eBay and Airtasker. While you’re away for the holidays, could you rent out your house on AirBnB or Stayz.com? There is a bit of prep work involved, and some tax implications, but it could be a great way to boost your holiday spending money.