Save money and enjoy a budget Christmas this year

Christmas can be an expensive time of year for everyone. Here are some tips to save money and enjoy a more festive season this year. (Image source: Annie Spratt on Unsplash)

By Jordan White | @jordanbwhite1

With Christmas just weeks away, you’ve undoubtedly got an overwhelming list of people to buy for. I know from experience that the festive season can be costly.

Australians spent an average of $573 on gifts for Christmas, collectively spending a whopping $10.7 billion in 2018. 15% of millennials even spent over $1000 — ouch!

Spending way too much on gifts can be easy with sales galore, Afterpay in every second shop window, and enough Michael Bublé to send anyone mad.

But with $400 million spent on rejected presents in 2018 — most of which end up in landfill — we clearly need to rethink our spending habits. We’ve got some money-saving tips to help you stick to a budget this festive season!

Gift mindfully

Overspending is bad for the environment and your wallet. While appreciated, the sad reality is that mindlessly purchased gifts end up a waste.

ING estimates Aussies received 10 million unwanted gifts in 2018. The biggest rejects include novelty items, candles, pamper products, and pyjamas.

Be careful when gifting to avoid financial and environmental waste. Shop locally and ethically where possible or buy from sites like Dreamstarter. Don’t forget to be mindful of your budget while doing so!

Make a list of what you want to buy for people and commit to it; this will prevent impulse buying. There is also no shame in asking someone what they want or need for Christmas.

A carefully purchased, meaningful gift will certainly bring more joy than a Lynx shower pack (sorry, grandma), and it might not end up a waste.

Image source: Kevin Dowling on Unsplash

Shop around

Retail stores are in fierce competition this time of year, so it’s important to shop around. Even if you’ve somehow missed the major Christmas sales, you can still save money by being frugal in-store and online.

If you’re shopping in-store, check catalogues and other stores before making a purchase. Tech stores like JB Hi-Fi- will usually lower prices if you ask for a better deal, and most retailers price match nearby competitors.

Google makes online shopping easy, just keep shipping costs in mind. I always search for coupons and discount codes before purchasing anything. Check sales on websites and consider bidding on sites like eBay.

If you’re lazy, apps like Honey do all the work for you. Read the terms and conditions for these apps carefully as some may bank on your data.

Ditch the excessive wrapping

Wrapping paper and ribbons might be pretty, but they are expensive and wasteful. Newspaper or brown butchers paper is dirt cheap and can look on-trend if wrapped nicely.

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