Thursday, December 1, 2011

5 Budget Friendly Tips for Christmas

Today I have the lovely Kylie Ofiu guest posting about 5 budget friendly tips to help you out for Christmas. As this is often a very expensive time of year for many of us, I really appreciate that she has taken the time to put this list together to help us out. Here are her tips:

Christmas is often a time of extreme financial stress for many. The cost of Christmas can be in the thousands and not everyone gets paid for the time off over the holidays. It doesn’t have to be this way though. This year I decided to spend only $100 for Christmas. It might sound crazy, but it has taken a lot of the stress out of Christmas. We have been making gifts and feel so much more relaxed.

I realise $100 is not realistic for everyone, but there are some ways you can save money at Christmas, spread the cost over the few months until Christmas and reduce the stress as well.

Make a plan
Christmas comes at the same time every year and can be planned for. With your Christmas plan write out everyone you need to buy for, what you want to give them, a menu for the day and then budget and plan accordingly. If you will be going away or unable to earn an income during this time, budget that in too. Knowing all of this can help you spread the cost of Christmas out over the whole year.

Look out for bargains throughout the year
There are giant sales throughout the year for everything from toys, to electrical goods to Manchester. If you know what you want to buy those on your list, you can save a lot during the sales.

Shop in post-Christmas sales
In the past few years the post-Christmas sales have not been as dramatic as previous years, but there are still many specials to be had on wrapping paper, cards and decorations. I have paid as little as 1cent for some items.

Make gifts
You don’t need to be crafty or good in the kitchen to make gifts. If you can throw some spices together in jars you can make some great BBQ rubs, or if you can thread beads onto wire you can make pretty necklaces. These are often cheaper than buying things and you can present them in a really nice way.

Christmas Clubs
Some stores do Christmas clubs where you can deposit $10 a week to put towards shopping for Christmas. Another alternative is a separate high interest savings account where you put the money you budget for Christmas each week and earn interest on it as well.

These tips should help you with your Christmas planning, making the holiday period easier and cheaper!

What are your budget Christmas tips?

Kylie Ofiu is the author of 365 Ways To Make Money. She blogs about real ways to make and save money at her blog and Mozo - a savings comparison site.


  1. Some great tips Kylie.

    I have stuff I put away for my twin cherubs last year for Christmas (Lego basic pack that I changed my mind about giving).

    I am sticking to the basic gift giving philosophy something to wear & read , something they want & something they need and maybe a few other little stocking stuffers.

    I just hope my FIL buys them new bikes though :) - yes it's cheating but he can afford it more than we can. Then my Mum & SIL will buy them new bike helmets.

    I think it is an expectation that kids need more ...and family members need our 'gift' but the reality is we all have more than enough and if not - we buy it when we want to.

    I know it is easier to get away with less gifts while they are preschoolers.Older children are harder to please but if I start now - I might get lucky.

    (Ps Naomi - I had to edit because of my bad grammar - so tired)

  2. I totally agree Kylie- people go mad as they feel time poor at christmas- but really it's about planning and being organised so that everyone enjoys it- not just the children...

    Many thanks-Melissa :)

  3. Great post! Love the idea about BBQ rub - genius! I love to give food gifts for xmas but with a baby this year, I couldn't get my head around what to make. Thanks to you, this year I am set! xxx

  4. These are some great tips! We only give hand made gifts to extended family and it really helps to keep the cost down :-)

  5. Thanks Naomi for having me and thank you everyone. It's good to see so many like minded people. We all do have more than enough.

    I was truly horrified a few years ago when my nieces got everything you could possibly imagine e.g. a wii, guitar hero, Hannah Montana Malibu beach house etc.... And instead of being grateful they literally ripped things open, threw on the floor screaming wheres my next one then when the presents were done they were disappointed and didn't even play with what they got.

    It was that moment that changed my view on presents.

  6. Christmas is a busy time of the year. And the most important thing on that list is 'Making a Plan'. We have tried this here at our humble home in the North Pole, and it does the trick! I also tend to shop for our food a few days before the busiest days. :)

    Elfie, Leader of the Elves at Christmas World


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