Money-saving tips for Christmas - 11 weeks to go!
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
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Seems like it was only yesterday that I was telling you that it's 12 weeks to go until Christmas. Well, guess what? It's only 11 weeks now! Yikes! 11 weeks and I'm guessing you might really need some money-saving and money-generating tips to get you through! Look no further friends, here are 12 ideas you can start implementing today to help get you cashed-up for Christmas.
1. If you saved $5 a day (that's one coffee a day) for the next 11 weeks, you'd have $385 spare to spend on Christmas. Increase that amount to $10 per day and you'll be looking at $770 in your hand on Christmas Day!
2. It's Spring - the time for spring cleaning - so why not get rid of all that stuff you've accumulated and have a garage sale or sell your items on Ebay or Gumtree? Remember when you're selling your items, don't overprice them - you're selling them to make some spare cash for Christmas, OK?
3. Say NO to all those extra things that drain your money at Christmas like the work Secret Santa, the gift for the kids' school teacher (a handwritten note will mean just as much as another cake of soap!), and all those parties you feel compelled to go to but don't really want to attend. It's ok to say NO. Just remember when you decline, decline gracefully. There's no need for long explanations, just a simple "No thanks, not for me this year" will do. By avoiding these unnecessary expenses you'll be able to give yourself the gift of no money worries this Christmas.
4. Every time you go grocery shopping from now until Christmas, buy yourself 2 non-perishable items that you need for Christmas and store it away until the big day. These items could be things like corn chips, cans of asparagus for your salads, lollies, anything. It's great to do this when the items you're looking for are on a weekly special. That way you save money on the groceries too. Just make sure to check that the use-by date goes longer than 25/12/19.
5. Make sure you check out supermarket catalogues for weekly specials in the lead up to Christmas. Rather than opting for the paper version, say no to junk mail and give the environment a Christmas present too by signing up to Lasoo (www.lasoo.com.au) which provides weekly online shopping catalogues for all our major supermarkets including Coles, Woolworths and Aldi.
6. Be smart about the food you buy at Christmas and buy only what you'll use. What's the point of buying or making a huge plum pudding if there's only two of you at home to eat it? While I can't resist buying a ham and glazing it, as we are empty-nesters I always make sure I've got a lot of leftover ham recipes on hand so I can use every last bit of ham I have! Waste not, want not, is a pretty good saying to remember, especially at Christmas time.
7. Now you knew I was going to say this but I'm going to say it anyway. Look to make your own Christmas gifts when you can. Homemade things like biscuits, jams, craft items, soap, and plants are lovely gifts to receive because they show that love, time and thought have gone into the gift-giving. Of course you can always actually give your time and energy to people as a gift too by giving them a personalised gift certificate. You might want to give your adult children who have kids, a monthly babysitting night so that they can go out on a date night. Or maybe you've got an elderly friend who has trouble washing their car? Bingo, car washing gift certificate to the rescue! Really think about what people might like to receive and then give them your time to help. You can create our own personalised gift certificates using Canva's free online program (https://www.canva.com/create/gift-certificates/). It's easy to use and they look fantastic!
8. Ditch the Christmas stocking. Yes I know it's a tradition in some families, particularly those living in colder climates. It's too hot here in Australia for Santa to think about wearing Christmas stockings. Santa would probably more likely rather wear a pair of rubber thongs and trust me, you can't fit much in a pair of thongs! : ) Regardless, the presents that go into the stockings are usually just fillers, you know little things that you pick up at the $2 shop, things made of plastic, things people probably don't really need. So let's reduce environmental waste, let's reduce the amount of money we waste at Christmas and tell the kids that Santa's getting a little too old these days to carry around stocking fillers - I'm sure they'll understand! As a kid we got more of a kick out of finding the half-eaten biscuits in the morning after Santa had been - definitely proof that Santa had been in our house during the night!
9. There's been a trend that's been around for the past few years called the Four Gift Rule and it goes something like this when you're giving gifts to your children. Buy them one thing that they really want; one thing that they really need; something that they can wear; and something to read. What a great idea and certainly helps cut down the number of gifts that are usually showered on children. You could also ask the kids' grandparents to help you with this idea by asking them to give the kids one thing from the Four Gift Rule. Seriously, I don't know if this is true in your family, but I have seen kids get spoilt rotten at Christmas. Lots of presents, in fact, an overwhelming amount of gifts, that usually are forgotten, discarded or broken before we even see in the New Year. When it comes to gift-giving, less is definitely more in my opinion.
10. Check out your local paper or your Council website to see what free or low-cost activities are going on in your area at Christmas. I bet you'll find things like Christmas Carols in the Park, Christmas lights routes and other activities you can do in your neighbourhood. If you want a quiet night in, then there are a multitude of Christmas movies you can watch at home. If you don't have any at home, try Netflix, borrowing a DVD from a friend or even your local library.
11. Reach out and help someone. Christmas isn't always a joyous time of year for everyone. See if there is someone you can help in the coming weeks. Perhaps you can bake someone a cake, help clean up their garden, or volunteer to serve Christmas dinner at a shelter. I've found in my life that it truly is better to give than receive.
12. If Christmas is about catching up with family and friends, try to share the burden of providing all the food and drinks and ask everyone to bring a plate of food to share at the party. You can specify the type of food you want people to bring - for example, please bring a salad to share or perhaps bring some nibbles that we can share before our BBQ. Christmas should be about sharing and pot luck dinners sound like a great idea to me.
Well, that's it for this week. I do hope that some of these ideas help you save some money for Christmas. Make sure you check out my blog next week for the next instalment in our Christmas Countdown.
Til next time