Making ends meet to cover presents, food, and travel during the Silly Season can prove difficult.
In a News.com.au report Australians spent an average $1,325 on spreading Christmas cheer in 2017, which is more than a pretty penny for some. In fact, two-thirds of people say they regret how much they spent after all.
As a Mum who wants to provide for the family without it costing the earth, how can you tide yourself over this Christmas without breaking the bank?
Here are a few ways to have a Merry Christmas without the massive price tag.
Give them experiences instead of gifts
If you want to cut down on material gifts, consider giving your friends and family experiences instead. These could be vouchers for “free cleaning” or “free babysitting” for example. Or you could get an entire family a group ticket to the movies or a fun park for the day instead of spending heaps of money on individual items.
Make this Christmas kids’ only
As adults, I’m sure we’ve all done an occasional splurge on eBay – we can have Christmas every day if we wanted to! Since kids don’t have credit cards (well thankfully not until they’re older) getting gifts they cannot afford is extra special to them. Ask friends and family to make this Christmas kids’ only – or tell them you’re setting a strict budget this year to save money.
Refrain from putting it on the credit card
ASIC’s MoneySmart site says that upwards of 40% of a Christmas spend went on the credit card. Even if you pay your card bill on time most months, this means more interest and more debt. Others might find that a payday loan to lock in that present now instead of waiting until to get paid is an option – but these can often carry massive interest rates upward of 40% or more. If you are a casual or part-timer over Christmas, it can be extremely difficult coming up with the extra money after Santa’s been and gone.
Try a small loan instead
Taking out a small cash loan, usually anywhere between $500 to $5,000, is a more flexible option when financing bigger purchases such as holidays or big-ticket items.
Savvy CEO and loan expert Bill Tsouvalas says it’s a more flexible and less costly option than credit cards or payday loans.
“Payday loans are notorious for having huge price tags in a very short term,” he says. “Small loans give you more flexibility to pay off the loan over six to twelve months at a capped interest rate and fixed repayments. It’s far easier to budget around a small loan than credit cards or payday loan equivalents.”
Pool your resources
When it comes to Christmas, it’s often a group effort. If you’re putting on Christmas lunch or dinner, ask your friends and family to bring a plate to cut down on food costs and waste.
Buying group presents for the kids are also a way to save. Ask family or friends to chip in $20-30 for a new TV or games console – something they’ll get use of way after Christmas is over!