With less than two weeks until Christmas the silly season is definitely upon us!

This year could be seen to be taking this to a completely new level with the end of lockdown and everyone wanting to make up for lost time. With $23.9 billion expected to be spent in Australia this festive season, up 38% from last years estimated spend of $17.3 billion, the below tips can help you get through this period.

1. Set a budget

You may be tempted to spend whatever it takes to find the perfect gift, especially when paying with credit or buy now, pay later services, the reality is the hangover repayment could be a nightmare, especially if you don’t repay within set time frames. With some services charging up to 20.74% interest if you miss a repayment, you really need to weigh up if it’s worth it. Get clear on how many gifts you want to buy and how much you are prepared to spend before you head out the door.

2. Make a list

Leaving home without a Christmas present list is like going on adventurous holidays without insurance, you’re taking a risk that you will come away unscathed! Quite often we go with the approach that something will ‘jump out’ at us, and the reality is emotions start flaring up the longer you are shopping without success. All too often I see people blow their budget and buy a more expensive item just so they have a gift to give. Having a list also helps keep you focussed so you reduce the amount you buy – anyone relate to ‘one for me, one for you’ shopping approach?!!

3. Shop early

Whilst you may not be one of those people that have all of their Christmas shopping done in the Boxing day/Black Friday sales, now is the time to start thinking about doing your shopping earlier rather than later. This way you can start searching on line for deals and have time, if needed, for Australia Post to deliver! Remember to check cut-off dates on websites or call the provider to see if they are experiencing delays. I’ve had delivery times range from 3 days to the end of January 2022. Somehow a delivery in January is not going to end well on Christmas day.

4. Pay for items with cash

Psychologically we spend more when paying for items either by credit or buy now, pay later services, in some cases up to 100% more. Why? Firstly it’s easier, secondly there’s also a disconnect between ‘your’ money and ‘their’ money, this comes down to what is called ‘coupling’, when you spend cash you know the impact immediately, when you spend on credit or buy now, pay later services then the time period between purchase and payment is delayed.

5. Make some quick money

Strapped for cash? Time to have a Marie Kondo cleanout and see what you can sell. Listing items on your local Marketplace, Ebay, Gumtree could help with the process. Don’t forget to check for listing and other fees. Also consider using any gift cards or vouchers that might be going to waste or near expiry.

6. Consider alternatives

Christmas is about spending time together, so consider removing the gift focus. If spending time together doesn’t quite cut if for you, then one of the most valuable gifts you can give is time. Consider either offering to pet sit, babysit, host friends over for a meal, do some maintenance even mow some lawns. With our time poor society sometimes these gifts are more valuable than the ones you can get from the store. Another idea is giving or donating your time to charities and letting your gift recipient know. Even better, include them in on the experience!

7. Start planning for next Christmas

Who remembers having a Christmas Club account? Start now so you’re ready for next year. It’s easy to do and involves opening up a separate bank account and then establishing automatic regular deposits to the account. Saving $20 per week will add up to over $1000 at the end of the year.


Wishing you a Safe and Merry Christmas



1.Wallis, S, 2021/11/16, Australia’s Christmas spending statistics 2021, Finder, https://bit.ly/3oP6Ivw
2.Bradney-George, A, McMullen, S, 2021/11/08, O% Balance Transfer Credit Card Offers, Finder https://bit.ly/3oP6t3A
3.Hardekopf, B, 2018/07/16, Do People Really Spend More with Credit Cards?, Forbes, https://bit.ly/3dQeNcQ

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