Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

How to spend sensibly this festive season | Savings with Sarah #10

Copy of Members Templates - 30

We're planning to spend a whopping $30 billion this silly season. Here's how to avoid overspending at Christmas time.


It's a LOT of zeros – but Finder research shows we're planning to whoop it up this Christmas.

In an interview with Money magazine, I shared that the average person is expecting to fork out an average of $1361 during the festive period, which is huge when we consider so many of us are doing it so tough financially.

So how can you get through Christmas without charging up a storm to buy now pay later and credit cards, leaving you with a massive debt hangover to kick start the new year?

  • Stick to your list: When you're Christmas shopping it's easy to overspend and buy more for each person than you planned. Be like Santa and write a list and check it twice.
  • Partner up: with friends or relatives to give joint presents. Four people chipping in $50 each to buy someone a $200 gift ends up really meaningful.
  • Set a budget: most people don't have a clue how much Christmas costs them. Adding it all up can help you plan for what you can realistically afford. I helped my mum add up her Christmas spending last year, and it was over $2,000! This year we set the budget at $1,000 – still massive, but she has a lot of grandkids.
  • Buy Back to School Gear for Christmas presents – school bags, lunch boxes, drink bottles, devices and even a bike to ride to school should all be part of your kids' Christmas presents.
  • Turn a hobby or passion into presents: Love baking? Make the best lasagne this side of Cicily? Give the gift of your own talents this year. Most people would appreciate the love and effort that goes into homemade goodies, and you'll spend far less on ingredients than store-bought presents.
  • Suggest a Secret Santa – if you and your family usually exchange gifts, this year, suggest you do it Secret Santa style to cut down on spending.
  • Do a pot luck lunch or dinner to celebrate – If you're a slight control freak like me and you like to have control over the menu, you can ask your loved ones to prepare specific dishes for the big day, so you don't have to cop the full brunt of the grocery bill.

Savings with Sarah

Each Monday, our money expert Sarah Megginson shares another tip to help you save more than you spend.
Go to site