Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and for many of us it can also be quite stressful and hard hitting on your back pocket.
Leading up to Christmas can be frantic and chaotic especially trying to battle the crowds to do last minute gift shopping, lining up early at the fish markets to get seafood, the cooking, the decorations, the parties, the get togethers, working out which family you’ll spend Christmas lunch and dinner with, and everything else that goes with Christmas.
Sometimes things can get out of hand quickly and Christmas can become a heavy financial burden. So here are some our favourite ‘stress-free Christmas money saving hacks’ we have hand picked from experts for you to consider.
Our favourite stress-free Christmas money saving hacks
Take a different approach
Don’t stress yourself over the little things that drive you crazy. Consider a change. Why not just drop one annoying task and decide to do it differently. Thinking outside the traditional norm could just make a difference to make Christmas fun and a lot less stressful. If posting out Christmas cards are one of those dreads, why not send out an online family Christmas video message? This way, it’s easier to do, it’s fun, it involves the whole family to create a video message and it saves you a few bucks in cards and postage.
Cut back on the expensive stressful Christmas rituals
It’s OK to cut back! If taking the family on a overseas holiday is a tradition, it might be a nice change to making the time spent with the family the main event and less focus on the travel itself. Going back to basics and dropping expensive rituals for something more simple like spending meaningful moments with the family is just as rewarding and satisfying. Just going to the local beach or on a local driving holiday is just as fun but less expensive and less stressful.
‘Spend more time filling our souls than emptying our pocketbooks’
We love this quote from Loretta LaRoche, international stress management consultant and columnist of ‘Get a Life’, who says the need to run out and buy loads of expensive gifts for gift-giving is not necessary, and the joy of giving and receiving comes in different ways. Creating memorable family experiences is ever lasting and rewarding, and the simple acts of baking cakes or making Christmas pancakes for breakfast or just laughing and splashing around at the beach or at your family pool are just as joyous and soul fulfilling and kind to our back pockets.
‘Less is more’
Who is guilty of over-indulgence? Is your Christmas tree overloaded with gifts? Do you on Christmas day, watch your kids rip through present after present until the unwrapping excitement fades and the joy is over? Do you then start feeling stressed thinking about how you’re going to outdo it for next year?
Starting stats from ASIC Money Smart states that Australians plan to spend on average $955 each over the Christmas holidays with some families (4%) even taking out loans to pay for presents!
All the money spent for a few seconds of joy with most of the gifts ending up in the giveaway bin – it just doesn’t seem to make good financial sense.
As a family activity, giving up some time for others in need, and volunteering for services or donating gifts to charity organisations or leading a ‘charity’ drive is a generous act of kindness and giving.
One thoughtful and meaningful gift is ‘good enough’ and it helps to keep financial pressures and stress to a minimum.
Gift of giving is not just about presents but giving your time to make a difference to others in need is an incredibly generous gift.
Don’t forget to have fun
Enjoy the time, relax and spend the time to create memorable experiences and meaningful moments with the people who matter the most to you.
It is a time to reflect, to be thankful, to appreciate the people around you and to have a few Christmas cheers and celebrations.
Focus on what’s important, and savour the moment of decorating the tree or baking Christmas cookies with the kids. It’s OK to have fun and it’s OK to just let go of the Christmas tasks still left on your list.
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This web page may contain general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.