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Christmas on a budget


Saving money for the holiday season

Christmas can be the most wonderful (and exxy) time of the year. Before the season of spending kicks off, consider if you could do Christmas on a budget.

If you’re wondering how much money you should save for Christmas, it depends on how you celebrate. The average Aussie spends over $700 on presents, food, alcohol and decorations.

Here’s some ways to both cut costs and save for the holidays to sleigh your Christmas budget ;)

1. Gift cards and online shopping

Do you have unused gift cards or rewards points stashed up? Now’s the time to redeem them and save the cost of a few presents. There’s also mega online sales in November and December like Black Friday and Click Frenzy. If you love a bargain (who doesn’t!), write up a list of gifts you’re looking for and stick to it.

2. Get crafty

Have lots of friends and family to buy for? Start googling DIY Christmas gifts like homemade gingerbread, candles and terrariums. They’re heartfelt (tick) and could be easier on the bank account (big tick). Plus, making your decorations is another way you could spend less money this Christmas.

3. A very eco-friendly Christmas

If arts and crafts aren’t for you, consider making a tax-deductible donation on someone’s behalf. It’s better for the planet and your wallet (if you can claim it back at tax time). When it comes to wrapping, try reusing gift bags and ribbons from last Christmas. Forgot to save them? Don’t worry, butcher’s paper should do the trick. It’s cheaper than wrapping paper and you can write on it, so there’s no need to buy cards.

4. Share the joy (and the costs)

If you’re hosting a party, ask your guests to bring a dish or something to drink. It’s a great way to get everyone involved and help lower your costs. Cheers to that! Just make sure you keep a list of who’s bringing what, otherwise it might be salads all round. And when it comes to pressies, organise a Secret Santa and set a cost limit.

5. Prepping your festive fund

Trimming down your costs is great but there’s some stuff you’ll have to pay for. This is where your festive fund comes in handy. Setting up a separate savings account and adding to it each week could be a great way to prepare for the silly season.

The trick is to start early. If you save $75 each week from mid-October, you’ll have $750 in your festive fund before the holiday antics kick off.

Pro tip: Having your festive fund in a savings account with no fees and a competitive interest rate, like our
USave, could help grow your cash even further. You can open multiple USave accounts to help manage your holiday savings.

Saving money for Christmas will hopefully be easier with these simple tips and tricks. Once your finances are sorted, it’s time to start planning backyard BBQs and Christmas movie marathons.


Before making a decision to open a USave, you should obtain and consider the Terms and Conditions available at USave is issued by UBank, a division of National Australia Bank Limited ABN 12 004 044 937 AFSL 230686.

The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It doesn’t take account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, you should consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances and seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice.