Silly Season Survival & Money Saving Tips

Whilst it seems the silly season sneaks up on us every year, there are many ways to help prepare yourself for the onslaught of shopping, cooking, planning and most importantly, celebrating. Here are our top 10 tips for a stress free Christmas:

1. Start shopping early. It will not only help your budget by spreading the cost out, but also your sanity. Keeping an eye out for sales that might have you snapping up a bargain could also mean you don’t have to hit the shops when the rest of Canberra is.

2. Start decorating. For most people, December 1st is when the Christmas decorations get dusted off. Have you ever noticed how early shopping centres have their decorations out? Why not take a leaf out of their book & put your decorations up early. It’s also a great place to hide presents that little hands might find if tucked away under your bed or in the cupboard.

3. Be Prepared. If you’re hosting Christmas dinner this year, why not start your cooking early. Stuffings can be frozen until the day before, and then thawed out. Those delicious roast veggies and salads can be prepped days earlier and put in an airtight container in the fridge. Also consider asking guests to bring nibbles, dessert or alcohol to reduce the cost of the big day. That way the cost and the time in preparing and shopping can be shared.

4. Post gifts early. If you need to post gifts interstate or overseas, the earlier the better. The last thing you need to be worrying about is whether your gifts have been received in time.

5. Lists and Budgets. Write a list for everyone you want/need to buy for and put an amount next to each person’s name and then total the amounts. If the amount is not realistic or is more than you are able to spend then consider culling your list or reducing the individual amounts.

6. Manage expectations. Talk to your kids about the budget you have for them this Christmas and ask them to consider presents within the budget or explain that with so many kids in the world Santa has had to put a budget on presents this year and the limit is X amount. Or if they want a pricier item then start searching now on eBay or other second-hand sites. It’s never too early for kids to understand that there isn’t a never-ending money tree that presents simply appear from.

7. Apply limits.  Consider talking to your friends and family and either put a limit on the amount you are going to spend on each other or organise a Secret Santa where you purchase for one person only.

8. Be realistic. If you as a grown-up genuinely don’t need anything (which let’s face it, is many of us) why not as a group of friends or a couple decide to donate the amount you would have spent to charity and then buy something silly and cheap for each other instead.

9. Plan ahead. While you don’t want to wish this festive season away, remember that there’s always another Christmas next year, so keep an eye on the after Christmas sales for decorations, or gifts that you know will be on your list next Christmas to purchase. The trick is to remember what you have purchased!

10. Celebrate!  It’s the end of another long year. Make sure you gift yourself the time to relax and enjoy being with your loved ones.

Our Partners