Dollars & Sense: How to not overspend at Christmas

December 14th 2023 | Categories: Budgeting & Goals |

Dollars & Sense: How to not overspend at Christmas main image

With good reason, Christmas time comes with the loaded reputation of being the most expensive time of year. A spending season for shopaholics to rejoice, where you’ll be branded as Grinch-like for not participating in the family or office gift-giving. The festive season is a time to enjoy and indulge yourself and your loved ones, however, many find it difficult to know when or even how to stop the spending.   Here are some quick, helpful tips to help keep your Christmas spending in check.  

Budget or bust

A budget is the gift that is given all year round, especially when looking to reduce and monitor spending.  Having a Christmas budget is extremely important, but it also needs to be reasonable and realistic to your specific situation.  The categorisation of your budget is a great way to distribute spending and can be the key tool when deciding what changes or sacrifices need to be made.   On the flip side, not sticking to your budget will render it worthless.  An unfollowed budget is about as useful as a chocolate teapot (that’s not very useful).  Some helpful suggestions to keep in mind when creating your Christmas budget are, 


Rein it in!

It’s no secret that consumerism thrives this time of year, with big companies salivating at the thought of impulse shopping.  Impulse spending in consumers is the result of massive profits for companies, and with targeted holiday campaigns – we all know it is very hard to ignore the temptations all around us.  To reduce spending, we need to make like Rudolph and REIN IT IN!  Even when you’re asking yourself, “Is this a want or a need?”, the lines blur come Christmas time.  Depending on your level of self-control, helpful ways to reduce impulse spending during the Christmas period are to:


xmas piggy invest blue

Taking cash to the shops goes hand in hand with another tip, which is to materialise your budget.  This will turn your budget into a physical entity, meaning it’s harder to ignore when you are nearing the limit. 

 Explore our Knowledge Centre below for more insights.

Surf the save wave

While the rest of the world prepares for a cozy Christmas, things are heating up in Australia. Leading up to and throughout the Christmas period there are numerous deals, sales and coupons that are made available. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Travel Tuesday, Boxing Day sales and the many cashback or discounts brands offer in a bid to offload stock by the year’s end. Surf the wave and take full advantage of all the savings. Why pay more, if you can get it cheaper?  For the ultimate organisers, shopping for items when they are off-season is a great way to catch popular items at their cheapest…  just keep in mind that you might have to hide the presents for a few months.  

Utilise the internet

Online shopping is a great way to Christmas shop.  Amongst other things (like getting to choose your shopping soundtrack, sorry Bublé and Mariah!) online shopping is the best way to compare before you buy, ensuring you find the bargains.  The many deals and offers enable you to get the most out of your Christmas budget, whilst providing gift ideas that never would’ve occurred to you.  Beware the beast that is the internet!  It is very easy to succumb to temptation and impulse purchases online.  The vast accessibility and availability of online shopping means that temptation is rife, and you may struggle, so shop with caution. 

Gift giving games

Secret Santa and White Elephant are not only fantastic ways to reduce Christmas spending, but also so much fun.  Instead of buying a present for everyone in your life, Secret Santa and White Elephant enable you to buy someone a meaningful gift without the stress of preparing gifts for all your family members, colleagues, and friends.  Adopt a theme to keep everyone on their toes, some of our favourites include a ‘DIY only’, ‘something from the op shop’, or ‘what we found around the house’.   You may also be interested in our articles:

Our final, and most important tip – Remember what matters most!   

Spending memorable time with friends and family and doing the things that make you happy.  There is no need to spend an outrageous amount on making Christmas perfect. If you remember what matters most, chances are you’ll have no problem keeping your Christmas spending in check… especially if it means all you have to do is buy a pair of novelty socks. 

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What you need to knowThis information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd. (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice regarding those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice before acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.