The festive season can be a busy, stressful and expensive time of year especially for those with young children. Presents from Santa, gifts for the extended family and the mountain of grocery items can easily max out a credit card if you’re not organised.
Check out our 3 budget-friendly tips to get you through Christmas without breaking the bank!
1. Gifts for the kids – During the lead-up, we have discussions with our kids and teach them that for us, Christmas is about giving, serving others and enjoying the time we have with family and friends. This shifted the mindset for our kids to expect less and to instead give to those less fortunate than we are. Getting the kids involved in selecting gifts and donating to a charity is a perfect way to demonstrate this. We purchase one gift each for our kids to open on Christmas day as we enjoy watching the excitement as they unwrap the gift. We also decided that we would gift experiences and to make it fun, we create envelopes for each month and put a brochure of that experience into it each. That way, the kids have something to look forward to each month in the new year and we can budget for it well in advance.
2. Secret Santa – Having a large extended family doesn’t need to be expensive. Sit down with your family (preferably in November to allow plenty of time for gift idea brain-storming) to discuss implementing secret Santa and set a price limit that everyone commits sticking to. This year we decided on a $50 limit each for mine and my partner's side of the family which meant $200 total.
3. Christmas Day food – Discuss with your family what will be on the menu this year and decide what dishes each person will contribute. This not only will save you spending all of Christmas Eve/Day in the kitchen but can drastically cut the grocery bill.
Be creative and have fun during the festive season. There are many FREE community events to get the whole family involved in and create memories. Remember, children won't necessarily remember the gifts they receive, it will be the experience.