5 Tips to Ensure You Win at Christmas Budgeting
It’s officially mid-October. I’ll give you a second to have a mini breakdown.
There are 61 days left until Christmas Day, which means 60 days to get our tushies in gear and get chrimbo underway. But how can we win at Christmas shopping, when most of the expense comes from buying gifts for other people?
Glad you asked.
The first place to start with saving money on your Christmas shopping is to write down all the people you need to buy for – including that stupid office Secret Santa you get roped into every year. No matter how small the budget, or how furry the recipient (yes I buy for my cat), write down everyone on your list.
Then attribute a budget to each person, and add 20% of that budget to each person. That’ll give you a buffer for when you either go over budget, or have a breakdown during the actual shopping experience because of all the children and the trampling and the dads and father-in-laws who are inexplicably hard to buy for, and end up guzzling a mulled wine by yourself in the dark.
So you’ve got your budgets, you’ve got your 20% mental breakdown buffer, now you can start shopping.
I know this is starting to feel a bit like the final of The Bachelor because there don’t appear to be any winners as promised.
But trust me. Here come some tips:
Doing all your shopping online is the best way to avoid temptation and reduce the risk of going off piste with your present buying. By that I mean doing what I seem to do every year and buying two of everything, because I’m such a bloody brilliant present-buyer that I immediately decide I need one of everything for myself too.
Suggest a Secret Santa/Kris Kringle
Secret Santa/Kris Kringles don’t need to be the fiesta of candles and Lindt balls that they once were. Try mixing up your usual arrangement with a version like Dirty Santa. With Dirty Santa, you’re not buying for one specific person – meaning you can’t get dogged by drawing Marie from accounts as your receiver and not having a clue what to get her. The rules of Dirty Santa allow people to steal and swap gifts from you depending on what order you the gifts are given out. It’s all very political but does mean you can palm off your crap present to someone else, and even steal back the gift you bought if you think it’s the best one.
Buy via a Cashback Site
Buy all your presents through your favourite websites via ShopBack, and by the January sales, you’ll have a stack of cashback waiting to be redeemed!
Yeah you actually get money back from shopping online I’m not kidding.
I bet you haven’t gasped this loudly since Brooke told the Honey Badger to shove his lukewarm love units up his annoyingly firm butt.
Here’s how it works.
ShopBack gets a commission from hundreds of retailers like ASOS, The Iconic, Woolworths, Booking.com, Myer, Amazon, and splits it with you. So you literally get money back for buying online. Actual money, not credit or vouchers. Real money that can be transferred to your bank account.
So if you buy a shirt for your fella from The Iconic, you’re looking at 8% cashback. Do all your gingerbread-laden food shopping at Woolworths Online, 2.5% of it is coming right back to you. Book a school holiday break on booking.com or Expedia? 6-9% cashback will be there to cover your cocktails.
Just make sure you go to the ShopBack website and click through to your favourite site before purchasing. Then, check out as normal, and the clever little bots in your computer trace your spend back to ShopBack. Within 2 days, your funds appear, and within 75 days, they’re redeemable. Yeah, yeah 75 days is a while to wait, BUT, shop now and your funds will be available in time for New Years Eve splurges, post-Christmas sale shopping and as much Christmas scoffing you can squash into your annual leave.
Not only will you get the cashback, you’ll be able to shop much more efficiently without having to browse the stores and get tempted by things for yourself.
Make Your Gifts
Now I’m not suggesting you need to get the papier maché out or start ferociously gluing macaroni onto jewellery boxes. But getting creative with your gifts not only makes them more personal – it can save you a ton of cash too. You could create your own serums by mixing together different essential oil combinations, or maybe compile your own care packs with small bitsy things from places like Daiso or Muji.
Yeah I know it’s not even Halloween yet, but starting early means you get ahead on your Christmas gifting and avoid getting trampled by the tinsel-clad mums zipping up and down the aisles with Big W bags coming out of their ears. Even just making a list of who you need to buy for, and picking up small things as you see them can get the ball rolling. If you don’t want to start shopping yet, at least start saving. Putting away just $20 a week from today would mean you’ve stashed $160 by December 21st.
Got any more ways to save money this Christmas? Drop us a line on Instagram @the.brokegeneration.
This post was created in partnership with ShopBack but all Bachelor shock and cashback lovin’ our own.