How do you budget your Christmas spending? What do you spend on each child, food, decorations etc. And how do you find the money to pay for it all?

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  • To budget for Christmas I opened a Christmas Club account. I had to ask if the bank offered one as they weren’t openly advertising it.
    Every pay I put in $30 and by the time I can access the money (November 1st) I have $600 ready to go.
    When my son and his cousins were younger I put in $50 per pay, and this gave me extra wriggle room with other Christmas expenses that popped up.

  • lay by is great plus the kids can’t peek! put away a little extra money here and there and it quickly builds up. get it direct debited out of your acc

  • I limit myself to one big present for each of the kids, a couple of stocking fillers for them also, then $20-25 budget for other family members. I try to save as much as possible between July and December!

  • We buy what we can afford and also lay-by gifts before Christmas makes life easy!

  • We buy our Christmas decorations etc after christmas when they are cheaper and just buy a couple each year. The kids also make decorations which makes it even more special than store bought ones.
    I also shop for presents during the year as I see something and it is on special. Saves a big rush at the end of the year. – I just keep a list of what I have bought for everyone so I don’t forget. (same for birthdays)

  • I say buy next years decorations at the boxing day sales we scored a really top of the line tree and lights to go on it, cheap at myer one year. Cherish all the decorations the kids bring home from daycare/ school and use them every year. Our tree is so miss matched with decorations its perfect with all the extra trimmings. We also get a santa photo bubble every year to go onto the tree. We buy all the wrapping, cards etc at the sale the year before and store it. That way when specials are on tthough the year on toys you can buy it wrap it and save the stress so close to chistmas. We budgett $250 for a child each year.

  • Christmas for us is more about spending time together rather than expensive gifts. Decorations can be used from year to year and lots of great ideas for making simple ones too if you are crafty. Also christmas decorations are already 30% off in Woolworths!

  • I put presents on layby and I always double check how to divide the weeks from the date I put on layby to the date it has to be picked up and how much I should be putting away. if I have enough money for other stuff then I put it on layby. I have told my kids that they wont be getting much for xmas as they have been real naughty this year and santa has been watching. I have realised the boys stuff is more expensive than the girls stuff but I have instead made sure there was even numbers not by equal price spent.
    as for food, I grab food on special, talk to everyone what they are bringing so you know what you only have to get and make.
    ive collected my children’s xmas art from kinder and have been putting them on the wall as decorations and put it away when time is over til next Christmas comes.
    if you have children or grand children, do some Christmas art and hang them around the room where the celebration will be held.
    just an idea.

  • The biggest tip for Christmas is to remember that it’s one day and do not go overboard as there is no point in being in debt for the next year!

  • Sales, Sales and more sales. I write a list and try to buy through out year when there are good sales on

  • I don’t spend that much for Christmas. Just what I can afford. This year I actually paid most of the gifts with money I earned while answering surveys. I love that! And I bought a second hand toy for my daughter in Gumtree. I am so curious to see if she likes it! :-)

  • Budget for the year and plan to purchase items for Christmas throughout the year. Add extra food/gift items to your trolley when shopping and put them aside in a Christmas box. I buy items that are on special after Christmas such as cheap Christmas items and keep them for the next Christmas. I also put items aside in another box for charity Christmas hampers. A little each/week and fortnight is better for the budget than a massive spend at Christmas time. We do have a limit of the price of presents and that has to be made according to your budget.

  • Even though Christmas is suppose to be the most Joyous time, I think it is actually the most stressful. That is because everything seems to mount up on that day so now I plan a little sooner ( even a couple of months ) so that there is minimum panic. In your case, it is definatley a good idea and write it down . These days there are so many suggestions on websites so have a Google. With decorations for example , you can find cheap decorations and even a tree at places like Vinnies , Salvos etc. With presents for this year we are doing Kris Kringle or a lucky dip because everyone is happy with doing it the economical way . Perhaps after the event , you can get a lot of things for half price and save those for next year. It is also wise to start saving from the new year as before you know it December is around the corner. Hope you work it soon .

  • Lists work really well, as do shopping through the year at sale times and crossing bought items off the list.

  • We have a large family and one income so budgeting for Christmas is essential for me. I find the best advice is to be organised. Some of my friends think I am crazy as I literally buy for Christmas for the adults in our family during the previous post Christmas sales. I make a list of sale items bought (so I don’t double buy) and a maximum spend for each person then store them in a cupboard away from the kids. If it’s been a very tight year then I buy a joint present for the adults. I wait to buy the kids Christmas presents from a store until December as that is when toy stores really up their game to get their sales – plus kids change their mind so much during the year on what they wish for. I don’t buy lots of presents for our kids (although they do receive quite a bit by the end of the day) – I tend to budget for one large present for them and a few small bits and pieces. Online shopping is also your friend. It is crazy, but it is cheaper to buy from overseas Ebay sellers and I tend to do that during the second half of the year as the kids mention things they would like. For example, I bought my daughter a silver necklace with her initial on it for $1 including postage. If hosting Christmas, I ask each family coming to bring a plate of something (eg. salad, dessert, snacks) and I provide the main meal along with other things. Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive – I think the trick is to be disciplined and stop buying things unnecessarily.

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