Ahead of the festive season, money is definitely on people’s minds.

Finder.com.au has found that total spending over the festive season is projected to hit $25 billion, with Aussies spending $1,325 each on average! Women are projected to spend $1,406, more than men who on average who will shell out $1241 each.

Research by Money Smart found that 40 per cent of the total Christmas spend in 2017 was on credit cards. Canstar said that accounts to an average individual splurge of $3,342 on credit.

With that in mind, we spoke to the CEO of Castle Debt Solutions, Carlo Napolitano, to find out some helpful tips for managing your budgets over the Christmas period.

Compare Your Income To Your Expenses

It’s always important to budget by looking at your income compared to your expenditure. By doing this you can see what you have to cover on your weekly or monthly expenses and what you have leftover for all of that Christmas shopping and extra food you’ll be buying during the festive season.

Only spend what you can afford

It may sound simple, but many people fall into the trap of relying too heavily on credit cards over Christmas. If you’re going to use a credit card to cover the additional December costs, make sure you’ve worked out how you will pay it off in January before those nasty interest fees hit!

Make A List

Make a list for xmas presents with suggestions for spend for each person. This allows you to see in advance what you’ll be buying this Christmas without going overboard.

Go For Debit

Use Debit Cards instead of Credit Cards! So many Castle Debt Solutions clients come to us with masses of credit card debt and so often this is a result of large interest rates and fees. Debit Cards stop you spending money you don’t have!

Be practical about presents

Look at gift options people will need and enjoy that aren’t going to blow the bank. Sometimes a gift from the heart doesn’t need to cost as much. Many families often opt for making gifts instead of purchasing them.

Sell Sell Sell!

Sell items you don’t use, advertise on Gumtree or social media. This will give you more money to spend and clean out your house for when you have all the family in town!

Do you have any festive budget tips? Share them in the comments below.

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  • We only buy for the kids these days and keep a pretty strick budget on it.


  • Always make a list and buy cards/paper when on special after Christmas to store away.


  • Keeping a gifting list definitely helps I try to start early in the year to spread it out


  • Chrisco can be a good idea. I usually write lists and prices down to budget.


  • A lot of budgeting is just common sense. Live within your means, not to impress the neighbours or the family


  • I listen intently to conversations as sometimes I get good clues for useful Christmas presents. I mainly buy for my little great nieces and great nephews. Things such as books, sometimes educational, toys that we know they will be interested in for awhile and preferably are partly developmental, craft materials that the Mum and child can do together (one family in particular), clothes if needed. Little ones grow so quickly that a family with 2 or more children can find it hard to keep up with even the basic needs


  • I always check out after Christmas sales and put little gifts away. Love to buy when 75% or more off.


  • Get the shopping done as early as possible that way you’re not racing around buying an “it’ll do” present that cost over your budget just so you have something to give.


  • Gift giving does not come naturally to me. I prefer to not do it. I just ask people to not include us in any present swapping. My children don’t need much so we don’t buy a lot. Christmas is cheap for us.


  • I bought presents that I knew the recipients would like ( casually asked them through the year ) and paid by credit card that I had been putting extra in throughout the year. By Christmas I didn’t have to worry about money as my cards were in the black. Woohoo


  • I kept within my budget this year – hurrah


  • It is really easy to over spend at Christmas. I really love buying gifts for people. I always have a budget and make sure I stick to it and I try to get as organised as I can in the months leading up to Christmas.


  • I try not to use the credit card and use cash instead to stay in control and buy what I can afford


  • I start buying presents in July for this reason, get a flybuys card, Woolworths reward card to help take money off your shop


  • I must admit I don’t spend much money at Christmas time. And I only buy what I can afford.

    • Smart move and we are the same – we buy what we can afford and we always look ahead.


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