It’s coming up to my favourite time of year – Christmas. Sure it can be hectic – shopping for presents in a crazy mall can feel like running a marathon, but when the day finally comes, I love it! There’s nothing better than spending time with loved ones, eating amazing food and enjoying everything to do with summer.

Before we know it we will be hearing Michael Buble on the radio and seeing ‘xmas’ trees for sale on the side of the road. There is, however, something to be said about preparing early or planning ahead as we begin to feel the pressure to buy all of our gifts in time and we start to remember how quickly our hard earned cash seems to disappear.

Do you know that last December Kiwis spent $6 billion in card transactions alone? That’s crazy! So how can we enjoy the Christmas break without racking up more debt than necessary?

Here are our top tips:

  • Remember that some of the best memories are made by spending time with family and friends, it’s not just about the gifts.
  • Make a list/plan of everyone you want to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. From this list, you can work out how much you can spend on each gift to ensure you stay within your budget.
  • Start early and take advantage of the sales leading up to Christmas. If you stretch your spending over a few months, the pinch will be a little softer. Save on postage and send fun online Christmas cards or videos.
  • DIY – create your own homemade Christmas gifts to drop off to your relatives. There’s nothing quite like homemade baking.
  • Do your research online. Have a look at sites like PriceSpy to make sure that you’re getting the best deal for your money.
  • This is a little bit crazy; Save your Christmas shopping until the next day and make the most of the Boxing Day deals.

Every little bit of saving all adds up. It’s important not to be stressed about overspending and instead be able to enjoy the holiday break with your loved ones.

We would love to hear your Christmas savings suggestions.

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