High life for less:
Christmas like a snowfo

High life for less: Christmas like a snowfo

Through our High life for less series we look at how to enjoy the richness of life without an abundance of riches. We looked at lurve, now Christmas. So how can we spread the festive spirit without spending too much cash? We explore how to do silly season on a shoestring.

So what does Christmas cost?

A nationwide survey of 2,017 Aussies by finder.com.au found Aussies are expected to splash out $1,178 each, on average, this festive season. The research shows Aussie shoppers will fork out $492 on Christmas presents alone – with women spending $58 more than men on gifts.

Debt Solutions agency, Fox Symes’ director Deborah Southon said:

“The only way we can get through Christmas is to be very disciplined”

– Deborah Southon – Fox Symes

According to the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Roy Morgan, Australians will spend more than $51 billion over the Christmas period, up 2.9% from last year. The great news is there are ways to cut the costs of Christmas, Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at Finder said:

“In 2018, you shouldn’t pay full price for anything, and the good news is there are plenty of sales between now and Christmas”

– Bessie Hassan, Money Expert at Finder

Get meticulous with the magic

Start planning 12 weeks out, say staff writers at Kidspot. So get that calendar app of choice out and add yourself a reminder way back in September!

“The three-month Christmas budget will save your sanity – say Kidspot”

Become the hustler

See it as your mission to start that Google sheets, listing out who is getting what and setting a limit. Here’s some of 2018 free gift apps to help you plan. The best hustlers are those that dedicate time for research and type in ‘discount’ into the search. Nestle away some cash from your October and November paychecks to last you through silly season.

DIY before you buy

There are plenty of things you can make that aren’t a time-suck. Easy ‘drag & drop’ photo calendars and photo books – can be really fun to make. Find an easy recipe and get baking or making a signature sauce.

Get lively online

The trick for buying presents is thoughtful over mindless frivolity. Being creative and sticking to your spend limit don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Shopping online for a deal means setting reminders further out and setting yourself a time limit!

If you have a techy person on your list, mark Black Friday 29/11/19 & Cyber Monday 2/12/19 in your calendars – like the extra 20% of Australians joining the virtual party. You could use your Xinja prepaid card to get 100% of your currency conversion fees refunded (NB: always select the local currency when you have a choice).

Self development subscriptions

Invest in topping up someone’s knowledge bank this year with an Amazon voucher for the Kindle/Audible, or digital magazine subscription. Add on the gift of curation by sharing the best podcast/reading lists for whatever floats their boat – shows time, effort and care factor.

Amass some elves and delegate like a snowfo

Delegate to people’s strengths – the uncle who likes a tipple could be on drinks, the brother who adores his new smoker on meat duties, and sisters on the magi-max for dips!

“Without naming names (Costco, Dans, Aldi), pooling a list with family to buy in bulk is the way forward” – Weeksy

Kris Kringle (aka Secret Santa) with a twist

Kris Kringles are a great way to limit escalating present costs for the extended family. Set the limit to around $20 or below. You don’t need to know people very well to rock Kris Kringle. Get creative and set a theme – like the hot Pantone of 2018: ultra violet. Don’t be that person that gifts a candle! If you’re feeling mischievous, add the element of Santa Steal (aka dirty santa). The rules are here.

“With Kris Kringles everyone still gets a pressie and has some fun, but you don’t end up having to buy hundreds of presents – especially as the family sizes grow ” – Weeksy

“The hottest gifts of Xinja’s santa steal were: framed passport photos of #eagerxinja, a shower speaker and 6 packets of Pringles” – Stu Loxton #dataxinja

Regift and recycle

If you receive woeful gifts like these 🙁 regift them into next year’s secret santa, your local vinnies or drop onto your online marketplace of choice. Head to the sales and grab discount wrapping paper, cards and decorations. Etiquette expert, Anna Musson says:

“Yes, it is OK to re-gift something, and studies have shown that about half of us are comfortable to re-gift” – Anna Musson, The Good Manners Company

Have a ‘Buy nothing new Christmas’

17% of Australians surveyed by Finder see not gifting at all as being the way to save over Christmas so perhaps drawing a line, can be just as effective. Tamara DiMattini of Money Mag explores what a ‘Buy Nothing New Month’ approach to Christmas looks like. Bikes, boogie boards, books, board games – all of which can be bought second hand. And we all remember Joey’s ‘love tokens’ from Friends 😉

“I know a busy bloke who gives ‘Me Time’ to his friends. It’s ‘dinner with me’, ‘a movie with me’, ‘a boat trip with me’. It means he’s prepared to give to his friends something we all really value – time with the ones we love. – Tamara DiMattina, Money Mag ”

What do you think? Have you got any other ingenious ways you can you impress for less? Join the conversation here. Tell us your thoughts and ideas on our forum

Sarah May is Marketing and Community Lead at Xinja. 

The content above does not represent any form of advice and Xinja has obviously not considered your individual circumstances in preparing this. It is simply a few thoughts on money to get the conversation started.

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