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12 Ways to Buy Christmas Gifts on a Tight Budget

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Survive this year’s Christmas spending spree with your reputation and bank balance intact.

The Australian habit of spending big at Christmas and regretting it in the new year doesn't have to be your habit. Here we look at ways to be generous this Xmas without losing control of your spending.

  1. Shop with a list

Never hit the shops without a list of what you're buying and who you're buying for. Impulse purchasing and overspending usually happens when you're wandering around the shops aimlessly getting frustrated and losing track of your budget.

  1. Online comparison shop

Use comparison shopping websites to zero in on the best deals. Compare price, location and delivery costs for the same product without ever having to set foot in a shop.

  1. Budget with an app

Download a budget tracking app to help plan gifts and create shopping lists while tracking every dollar you spend. When used in conjunction with the Yellow Brick Road budget calculator, knowing where your money goes helps avoid wasteful purchases.

  1. Use coupons

Keep an eye out for discounted gifts on Australia's online coupon sites. Sites like Groupon, All the Deals and PricePal offer discounts for goods and services that can be used for both in-store and online shopping.

  1. Give the gift of your time

Think creatively about ways you can offer your time as a gift voucher. Ideas include babysitting, cooking a meal, dog walking, gardening, manicures, sewing, dance lessons and home handiwork.

Take the first step

  1. Give an ‘experience’

There are plenty of websites selling the gift of an experience, but these are often pricey. Replicate the idea by creating professional-looking vouchers for gifts you can offer. Examples include: breakfast in bed, home-cooked dinner of choice, favourite outing (e.g. bike ride, bush walk), movie & popcorn night, family games challenge, holiday scavenger hunt, massage, camping trip, car wash and lawn mowing.

  1. Think affordable

Gifts don’t have to be expensive to be appreciated. Here are some DIY gift ideas that take very little time or creativity to pull together: herb gardens, gift baskets, succulent terrariums, candles, photo collage, ornaments, bead jewellery and home-baked treats.

  1. Sell then buy

Sell old toys, clothes and homewares to earn cash towards Christmas purchases. There’s a flourishing trade in second-hand goods in the lead up to Christmas so you shouldn’t have too much trouble making a sale.

  1. Set a limit

For every gift recipient, work out the amount you want to spend, then stick to it. Costs quickly add up when you don’t have a budget, or you add in last-minute accessories. When it comes to shopping for kids, it’s easy to go overboard with quantity, but keep in mind that a few well-thought-out gifts are no less valuable than a huge pile of presents.

  1. Encourage gift exchange

Suggest to your family that instead of buying presents for everyone, you each draw a name for a Kris Kringle present exchange. Agree on a spending limit.

  1. Avoid brand names

You’re paying for marketing costs when you buy brand names. Look for quality, generic items that are just as good as their brand name counterparts.

  1. Don’t be tricked

Get smart to advertising tricks that make you think you’re getting a much better deal than you are. Know when a discount is a discount and not just clever marketing.

**The information on this article contains general information and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require further information don’t hesitate to contact the branch directly. 

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