6 ideas to help cut Christmas spending

There’s no denying that Christmas can be an expensive time of year, in fact a recent survey carried out by Origin Energy1 found that 60% of us find it to be the most expensive time of the year.

But we don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch – so here are some simple ideas that could help make the budget a bit more bearable around the festive season.

“60% of us find Christmas to be the most expensive time of the year.”

Gift giving tips 

1. Try a secret Santa

Could your friends and family consider holding a secret Santa? This is when you all pick a name from a hat and buy that person a gift, so you only need to buy one gift each.  

2. Cap your present limit

It’s hard when we buy for loved ones, we want to spoil them and give them the best gifts we can, but could you and your partner, bestie or family agree to put a cap on your spending? Or even buy a shared gift to enjoy together? That way you can budget in the costs in advance. 

3. Make some gifts

It can be hard once that festive spirit takes hold to stop spending on little gifts and trinkets, especially when there is so much around. But why not ignore what’s in the shops and consider making some gifts? A batch of hand-made Christmas cookies, cards or decorations, could be cheaper than what you buy, and also mean more to the receiver too. Plus, by making gifts you’ll need plan in advance who you want to give to, so there’s less chance of going overboard.

4. Only buy for those you really need to buy for

As we said, we don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch, and yes, Christmas is a time for giving, but does your neighbour four doors down, who you only speak to twice a year, really need jar of jam or a box of chocolates? By cutting out the unnecessary gifts you could save quite a bit. 

Eating and drinking tips

5. Ask people to bring a plate

If your house is the entertaining house for family and friends you’ll know how expensive it can be to keep everyone fed and watered (at any time of year). It’s not a faux pas to ask people to bring a plate – a salad, some snags, maybe some soft drink and chips? Not only does this save you a trip to the shops and give you some time back, but it could also save on your shopping bill.

6. Ask people to BYO

We all like to pop a few corks, open a few stubbies and crack out the soft drink when the sun comes out, especially with the excuse of Christmas round the corner. But that doesn’t mean you need to pay for it all. Why not make sure people do a little BYO to help ease your costs.

Fun fact: Our survey also shows that 66 % of women say Christmas is the most expensive time of year, while only 55% of men say it tops the list. But we’ll leave you to make your own conclusions on that one! 


1. A survey of 1202 Australian residents undertaken in October 2015.

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