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Christmas Activities on a Budget

Christmas is right around the corner and no doubt you are currently in the throes of buying gifts, planning menus and thinking about activities that you can do over the summer break.

While it’s a time of year most of us look forward to, it can be hard on the wallet and with the recent OCR increase and cost of living, this year could be tougher than most.

Often if you sit back and look at your plans for Christmas, you might realise that a lot of your planning is centered around living up to other people’s expectations, and sometimes, other people’s budgets.

It can be easy to get swept up in the hype and expense - from parties to expensive gifts which can all put a sizable dent in the wallet. But there are other approaches to take and in this month’s blog we offer some tips for how to have an awesome Christmas and summer holiday without breaking the bank.

Here are some money-saving and fun ideas for you to consider for an awesome Christmas:

Secret Santa Gifting

Still buying presents for everyone in the family including all the adults? Present buying can be hard work and many people would be happier receiving less if it meant buying less! If you’re not already on the Secret Santa bandwagon with your family, why not raise the idea with them?

One effective way to run a Secret Santa Christmas is by randomly assigning everyone just one person to buy a gift for. People can create wishlists to give you clues about what they want.

Plus, everyone has something to open on Christmas Day. Plus, if you’re not having to buy presents for everyone, you can set a slightly higher budget to get your one gift recipient something a little bit special.

Swap restaurants for picnics

‘Tis the season for eating out but why not save some pennies and take it ‘outside’ instead? Suggest catching up with friends over a picnic on the beach or park where you can all bring a plate to share. It will keep your wallet looking healthier and is perfect to enjoy long summer evenings. Tip: Look up liquor bans in advance so you can take a bottle of wine along too!

Purchase a food box for Christmas Day

While Christmas food boxes may seem like an expensive solution, economies of scale meant they are often cheaper than buying everything individually. Why not suggest that you and the other guests dining with you on Christmas Day split the cost of a food box and drop the hassle of last-minute supermarket runs at the same time?

There are plenty of options available and this article does a great job of comparing the options.

Make the most of free events

One of the best things about Christmas in summer is the number of free outdoor events that are available. Pack your dinner as a picnic, grab a rug and head to one of the multitudes of free offerings going on around you. Eventfinda is a great place to start looking for what’s on and you can filter by free events.

Fill your kids’ stockings with essentials

If your kids are still being visited by Santa why not include some essentials in their Christmas stocking? Think socks, underwear, hair ties, toiletries, and stationery. If they’re things you will need to purchase soon anyway, they can be a great way of filling up a stocking so you can kill two birds with one stone.

Looking for more ideas? This article from the NZ Herald, this article from Good Housekeeping and this one from Health Navigator all have more great ideas!