10 Tips For A Budget-Friendly Christmas
Home > Savings > 10 Tips For A Budget-Friendly Christmas

10 Tips For A Budget-Friendly Christmas

Katie Douglass

Katie Douglass

26/03/2021 • 7 minute read

The Oiyo team works hard to ensure the quality and accuracy of our articles. Learn about our editorial process.

Quality Checked

From buying presents and decorations to organising Christmas lunches and planning holiday trips, it’s no wonder the festive season can be an expensive time of the year. According to Finder:

Australians are planning to spend $17.3 billion on Christmas this year — equivalent to $893 per person.

That’s a lot of dollars spent for one day. To help you avoid a financial hangover this festive season, we’ve put together 10 tips for a budget-friendly Christmas. Check them out below!


1. Set a budget (and stick to it)

Before you swipe your credit card, work out how much you can afford to spend on gifts. The next step is to write a list of everyone you need to buy a present for, and the amount you want to spend on each person. Setting a budget will help you stay on track and avoid overspending during the silly season.

Shortcode Icon


Take out cash from an ATM and use it instead of your card to purchase Christmas gifts. This will help you avoid tapping your money away without a second thought.

2. Do a family Secret Santa

Got a big family with twenty cousins and ten nieces and nephews? Why not suggest doing Secret Santa with a spending limit? Not only is this a great way to alleviate the pressure on your bank account, but it also allows you to put more thought into one present rather than multiple presents. It can also be a lot of fun on the day.

A handy tool

An easy way to organise your Secret Santa is using an online Secret Santa generator — we recommend drawnames.com.au where you can set up exclusions (especially for partners) and create a wishlist.

3. Shop online and get in early

Now, let’s face it. Going to a shopping centre during the festive season can be overwhelming, what with the crowds, nightmare parking, Christmas carols playing on loop, and flashy bargain signs, it’s a lot. So, why not shop online instead and save money at the same time? This way, you’re less likely to go overboard as you won’t be tempted by other shiny presents. Plus, instead of rushing from store to store, all you have to do is switch tabs on your device to compare prices.

Shortcode Icon


As more people are shopping online due to COVID-19, Australia Post is expecting a record number of deliveries so make sure to get in early with shipping. This will help you avoid having to spend money on a last-minute gift because your first one didn’t turn up on time. The deadline for standard delivery within Australia is December 12, while December 19 is the deadline for express delivery.

4. Check out vintage stores

Look to op shops, antique stores, and second-hand bookshops for budget-friendly gifts (think glasswares, vases, candle holders, home decor, and trinket dishes) that are also unique. If you can’t head in-store, there’s plenty of Instagram accounts dedicated to sourcing and selling vintage finds.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by FUNKY FINDS (@funkyfinds__)

5. Go DIY

Instead of a store-bought gift, we recommend doing a homemade gift such as DIY terrariums, candles, artworks, or pottery. If you aren’t super crafty (me), why not bake up some delicious rocky road or whip up jams and chutneys? Tie it with a ribbon, add a homemade tag, and attach it with a recipe for a special finishing touch. Go all Martha Stewart adding a touch of fancy without a fancy price tag.

Food and drinks

6. Organise a menu in advance

Before you head off to the grocery store, plan a menu first that takes into account the amount of guests as well as the food and drinks needed. Then, have a look through your pantry first to make sure you don’t already have the ingredients you need. This will help you avoid ending up with too many leftovers as well as saving you money.

7. Ask guests to bring dishes

For a budget-friendly Christmas lunch or dinner, don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring dishes. This will not only help save money but also take the pressure off you as a host having to cook multiple meals and keep track of everyone’s dietary requirements. Just remember to assign everyone a dish (e.g. salads or dessert) so you don’t end up with five cakes. Unless of course, you want five cakes, which is perfectly acceptable.

8. Shop smart

For extra savings, wait for specials or bulk-buying deals on food and alcohol at your local food retailers. We also recommend checking out your local farmers markets to stock up on seasonal produce at a discounted rate. Plus, look for fruit stores such as Charlie’s Fruits that sell ‘ugly’ fruits at cheaper prices.

Another handy tip is to do all of your groceries at a shopping centre where you have access to multiple grocery stores — this will help you compare prices and get a better deal.


9. Go on a camping or road adventure

Holidays can be costly. If you’re planning to go away for the festive season but don’t want to break the bank account, consider cheaper alternatives such as hitting the road or going on a camping adventure.

With the warm weather and long days, Christmas is the best time to go camping in Australia — and a lot cheaper. Most national parks and shire run campgrounds cost around $5-$15 per night, per person.

Or, if camping isn’t your idea of a holiday, consider driving to the country and exploring what Australia has to offer.

According to Australia.com, these are the best road trips to take down under:

  • Grand Pacific Drive (NSW)
  • Legendary Pacific Coast (NSW and QLD)
  • Red Centre Way (NT)
  • Great Barrier Reef Drive (QLD)
  • Gibb River Road (WA)
  • Explorers Way (SA and NT)
  • Nullarbor Plain (SA)
  • South West Edge (WA)
  • Great Eastern Drive (TAS)
  • Great Ocean Road (VIC)

10. Go on a staycation

Rather than spending money on flights, accommodation, and transport, why not have a staycation instead? Stock up on popcorn and have a movie night at home or pull out some classic board games. Another fun activity for the family to take part in is a gingerbread house competition — just buy lollies and get everyone to do a fun theme for their house.

Go to the library and hire a guidebook to your city and explore your own backyard like a tourist. You’d be amazed at what hidden treasures you might find.

Want to have a greener Christmas this year?

Check out our ultimate guide for a sustainable Christmas.

Read More

Join our mailing list

Stay up to date with Oiyo’s financial tips and take control of your finances.

Finance can vary from state to state, so we ask for yours to ensure we're providing the right info.

Katie Douglass

Written by Katie Douglass

Katie Douglass is the Communications Manager at Oiyo and a writer. In recent years, Katie's work has appeared in publications such as Marie Claire, InStyle, and THE ICONIC. She has a Bachelor of Creative Industries in Fashion Communication & Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology. At Oiyo, Katie is responsible for overseeing editorial strategy.

More about Katie Douglass

Related articles

5 Ways To Save Money On New Year’s Eve

5 Ways To Save Money On New Year’s Eve

Written by Katie Douglass

26/03/2021 • 3 minute read