Making it through the holidays without spending a small fortune is important, and the key to this is sticking to what’s right for you. In other words, think about how your priorities and goals can meet your budget.

Simple is better

Simplifying Christmas is a good starting point. If you take a good look at what you’re spending money on, you might realise that some of the items on your list are not necessary, or maybe there’s a cheaper alternative. For example, you can send eCards instead of the classic Christmas card. Or – if you’re good at DIY – you can make homemade gifts and homemade decorations (here are lots of ideas to get you started).

The gift of budgeting

Start by choosing a maximum spend per person, or limit the gifts to your closest circle of family and friends. Another good strategy is to check your bank statements and see how much you spent last year on anything holiday-related. Was that amount reasonable? Was it too much, just right – or can you afford more this time?

Is Boxing Day worth it?

For many retailers, Boxing Day is one of the busiest times of the year. But before you join the frenzied crowd of bargain hunters, think about what you need. Of course, there will be good deals to be found, but keep in mind that quite often the real-price discounts are offered as time goes on. Consider waiting until the end of January, especially for electronics and whiteware.

If you go away, don’t go broke

Summer holidays are fast-approaching too – a chance to unplug and relax, enjoy some family time and even fly off to a sunny destination. If you’re planning your next overseas adventure, there are ways to keep costs under control. For example, you can use home-sharing websites such as Airbnb: apartments can be cheaper than hotel rooms, they’re bigger, and they usually have a fully-functional kitchen. This would also allow you to buy groceries and cook meals, rather than always dining out. Plus, you can save some money by mixing paid activities and relaxing free ones and visiting outside of peak times.

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