Christmas is often a time filled with joy and love, as families flock together to celebrate unity and appreciation. With so many reunions and celebrations happening, it also comes as no surprise that Christmas is often a very expensive annual time of year.
Having a Christmas on a budget isn’t an easy feat - especially when presents and decorations cost money. Luckily, there are still things you can do to ease the financial stress while still enjoying Christmas without compromising on quality.
Here are some great tips on how to have a great Christmas this year, even if you are on a budget.
Set a Christmas budget in advance
Before the Christmas frenzy hits, it pays off to work out a realistic budget that you are ready to spend on Christmas gifts and festivities.
How much your Christmas budget is will entirely depend on what you’ve saved, what you can set aside, and what you can spare in the coming weeks leading up to Christmas.
Starting early will give you more leeway to save more for the festive season. You can also start backward by working out how much you want to spend on everyone for presents, and also include costs for Christmas decor, food, and other things you think you will need.
Actually stick to your budget
There is no point in planning if there is no follow through. A budget only works if you stick to it.
After all, budgets act as indicators of what you can and cannot afford, so consider starting your budget straight after Christmas for each year ahead. Save early and put money into your savings account regularly and stick to it. By the time December comes, you’ll have a decent lump sum to spend for Christmas instead of having to do some last minute scrimping and saving.
A family discussion
Sticking to a Christmas budget only works when the whole family is in on it too. Talk to them about the budget of costs and gifts and make family decisions about the cost limits for presents.
The larger the family, the more the costs add up, which is why it’s important to discuss the matter as a whole and come to an understanding. Agree on how much to spend for each person.
For those strapped for cash, making decisions to only give presents to kids can help ease the financial burden and stick to the budget better. Another way to spend less on presents is to make homemade gifts or to only have one present for each person followed by a Christmas Game such as a Goofy Gift Exchange to add to the fun of giving presents away.
Remember, meaningful gifts that are well thought of are more important than expensive ones.
Budgets under and over $100 - Take advantage of year round sales
Christmas happens every 25 December, so it doesn’t come as a surprise when the festive season comes around. With that in mind, there are plenty of sales opportunities that happen throughout the year. From Boxing Day to End of Financial Year Sales and even Business Anniversaries or Birthdays, it’s worth marking these events on your calendar to take advantage of the cost savings.
Some items that cost hundreds of dollars can see sales as high as 80%, making them under $100 when the time is right.
Look out for gifts, decorations, Christmas cards, wrapping paper, tableware, and more for next Christmas.
The trick behind shopping year round for Christmas is to store all your Christmas goodies somewhere easy to find when Christmas comes. You’ll also need a list of gifts you’ve gotten and for who to avoid doubling up on gifts or plainly forgetting who already bought gifts were meant for.
Budgets under 60 - Christmas DIYs
Print your own labels online to save on gift tags and make your own gifts by knitting, crocheting, woodworking, or just throwing in some artistic flair to create something unique and meaningful.
You can even bake traditional Christmas goodies such as cookies and fruitcakes to gift someone.
Feast a Christmas meal within your budget
It can be hard to prepare a fantastic Christmas meal with a budget. After all, you’ll have to account for things beyond food itself, such as tableware, decorations, party crackers, and the list goes on. And before you know it, the cost of hosting a Christmas meal is higher than anticipated.
Instead of blowing your budget this year, why not feast on a Christmas meal prepared by professional chefs instead?
If you’re looking to indulge in a decadent Christmas dining experience, without feeling compelled to overeat in a buffet setting, head to the Redearth Boutique Hotel for it’s Christmas function this year.
Offering 2 menu options, one more decadent than the other, you can choose between a 2 meal course or a 3 meal course for each menu.
The first menu is priced at $49.90 per person for a 2 meal course and $59.90 per person for a 3 meal course. For entrees, be spoiled with a choice between prawn and crab cocktail lettuce cups coated with house made cocktail sauce, or an oven roasted tomato soup with an Italian ricotta dumpling.
For mains, choose between deconstructed beef Wellington with fondant potato, cauliflower purée and baby carrots finished with a rich red wine jus, or pan seared salmon, bacon and mushroom rosti, pea purée finished with dill hollandaise.
For desserts, choose between sticky date pudding served with rich toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream, or trio of sorbet accompanied by a fresh seasonal fruit salad.
The second menu is priced at $59.90 per person for a 2 meal course and $69.90 per person for a 3 meal course. For entrees, be spoiled with a choice between stuffed turkey roulade served with salad greens and a cranberry and walnut jus, or beef carpaccio served with smoked enoki mushrooms in a roasted sesame dressing.
For mains, choose between roast turkey served with a rich garlic and parmesan gratin potato, bacon wrapped asparagus, baby beetroot and a rich cranberry jus, or herb crusted lamb rack, polenta cake, sautéed button mushrooms, bacon wrapped green beans and rich minted jus.
For dessert, choose between traditional Christmas pudding with brandy custard and Chantilly cream, or rich berry trifle.
To book, contact Redearth Boutique Hotel on (07) 4749 8888.
If you’re looking to indulge further in a buffet setting, the Isa Hotel is hosting a Christmas Day 2 hour lunch buffet on 25 December 2020 offering a decadent range of traditional foods that are fit for a King.
Starting at 11.30am to 1.30pm, feast on a wide selection of beverages from the bar, a magnificent spread of cold dishes, sushi, carvery meats, and plenty of fresh Aussie seafood to indulge in. Don’t forget about the sweet finishes of sticky date pudding and butterscotch sauce, pavlova, chocolate delights and more.
The Isa Hotel Christmas lunch is priced reasonably at $149 for adults, $49 for kids aged 3 to 12 and it’s free for children under 2 years old. For more information, visit their website or to book, phone (07) 4749 8888.
Image credit: Crown Money Management