There’s a lot of pressure to make this Christmas great! More so than ever before. With the lockdowns and being separated for loved ones, chances are this is the first Christmas some of us will be reunited in a while. Keep in mind, Christmas is but one day of the year—one day that can amount to a year or more of debt. You can still give your family an amazing Christmas without racking up debt, so today I’m sharing how to spend less this Christmas than ever before.

How to spend less this Christmas on the annual family holiday.

  • Save on airfares and big petrol bills by holidaying locally. Dust off the camping gear, pack up the car and hit the road. Alternatively, if you’re booking an Air BnBs or motels, partner up with some friends and split the cost.
  • If you’re double jabbed and flying interstate, make sure you use a flight comparison site to get the best deals. The earlier you book, the cheaper the airfares will be. Don’t leave booking until the last minute. You may want to look into travel insurance so you’re protected if borders suddenly close again.
  •  Alternatively, you can save on accommodation and turn your holiday into a home staycation. Do all the touristy things you often forget to do in your own neighbourhood. Leave the car at home and experience pedal power and you get to sleep in the comfort of your own bed.
  • Stick to the essentials. For example, if you’re taking the kids to the cinema, smuggle in your own supermarket-bought snacks. Families headed to the theme parks should take refillable water bottles and a picnic. You’ll save a fortune!

How to spend less this Christmas on the traditional Christmas lunch

  • Have a dry Christmas. You don’t need to drink to have fun with your children.
  • Set new traditions. Instead of an expensive turkey, plan a picnic, have a barbeque or organise a potluck where everyone attending contributes.
  • Start purchasing food items when they are on sale. If you get a few things each week, it won’t put so much of a strain on your budget.
  • Turn your lunch into a Top hat restaurant and serve 5-star portions. Simply because it’s Christmas doesn’t mean you have to overeat.

How to spend less this Christmas on presents

  • Organise a white elephant gift exchange. Instead of buying lots of gifts for all the nephews and nieces, you purchase one unisex gift. Everyone gets to choose a gift without unwrapping it. However, if you think someone has a present that looks bigger or could be something you might like, you can take it off them and they have to choose again.
  • Take advantage of the biggest sales of the year. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have retailers dropping prices, some by up to 70%.
  • Don’t use Afterpay or rack up credit card debt. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Instead, gift your talents. Make vouchers for foot massages, spend time with your parents, offer to babysit.
  • Agree to one present per family. Rather than wasting your money on boring soaps and socks, agree to pitch in and get each family something useful.


Gerry Incollingo is the MD of LCI Partners, a firm that specialises in accounting advisory, lending, wealth, property, insurance and legal