Christmas can be expensive at the best of times, particularly if you’re hosting. But throw a global pandemic into the mix and a day of festivities can become completely unaffordable.
This year, more than a third of Aussies are set to have a low-key Christmas, spending less on food, gifts and holidays, Canstar data shows.
“The festive season is full of social engagements, and this can leave a serious dent in your savings,” money specialist at Finder, Taylor Blackburn, said.
“Rather than accepting every invitation, pick a few important events and stick to those instead.”
If you’re wanting to avoid a financial hangover in January from your Christmas antics, there are some things you can do to stretch your budget.
Rent your gear: Save $700
You don’t need to purchase a 12-seater dining table or four extra chairs to fit the family. Instead, you can rent it.
Aussies can head to hire platforms like Gecko to rent items for their Christmas lunch, or even a holiday.
A table will only set you back $14 a day or around $24 a week, while you can pick up a surfboard to hit the waves on Boxing Day for around $30, when a new one will set you back hundreds of dollars.
Also, Blackburn suggests asking your guests to share the catering load.
“If you're hosting Christmas this year, ask each friend or relative to bring a plate of food so you're not left to foot the bill for the entire meal,” he said.
Re-gift: Save $464
Aussies spend an average of $464 on gifts for friends and family over the holiday season. But for a fraction of the cost, you can head to platforms that actually sell unused gifts.
There are a growing number of people buying and selling gifts such as electronic items, home décor and even sporting equipment and jewellery at new online marketplaces like WorkApp.
You can also suggest a Kris Kringle, or that each family member chooses one family member and buys a gift for them, Blackburn said.
“This will save you a small fortune on gifts, and ransack your drawers and wallet for any remaining gift cards and use the store credit for gifts,” he said.
Rent a Xmas tree: Save $200
Real Christmas trees can cost around $200, and artificial ones start from that mark and make their way up. They’re also not the most convenient item to store in your house.
Instead, you can rent a tree for the festive season via The Christmas Tree Company, for as little as $37.50.
Holiday at home: Save $600
Covid-19 has made it impossible to travel overseas, but with travelling interstate still touch-and-go, why not holiday in your own state?
If you don’t have a car, or want to drive something bigger or more special than your usual wheels, check out your local car-sharing community through peer-to-peer car sharing platform Car Next Door.
An SUV will set you back around $8.50 an hour or $36 a day.
Wardrobe share: Save $800
Brand new designer dresses can set you back at least $500, so take advantage of wardrobe hiring platforms and borrow one short-term for a fraction of the cost.
Or, borrow a dress from a friend or family member!
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