Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the holiday season. We’ve put together five great tips to help you celebrate in style - without worrying about the pennies.

The holiday season should be a joyous occasion, but we know how hard it can be - especially when you think about the current climate, inflation and rising prices. We’re here to help reduce your stress by sharing our five top budget-friendly tips to help you celebrate the holidays. With some careful planning and a sprinkle of creativity, we know you can enjoy the festivities without extra expenses. 



What is upcycling?

Upcycling is creating something new from discarded materials or undesired items by repairing, refurbing, or repurposing them.

1. Personalise your decorations

Sprucing up your home with decorations doesn’t have to be costly. Upcycling is a great way to utilise existing materials to give them a new lease of life.

Empty glass bottles can light up your room with a candle and some pretty ribbon or bows or fill them with a string of battery lights for a magical glow. Mason jars can also be great tealight holders.

Warm up the colder months and try bringing a bit of nature into your home by creating your own fragrant wreath by using some garden foliage, fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme or by slicing and drying some old fruits. Pinecones are also a great addition and can be found in abundance this time of year on the ground in parks or even on sidewalks – pick some up next time you’re out for a stroll.

If you’re decorating for Christmas, try making paper chains and festive shapes from old magazine and newspapers to decorate the tree and around the house instead of buying tinsel.

Get the kids involved to have some really authentic decorations – that way you end up with something meaningful and memorable to brighten up your home.



2. Get creative with your gifts

Buying gifts can be pricey, especially if your list is long. If exchanging gifts is part of your tradition, create something meaningful like a photo album or scrap book using memories you’ve created throughout the year.

If you’re really crafty and good with a pair of knitting needles, a jumper, scarf or shawl could be a great gift, especially for those holidays in the colder months – who doesn’t love a handmade gift?

If you’re really struggling with what to make, there are some great YouTube tutorials available to help you with creating great presents. Not only will you tick off every person on your list, but you’ll also learn a great skill you can use in the future for other events, like birthdays, baby showers and christenings.

Other gift ideas to look into include making candles, soaps or even baked treats! We really like the last idea 😉

We know there are always occasions where you might have to buy a present, we’ve all been there. Keep your eye out throughout the year, there are some great deals around that could help in saving money in the long run. Watch out for summer sales, Christmas offers and Black Friday sales to try to bag a bargain.

And lastly, regift unused old presents. This one may be snubbed by many but putting things to use that would otherwise end up in the bin is a big win for the planet – no one will know you didn’t buy it! If you don’t already, start putting aside gift bags you receive, you can use them to pop your gifts in – just make sure it’s not to the same person who gave you it.



3. Take advantage of free events

When the holidays come around, we tend to want to venture out and do something we don’t usually do but going out for a meal or an activity like ice skating can be costly when there’s a handful of you.

Thankfully, there are always free events taking place during holidays. Look online, check bulletin boards in local libraries or keep in touch with your community on sites like NextDoor or Facebook community pages to keep up to date with events happening near you.

Bonus tip: Remember, keep your eyes peeled for those events that require you to reserve your free ticket as availability could go quickly.

These local events can be a great way to enjoy the festivities with family, friends and the community – the atmosphere of everyone coming together is really quite warming.

4. Join forces and share the cost

Holidays are the time of the year to be celebrating with your loved ones, so save yourself some cash and round up the troops for a family get together. Sharing the responsibilities of food, a venue (someone’s home is a cheaper more comfortable option), and bringing games is a great way to avoid a costly day out.

It's always good to understand how much you have available in your budget before planning for the big day, our online budget planner can help you keep track of your finances and work out exactly what you have left over to play with.

If your loved ones live a distance away, use great tools like Zoom, Facebook Messenger or other video calling apps to host virtual events. Technology has definitely made it easier to connect with loved ones all throughout the year!




5. Most importantly.... relax and enjoy yourself!

Holidays aren’t always about giving the most expensive presents, and spending the most money, you can enjoy a great celebration and avoid emptying your wallet by keeping in mind what we all really take away from a festive occasion – good spirits, time spent with loved ones, and a memory to cherish for a long time.

If your New Year’s resolution is to manage your money better, get a head start and grab some tips on successfully organising your finances.