How to save more than $3,200 by Christmas

Editor-at-Large · 22 October 2021
The countdown to Christmas is well and truly on which means it’s time to start saving. Here are some ideas to help you make extra cash between now and then.

The festive season is fast approaching with this week marking nine weeks until Christmas. A new Canstar survey of 941 Australians who celebrate Christmas has revealed that 31% are planning to spend less this holiday season than in previous years, due to the financial impact of the pandemic.

More than half (56%) intend to spend the same amount this Christmas compared to previous years, while just 13% plan to have a more extravagant Christmas holiday season.

With Christmas nine weeks away I have compiled a week-by-week savings plan to help you save over $3,200 by Christmas. Follow this nine-week plan and tick each week off as you go, to see how much you could save.

Week 1: Use a voucher or coupon for a restaurant meal

Vouchers and coupons can be a great way to save on dining, with sites such as Groupon and Cudo offering a huge variety of restaurant deals.

For instance, you could enjoy a four-course meal with a glass of wine for two people for $59 on Groupon, down from the regular price of $108.70 – that’s a saving of $49.70.

Potential savings: $49.70

Week 2: Sell unwanted items around the home

According to Gumtree’s 2021 Circular Economy Report, 87% of Australians have pre-loved or unwanted items lying around the home. The report found that the average Australian household stands to make up to $5,300 from selling their unwanted items, with approximately 21 items to sell per household.

Even if you only made half that amount, that’s an extra $2,650 to put towards your festive season fund.

Potential earnings: $2,650

Week 3: Ditch your daily coffee for a week

There’s nothing better than a cappuccino to kickstart the day, but this can add up over time. Ditching your morning brew for a week could save you $31.50, with the average cappuccino costing around $4.50 according to Numbeo.

Potential savings: $31.50

Week 4: Swap a cafe breakfast catchup for a walk

Rather than meeting a friend for brunch on the weekend, catch up over a walk instead.

A modest breakfast such as a plate of eggs benedict, and a coffee will typically set you back around $24.50 according to Numbeo data, whereas a walk is free. That’s a win for your fitness and your finances.

Potential savings: $24.50

Week 5: Download a grocery app

Grocery price comparison apps like Frugl or Trolley Saver are a simple way to save a few dollars at the checkout.

Frugl data shared with Canstar shows that the average cost of a weekly shop for a young family is $332. However, you could lower this to $254 by hunting for deals and supermarket specials via the app.

Potential savings: $78


Week 6: Pick up a one-time gardening gig

According to Airtasker’s Price Guide, you could earn $29 per hour for a basic gardening job. If you did this for three hours, you could make $87. You don’t need to be a landscaper – you just need to know how to water plants and rake a yard.

Potential earnings: $87

Week 7: Use your rewards points to buy one present

If you’ve accrued a decent number of rewards points on your credit card this year, redeem them in exchange for a Christmas gift.

For instance, let’s say you have 10,000 points banked on your NAB Rewards credit card. You could redeem these in exchange for a $50 Myer gift card (9,620 points), which you then give to your relative for Christmas. If you had an ANZ rewards card, 11,115 points would get you a $50 Amazon gift voucher. Now you have one less person to buy for, without being out of pocket.

Bear in mind that points and rewards will differ across programs and providers, so it’s important to do your research first to ensure you’re getting a good deal.

Potential savings: $50

Week 8: Rent an outfit for an end of year function

With Christmas parties ramping up at the end of the year, it’s tempting to buy a new outfit. You can wear something you already own but if you want something new stick to a lower budget. If you did want to go all out, consider renting a dress instead of buying one.

For instance, a designer dress listed on All The Dresses would normally retail for $250, but you could rent it over a four-day period for $59 instead.

Potential savings: $191

Week 9: Swap a Christmas party for a celebration at home

Silly season celebrations don’t come cheap. But after another year of lockdowns, few of us are in the mood to pass on a good time.

Instead of hitting the town to celebrate, have a Christmas party from home, be it in-person or over Zoom.

By staying home, you could avoid two $25 Uber trips to and from the venue, plus the cost of food and drinks which would set you back around $100. Instead, grab a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers from the supermarket to have at home, which should cost you around $30 all up. That’s a difference of $120.

Potential savings: $120


Main image source: Pachai Leknettip/ 

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This content was reviewed by Editorial Campaigns Manager Maria Bekiaris as part of our fact-checking process.

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