Keeping a tighter than ever budget has emerged as the key aim for shoppers starting to plan for Christmas with just over nine weeks to sorted for the festive season.

Many households have been hit hard during the pandemic and will be forced to closely examine their spending habits to ensure they can have an enjoyable festive period.

New analysis commissioned by financial services firm Canstar quizzed more than 1000 Australians and found the following:

• 35 per cent plan to have a more low-key event this year by spending less on food, travel and spending.

• 26 per cent will try and keep this Christmas as normal as possible by spending similar amounts as prevent years.

• Only 4 per cent plan on having a more extravagant Christmas.

Here's our experts tips on hot to minimise the financial impact this year:

1. SELL ITEMS AROUND THE HOME

Latest research from second-hand site Gumtree shows Australians could make an average of $5800 by selling unwanted items.

Canstar's expert-at-large Effie Zahos says this is one of the easiest ways to make quick cash.

 

Money expert Effie Zahos said there are some simple ways to saving cash this Christmas.
Money expert Effie Zahos said there are some simple ways to saving cash this Christmas.

"Have a look around and get each family member to pull out at least three things that they think they don't need anymore and could sell and would be appealing to put on eBay or Gumtree," she says.

"It's very simple to find some cash around your home to make some money."

2. START PLANNING

Tribeca Financial's chief executive officer Ryan Watson says it's important to have a plan of attack mapped out to minimise the impact on your hip pocket.

"Planning out how much you are going to spend on presents to each family member and your friends is a great way to end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the silly season," he says.

 

Tribeca Financial chief executive officer Ryan Watson. Picture: Supplied.
Tribeca Financial chief executive officer Ryan Watson. Picture: Supplied.

 

"Automatically putting some money aside into an 'out of sight, out if mind' account on a weekly basis is a great way to subtly save for those big ticket item purchases."

Also working out with family and friends what your spending plans are around lunches, dinners and amount sets realistic expectations early.

And decide how much money you plan to stash - putting $50 a week now will result in $500 by Christmas time.

3. SACRIFICE AN EXPENSE

Giving up a regular expense in the weeks remaining before can also be an easy way to collect mount up savings Zahos says.

"See the windfall that comes with giving up for instance a regular pizza night on a Friday night," she says.

"It's only short term because it's hard to sustain this, so it's a case of giving this a miss now.

"It's discipline now and splurge later - there's only two ways you can get money and that's by either earning more or spending less."

 

Automatically putting some money aside on a weekly basis is a great way to subtly save. Picture: iStock
Automatically putting some money aside on a weekly basis is a great way to subtly save. Picture: iStock

 

4. USE DEBIT NOT CREDIT

When it comes to spending up ahead of Christmas, Watson says it pays to stick with using debit and avoiding racking up credit.

"Wherever possible, people should always use their own money, from a debit or savings account," he says.

"The key to being in charge of money is to only spend what you have and to not rely on credit."

During the pandemic Australians have ditched more than 500,000 credit cards, as they shift away from spending money people don't have changes.

Originally published as Secrets to cutting costs at Christmas


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