How to not wipe out this festive season

RAEWYN FOX
Last updated 05:00 01/12/2013

How do you cut costs at Christmas?

Share your stories, photos and videos.
Christmas tree
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Christmas can easily wipe out months of savings unless it is well planned and controlled.

Relevant offers

Money

South African insurer opens doors Westpac wins best-value gong KiwiSavers warned on fees Sovereign revamps health insurance Campaign says savers overtaxed Adam Parore aims at bankrupting Sally Ridge Labour pledges $2 rise in minimum wage to $16.25 The lowdown on your credit score Call for lower tax on savings Kiwibank last big lender to lift rates

"Christmas is hard," says Mele*. "My family is big enough to feed, and then my cousins and their children come, my aunties, my uncles, my mother, and my mother's mother! They all come and say ‘Aunty Mele, what's for Christmas dinner?' "

Last year, Christmas wiped out all the family's money - every last cent - and the kids got hardly any presents.

This year, Mele has resolved to do things differently.

She and her husband approached a budget adviser for help.

The adviser showed them that saving with their local supermarket worked out cheaper than the Christmas hamper they were eyeing up.

She also suggested some fun free activities to do with the family, like beach cricket.

"Get my fat cousin Henry to chase the ball!" Mele laughs.

This year, Mele has given the kids a spending limit of $25 for presents.

"Still, five times $25 plus me and my husband is almost $200," she says.

The family has been putting money into a Christmas fund each week, and will have enough for presents in a few more weeks.

It's quite a turnaround from last year's wipe-out:

"This Christmas we've saved for everything and we won't be in trouble afterwards," says Mele.

*Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

Raewyn Fox is chief executive of the Federation of Family Budgeting Services

Ad Feedback

- Sunday News

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content