It’s November. Halloween is over. Mariah Carey is slowly resurrecting herself and we’ll all soon be enjoying her iconic high notes in ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. But when we’re not listening to Mariah there is something else we should all be doing – making a Christmas budget! Read on for our handy guide to make sure your wallet stays as bloated as my stomach after a Christmas lunch!

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1. Make a list and check it twice

Christmas is such a big event that it can be overwhelming to sit down and plan it all out. But if Santa can do it then you can too! Make a list of all the gifts you need to buy as well as Christmas decorations and party supplies you need. This will allow you to effectively budget and set responsible limits. You never know, you might be able to get nicer presents than you think!

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2. Get creative with presents

People get so many presents at Christmas that it is hard for yours to stand out! The best way? Make your presents creative and personalised! Last year I wrote poems for all my family and bought them little mementos that related to a special shared memory. I saved hundreds of dollars and they much preferred these special gifts!

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3. Lunch doesn’t have to be fine dining

Christmas lunch is a mammoth task that requires weeks of planning. But are any of your guests professional food critics? Can any of them really tell the difference between an Aldi Turkey and the finest Boucherie? Probably not. So don’t feel like you absolutely need to blow the Christmas budget to impress. A cheap dessert like a gingerbread house is impressive and fun to make!

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4. Keep those leftovers!

In our household, Christmas ham is also New Year’s ham and on one fateful year, even Easter ham. Christmas leftovers are often enough food to last a full week after Christmas. This can easily save you upwards of $100. Learn in advance how to store leftovers and check out this great Christmas leftovers recipe collection. You can thank me later!

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5. Buy overseas presents online

Every year many Australians send presents overseas and the cost can be HUGE. My trick? I just buy Christmas presents for my English relatives on an English online store that does Christmas wrapping and have it sent to their house. Shipping is often free, and with the money I save I have more funds left over for my Christmas budget!

Article written by Robert. Robert works for deferit. He loves to travel, drink wine and is a big foodie.

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