Avoid a Christmas debt hangover

The average Aussie credit card debt after Christmas is $1,666 with a whopping 82% of people taking up to 6 months to pay it off and 18% taking even longer!

If you are stressing out leading up to Christmas and aren’t sure how to go about having a fabulous time and not getting credit card hangover, look no further. 6 Aussie bloggers tell how they celebrate Christmas in a christmas debtfrugal and fun way. Whether it is traditional family time, fabulously frugal food, or neat savings ideas to take the stress out of your holiday season –you’ll find some great reading here.

Check out ‘Christmas around Australia’ posts from;

My childhood Christmas memories

Growing up I always loved Christmas time. My dad headed up the social club for the organisation he worked for at the time and one of his tasks was to arrange the Christmas party for the company.

It was a HUGE company so there was heaps of coordinating to do. Me and my two sisters over a few after-school sessions would have a production line going in the lounge room making up lolly bags for hundreds of kids.

Our reward used to be that any spare presents that were ordered for all of the kids that went to the Christmas party would be up for grabs for us kiddies.

There was often lots of negotiation between me and my sisters as to who got spare present.  But I always remember my childhood years as Christmas being a happy time.

Another great memory was visiting a suburb near us where all of the houses had Christmas lights up. We used to make a night of it and walk around the suburb and finish off the night with an ice-cream in the park.

Ever since then my love-affair with Christmas lights has been strong.

For a few years there between living at home and having kids of my own, Christmas lost its magic a little bit. But now that I have two little girls the magic is well and truly back in our house.

Christmas in our new home

As I mentioned in my last post, we have just moved and bought a new family home. So we are excited to create new Christmas memories in our home.

I know the outset of this post mentioned about how to have a frugal and fun Christmas. But I have a confession to make. I don’t think that I actually am that frugal when it comes to Christmas.

With presents for the girls and their nephew, a new Christmas tree, some Christmas lights and food for Christmas Day still to be purchased. We will likely spend about $1,000.

But I feel ok with this. Some people would be happy to spend that on a holiday or a new TV, but for me I feel pretty comfortable in spending that on Christmas. As it really is my favourite time of year and I know we are creating memories for our family. Plus the gifts we have purchased are designed to last many many years.

In saying that though, we won’t be going into extra debt to fund our Christmas purchases. They have been budgeted for so I can feel comfortable spending the money without too much worry.

And I think that is the key right there.  You need to create your own definition of what a frugal and fun Christmas looks like for you.

For us, it will be spending time with my family who is coming up from Sydney to see us. And showing them the best that the mid-North Coast of NSW has to offer.

We will be spending more money than some, but in saying that I do have some top tips for how we are keeping the budget in check.

How to avoid a Christmas debt hangoverHow to avoid a christmas debt hangover

  • We do not do presents for the adults in the family, only the kids. If you did want to do presents for the adults than something like a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle where you just buy for one person can work out as a great frugal option.
  • Did you know that according to OzHarvest 30% of all food in Australia is thrown out?! With Christmas being a time where we tend to overindulge, stop and have a think about whether you really need six different salads and eight different desserts on Christmas Day. And only purchase what you will consume.
  • Save for Christmas throughout the year. As you would save in a bills account or save up for a large purchase you can also do the same for Christmas. Putting aside even just $20 a week in a Christmas account we have you covered for $1,000 come next Christmas.
  • When buying gifts for kids try and keep in mind the 4 gift option and get them, something they want, something they need, something to read, and something to wear. That way you are getting practical gifts as well as something fun.
  • Focus more on being present not buying presents. Taking the kids to sing Christmas carols, driving around the neighbourhood to check out the best Christmas lights, watching holiday-themed movies, and making decorations are all things you can do that bring the family together during the festive period.

Don’t forget to check the other awesome bloggers who are sharing how they celebrate Christmas around Australia;

What is your best Christmas money saving tip?


  1. Great point! It doesn’t matter how much you choose to spend on Christmas as long as it is money you want to spend (I.e in line with your goals and values) and you aren’t going into debt to achieve it.
    Sounds like you have a great Christmas planned on the Mid-North Coast – definitely lots of great places to visit there 🙂

  2. I’d forgotten about those work Christmas parties that we went to as kids. I have good memories of being a participant. I wonder if these still exist anywhere, or if the public liability has seen them no longer viable?

    Cath, the important thing is that you are deliberately deciding what is important to you at Christmas. Spend away and enjoy!

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