We understand preparing for Christmas shopping is essential, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Even if you haven’t been able to save for Christmas just yet, carefully planning your spending over the next few weeks might help you avoid a budget blowout.

How did the end of year sneak up on us so quickly? This year has flown by and it’s already that time when we start thinking about the end-of-year festivities. With the current cost of living affecting most people recently, we thought we’d pull together some suggestions to make one thing easier this year: Budgeting for your Christmas shopping list.

We understand preparing for Christmas shopping is essential, especially if you’re on a tight budget. Even if you haven’t been able to save for Christmas so far, planning your spend and saving money for Christmas over the next few weeks might help you avoid a budget blowout. Check out some of our favourite Christmas savings and gift ideas…


#1 Make a Christmas shopping list

Make a list and check it twice!

When it comes to presents, note down everyone you intend to buy gifts for such as your kids, the wider whānau, friends, and maybe teachers. If you have some ideas on what to buy them, note this down too so you can work out the total you’ll need to budget for. Remember, you don’t always need to spend money on gifts – handmade goodies or baking can be a heartfelt winner too!

Have a think about what else you might need to purchase for your Christmas celebrations; a decoration top-up? Travelling to visit family? And factor these additional costs in too.


#2 Save money while having fun: Secret Santa

Everyone loves a game of Secret Santa, and this common workplace activity can also be extended to your family gathering. Instead of buying smaller gifts for everyone in your family, buy a single gift for one person. This way, the recipient can receive a more meaningful gift and allows you to place more budget behind the present.

Before you meet up on Christmas day, organise your friends and family to write their ideal gift alongside their names. Then, ask each person to select a name from the ‘hat’. They’re now responsible for purchasing a gift for the name that they drew. It can be handy to set a spending limit to ensure a fair exchange.


#3 Shop around so you never miss a discount

Before you make any purchases, make sure you do a quick search for any available discount codes or price matches, so you get the best deal possible. You can even add browser extensions to your browser to find matching discount codes in real-time. PriceSpy can be helpful in finding some good deals for your Christmas shopping.

Check out our friends over at MyHome too, to purchase the latest and greatest tech and homeware with finance options available from Instant Finance.


#4 Focus on meaningful gifts rather than the number of gifts

Quality over quantity applies to Christmas gifts, too. Instead of buying a gift for each individual family member, think of gifts your aunt & uncle could both appreciate as a couple, for instance. Doing this will greatly reduce the shopping list and it could save you some money as well. Also remember that gifts can come in all shapes and forms, and they don’t even have to be tangible objects, either. Meaningful experiences like a zoo pass for a toddler could be accepted more gratefully by their parents than another toy.

If you are still struggling to think of some Christmas shopping gifts, we’ve got some ideas to help you get inspired.

  • Apple AirTags - Gift Apple AirTags for a friend or family member who frequently loses their wallet, keys, or Apple AirPods this holiday season. These tiny trackers transmit a Bluetooth signal, so they’ll never get lost again!
  • Instax Polaroid Camera - There is something so special about being present in a moment and then holding a photograph of it in your hands a few seconds later.
  • 3 in 1 Wireless Charger with MagSafe - This ultra-convenient 3-in-1 wireless charging stand charges iPhones (from the iPhone 12 upwards) as quickly as possible, up to 15W. There's also a magnetic charging component for Apple Watch and a wireless charging pad for AirPods.
  • World Travel Map Pin Board Frame – COVID kept us at bay for last couple of years and everyone out there has already made their plans for Christmas traveling. And what could be a better gift than large world map to mark the locations you’ve travelled and display them in your living room. It’s a fun and stylish way to keep track of your travels and plan for new adventures! 

While the Christmas season can be a great way spend time with your friends and family, we understand that it can be tight on your budget too. For many people, this is the most expensive time of year, and affording everything can be difficult. We're here for you! Chat to the friendly team here at Instant Finance to learn more about our personal loans and see if they’ll be able to help you check everything off your Christmas Wishlist.

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