How to Spend Christmas on Presents, People and Purpose - Hope 103.2

How to Spend Christmas on Presents, People and Purpose

How to help yourself and your bank account with the costs of celebrating Jesus' birthday.

By Ben McEachenWednesday 21 Dec 2022Money: Faith & FinancePodcastsReading Time: 2 minutes

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. Fact for many. And a sad fact for others is it also can be the most expensive and anxiety inducing.

With all the competing costs around the celebration of Jesus’ birth, fun and festive cheer can be drowned out.

Hard to get out from under the weight of stocking fillers, excessive lunches and paying for travel.

On this episode of Money, Ben McEachen and Sydney accountant Pete Burrows break down Christmas into bite-size costs and considerations.

Start now, for next Christmas

Pete’s top tip for sorting out Christmas spending was getting started. Early.

“If you think about it, you have got 52 weeks to put aside money,” Pete said.

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So, decide what you can afford to spend on Christmas and divide it by weeks of the year.

Hey presto, you can set a weekly savings plan to prepare for Christmas future.

Experience over excess

Pete also pointed out a way of cutting back on gift spending.

Using an “experience over excess” filter, Pete suggested we could think about gifts with lasting meaning, rather than expensive surplus.

“Is it an experience that someone might remember forever, as opposed to excess consumption of something that becomes a little bit disposable?” Pete said about the present selection we can make.

The value of the Christmas break

Along with savings suggestions, Pete and Ben discussed what it is worth to be on Christmas holidays.

We often can focus upon what we are having to shell out for everything on Christmas, in and around the big day.

Given so many of us are on holidays around Christmas, Pete points out that we should see this as a valuable gift in itself.

While it will definitely dent our bank account, consider the opportunity cost of not investing in time and experiences with nearest and dearest.

“I think what we don’t realise – and I try to remind myself of this every year – when I’m off over Christmas, every day is a Saturday,” Pete said.

“Every day is a holiday, so you tend to eat out more; catch up with friends more…

“But you don’t want to take the fun out.

“Price is what you pay but value is what you get.”

As you splash cash on Christmas hospitality and holidays, think about the return on investment for your relationships and quality of life.

Listen to the full How to Spend Christmas episode in the player above or wherever you get your podcasts.