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A mum shares 10 super simple ways to save money (and your sanity) this Christmas.

Christmas can be that time of year that just gets people into a complete frenzy and sometimes cause more anxiety and financial stress than it’s worth. We forget what this time is truly supposed to be about, and get caught up on the “things” rather than the meaning.

I used to work in a bank and nothing made you see that pressure and stress people put on themselves more.

I thought I’d put together some of my own practical tips on how you can save yourself some money and sanity this Christmas. Some might seem simple, but just a little reminder that sometimes it’s not all about what your giving, but the love and heart that goes behind it.

1. Set a budget.

I feel like people just go insane at Christmas and don’t even think or look at how much they’re spending. Set a budget for your gifts and for what you plan to spend on food and entertaining, and stick to it. If you’re going above, then adjust your purchases. Don’t forget Christmas isn’t JUST about gifts, it’s about family and spending time. Oh, and something about Jesus, I think?

2. Make your own Christmas cards.

I know I would rather receive a hand-written card then some generic store-bought card. Wear some funny outfits and take a family photo for a giggle, or get crafty and let the kids be involved. Blank cards and craft supplies are cheap as chips at major supermarkets and discount stores.

3. DIY wrapping paper.

Craft paper. It looks like it’s straight out of a Pinterest photo. Just ad some cooking string and you’re a regular artsy-fartsy mummy blogger! We have a huge rosemary bush, so I like to add a twig for effect.

4. Don’t buy for everyone.

When I worked in a bank I used to be blown away by the pressure and stress Christmas causes. The list of people some were buying for.

Since when does your cousins wife’s brother’s dog need a gift? In fact why does any adult, outside of maybe your partner, even need a gift? Buy for the kids! If there’s a tonne of grandkids, then Kris Kringle that shit! The money is better spent on the food you’ll eat on the day, trust me!

Video by Mamamia

5. Consider gifts that keep giving.

This is a big thing for me. Buying things that can be added to, be improved, need accessories, etc. For example, my husband buys me a lens I want for my camera, or a new camera bag. For the kids, we are building a deck to their cubby, planting some plants and adding some lights! Sometimes spending a little bit more on one gift means you’ve got gift ideas for years to come.

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6. Plan 365 days in advance.

The second Christmas is over, all those pretty decorations and non-perishables are going at a clearance. Snap them up and have everything ready to go for next year at a fraction of the cost.

7. Second-hand decorating.

If you want to be a bit different and pick up some gorgeous trinkets, then check an op shop. You can pick up some awesome vintage one-of-a-kind items and nail that Instagram tree photo.

8. Hustle for a discount.

Every time I buy something online, I Google “[insert brand/shop here] discount code”. Or do your research, and pit the big department stores against one another. If someone has it on special, ask the next store if they can beat that price.

9. Make your own gifts.

We’ve really lost the art of gift giving, and it’s become such a consumer nightmare. If you’re tight on budget, then give something else that means a lot more – your thought, time and love. Make your own pressies. Better yet, grow your own produce and make some jam, a relish, cuttings for a little plant, a body scrub – the ideas are endless! A quick trip to the supermarket and Christmas is sorted.

10. Don’t make it all your problem.

If you’re hosting Christmas, then don’t be afraid to give everyone a task/item to bring. If someone is known for their cob loaf dip, then request that shiz. Got an uncle who likes a few too many? Put him in charge of the slab (since he’ll most likely be drinking it all anyway). Someone allergic to gluten? Cool, you’ve got the Christmas Pudding gig. Annoying cousin who decided she’s vegan this year? Sweet, you’re on salads duty.

Oh by the way, it’s BYO chairs, because I’m not buying a bunch just for one day.

Merry Christmas, folks.

This post originally appeared on House of White, and has been republished here with full permission.

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