How to save on Christmas gifts

Here are some ways you can show you care, while keeping a lid on your spending:

  • Agree on a spending limit – Suggest to your loved ones that you set a limit on how much to spend to keep your budgets under control
  • Kids only – Talk to the other adults in your extended family about only buying presents for the kids this year, rather than for the adults
  • DIY vouchers – We often remember the things people do for us rather than the presents they give us. Consider giving redeemable vouchers for tasks like babysitting, massages, picnics, homemade dinners or even housework.
  • Savvy sales – Take advantage of sales throughout the year to nab some bargains and store them away for Christmas. But, even in December there are bargains to be had. You can also check out any clearance outlets near you, or sign up to their newsletters so that you’ll be in the know when they have a sale.
  • Compare offers – Some stores match or beat competitors’ deals, so compare their offers and take all the details with you when you go into the store. Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount, after all, people feel generous at Christmas!
  • Second-hand bargains – Op shops, antique stores and second-hand bookshops can be a treasure trove for the thrifty Christmas shopper. If you’re prepared to spend the time looking through their stock, you can often find good quality items at a fraction of the price you’d pay at big name stores.

Play, Wear, Read, Share

Have you heard of ‘the four-gift rule’? It is a simple idea that helps make shopping for kids’ presents a little less overwhelming. Basically, if you follow the four-gift rule you buy four presents for your child at Christmas:

  1. Something they want,
  2. Something they need,
  3. Something to wear,
  4. Something to read.

Want. Need. Wear. Read. And it rhymes (bonus).


This is the BIG gift. The one that they really would like to have. It is typically a toy, but if your kids are older, electronics could make the list.


Kids need a lot of things. You can take this seriously or play with it.

  • Sports equipment: soccer ball, new bike, volleyball, gymnastics leotard, balance beam
  • Camping equipment: sleeping bag, hammock, flashlight
  • Bedroom Ideas: down comforter, fun flannel sheets, wall decorations
  • School supplies


This one is self-explanatory: anything that can be worn! New shoes, especially more expensive speciality shoes like sport shoes, could fit in this category.


You can interpret this one as anything you can read, even the directions to a new board or card game.

  • Favourite book series: Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Divergent
  • Magazine subscription
  • Board games
  • Card games
  • Book store gift card

Good luck!  Remember, exercising some restraint at Christmas time will stop you starting the New Year with stressful debt.


To book a free consultation to improve your budgeting, or to get your Christmas debt under control, please book online or contact us on 

Fortress Financial Solutions founder Chris Black is an award-winning financial planner based in Toowoomba who specialises in superannuation, investing, business succession, cash flow management, retirement planning and personal insurances (including life insurance, income protection, total permanent disability and trauma insurance).

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.

Parts of this post were compiled from ASIC MoneySmart.

Information on this site may be regarded as general advice. That is, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. Accordingly, you should consider the appropriateness of any general advice we have given you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. Where the information relates to a particular financial product, you should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase that financial product.

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