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Countdown to Christmas: 13 weeks!
By Tammy Barton

13 weeks until ChristmasPsst! It’s only 13 weeks until Christmas! Get yourself prepared for one of the most expensive times of the year with our handy budget checklist. For MyBudget clients, please don’t hesitate contacting our customer care team to discuss your Christmas budget—we’re always here to help.

Travelling for Christmas? D-Day is approaching for booking flights, buses, hire cars or hotels—the longer you leave it, the more you’ll pay. What about Digger and Felix? Boarding kennels will be filling up fast. If you have multiple animals, it might be more affordable (even free) to get a house sitter.

Need to send Chrissie gifts to friends or family overseas? We’re approaching the final days to send items by sea mail, about half the cost of air. (Transit time differs by destination.) Don’t forget to buy your Christmas stamps while you’re at the post office—post office queues in the weeks before Christmas is terrible.

House guests coming? Don’t forget to adjust your budget for extra food, petrol, utilities costs and any special events you have planned.

Income fluctuations? Make sure your budget accurately reflects the income you’ll be paid over Christmas—this is especially important for casuals and contractors. Are you looking for a bit of extra cash? Christmas is a great time to find temporary work. Start approaching employers now.

What’s cooking? Now is the time to start setting aside extra money for your Christmas food budget. You can also begin collecting frozen, canned and non-perishable items. Even better, save money and stress by asking people to bring a dish to share on Christmas Day.

Christmas presents—who, what, how much? Write your gift list now and allocate a dollar amount to each person. Is the list affordable? Don’t be afraid to make adjustments or get creative with homemade Christmas gifts that people will actually use. How about splitting the price of a gift between family members? Have you tried Secret Santa? Some families just buy for their kids. Remember to budget for wrapping paper, cards, postage, decorations and, if you have kids, batteries.

Other festivities? Don’t forget to budget for extra socialising and entertainment costs—work functions, New Year’s Eve parties, dinners, drinking and everything else that goes with being merry. You may also need to allow for taxi fares.

School-aged kids? As well as being blasted by Christmas costs, families with kids may need to budget for school holiday care and/or the extra costs associated with keeping the kids busy over the break. Do you have family members or friends that can help with child care? Sharing child care responsibilities can be a great way to save money.

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