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If you want a stress free, and debt free, festive season you need to take action now. With these simple tips you can easily tame your holiday spending and ensure you kick off the New Year with a bank balance that’s in good health. 

Kick start the planning process
Getting organised early makes it easy to ensure your costs stay under control over Christmas. If you’re clear about what you’re committing to you can more effectively budget to meet your commitments – and that will slash the stress all around.

Stash away cash
Ditch your daily café coffee and replace your lunch with the homemade variety. Then pop your saved pennies (and other spare cash you can) in a special spot. Do it with dedication for just a few weeks and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your cash stash will have built up. Not only will this arm you with some extra funds for Christmas, it could kick start a healthy new saving habit for the New Year. 

Stage a ‘cook-off’
Chances are that this time of year your social calendar is jam-packed with parties and get-togethers. It's great fun, but hosting events can get expensive. This is where the idea of a competitive cook off or pot luck dinner comes in – it’s a great way to have fun, socialise and lower the costs for all involved. 

Shop online
Don't waste time and money driving around town and battling mall car parks, instead shop online. Not only can sofa-based shopping be more relaxing (you can do it with a wine in hand!), it can be a great money saver too. Jumping on to social media channels and scanning for popular phrases like #deal or #offer is ideal for finding special discounts.

Use your points
Making use of unused loyalty points can be a fantastic way to keep pennies in your pocket – so look for any opportunity you can to cash in on loyalty schemes to purchase presses. 

Give smarter
While implementing Secret Santa Schemes can be a great option for some families, it’s also okay to give ‘whole family’ gifts. Try and think beyond board games and beach toys, as experiences can make great whole family gifts too. Check out some of the discount experience websites (like Groupon or Dailydo) and choose a voucher for a fun event or experience – chances are it won’t cost as much as a tangible gift, but the memories will last forever.