Christmas gift ideas that won’t break the bank


Christmas shopping can put a huge strain on your tight budget. When you’re on a low income, perhaps because you’re a student, are unemployed, a single parent, on a pension or Centrelink benefits, it’s hard enough trying to make ends meet. Coming up with the cash for Christmas gifts is tough. But the good news is, we’ve come up with some great Christmas gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

Go DIY for cheap and cheerful gifts that will delight

You really don’t need to go on a spending frenzy and splurge a load of cash to come up with some awesome Christmas gift ideas.

Budget buys

Other cash-saving Christmas present hacks

It’s important not to put too much pressure on your budget at Christmas. Remember that the true meaning of Christmas is about being together with family and friends – not presents!

  • Minimise gift giving by introducing a one-present policy.
  • This saves a stack of cash and is especially handy when it comes to the kids. When they know they’re only allowed one gift, they think pretty hard about it. Imagine the money, time, and energy you’ll save!
  • Arrange a family ‘Secret Santa’ or ‘Kris Kringle’ style present exchange so that each person only has to buy one gift. Agree on a price range for gifts, and stick to it.
  • Even better, for the adults, don’t exchange gifts at all. Instead, agree to spend special time together across the summer holiday season, and focus on enjoying each other’s company.

Festive gift wrap that’s free

  • You want your gifts to look good enough to unwrap. But don’t go spending a whole stack of your Christmas cash on gift wrap.
  • Save cash and the environment by repurposing items that you already have lying around at home.
  • Newspaper can make a fabulous funky and festive looking parcel – check out some of these gorgeous ideas.
  • If you have young children, save all of their colourful paintings and artworks. They make wonderful personalised wrapping that is treasured almost as much as the gift they enclose!
  • Use recycled butcher’s paper, and every year save wrapping paper, ribbons and gift cards for re-use.
  • Grab a few cheap rolls of plain brown paper and use a black marker to write festive messages and create geometric designs for a funky and personalised wrapping theme. Check out these wonderful examples for some inspiration!
  • Save shoeboxes and other product boxes and packaging. Make them look festive by covering them in coloured scrap paper.
  • You can even turn an empty breakfast cereal box into a gorgeous gift box by following this simple guide.
  • Or make your own gorgeous little gift boxes out of old toilet rolls – see here for a how-to guide.

Start planning your Christmas gift shopping today, to keep your spending within budget and stress-free.