Christmas is a joyous occasion for most Australians, but this year is slightly different.

It’s estimated that almost a million Australians lost their job due to the pandemic. While we seem to be recovering now, many people continue to face job insecurity and financial hardship.

If you want to be generous this holiday season but are on a budget, the following tips might help.

Be creative

Do you like arts, crafts, gardening, baking, drawing, painting—anything creative? What better way to tell someone you care then to make a heartfelt gift?

Of course, making a gift isn’t for everyone. But if you have an artistic flare, now might be a good time to use it to make others happy. A personalised handmade gift is a great way to show someone you thought about their preferences and value them enough to make something.

Save on wrapping

If you have a certain amount of money to spend this holiday season, focus on the actual gifts and not the wrapping. While it may not seem like much, wrapping a gift can cost upwards of $20 on certain items. Why not use simple wrapping and focus more of your money on the actual gift? Makes sense to me!

Find cheaper gift ideas

Not every gift has to be a new iPhone or the latest Xbox video game. Bath salts, homemade soaps, jams, chocolates and other edibles make lovely gifts without breaking the bank. You can even upcycle items you already own (think of it as regifting but with more etiquette).

Use gift cards, coupons  

As we approach the holidays, you should be scouring the Internet for discount codes, coupons and gift cards. A browser extension like Honey can help you identify coupon codes without even looking. I’d recommend that you do not purchase an item at full price unless you’ve searched for coupons or gift cards first.

Perhaps even an IOU coupon from yourself redeemable for babysitting, lawn mowing, even for something as simple as a home baked chocolate cake. Often it is the time taken for something that is the actual gift, not the item itself.

These are just some simple ways you can get through Christmas on a budget. And remember—holidays aren’t just about gifts. They’re about spending quality time with family. I hope this holiday season treats you well!