The parties, the pressies, the warm summer weather – there's nothing like the holidays. But splashing out and spending too much can make for a nasty financial hangover in the new year. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways you can keep your spending down, and still have a great festive season.

Set a limit, stay within it.

It's easy to get carried away when buying gifts, so make sure you prepare a budget before you go shopping. Once you know how much you have to spend, finding gifts that fit the bill becomes easier. Try our budget calculator to get started. Also, avoid the last-minute dash – if you put off your shopping too long, there may be less to choose from and you may wind up paying more than you wanted.

Try group gifts.

If something is out of your price range, consider going in with others to get it. Also, to keep spending down, agree with your friends and family on how much you’ll spend on each other. Another idea is to organise Secret Santa so you're only buying one present each, with a dollar limit. You can then have a fun game where you swap, steal or keep the best gifts!

Shop around and spend smart.

Online resources can help you compare prices and find better deals or you can plan your shopping around key sale periods. Every dollar counts, so it helps to save where you can. Just remember to stay vigilant for deals that are 'too good to be true' as this is a popular time for scammers as well.

Consider charitable donations.

Shopping for someone who has everything? Why not make a donation on their behalf to their favourite charity instead? You could be doing them a favour and supporting a good cause at the same time.

Rather than buy, make!

Some of the most treasured presents are the ones that you put the most of yourself into. If you build, create or whip up something special, it could end up being a greater gift than something that comes off a shelf.

Grow your own Christmas feast.

Look to use any produce from your garden on your holiday table this year. Your friends and whānau will really appreciate this and it can even make a great gift idea. Everything tastes better fresh from your own garden!

Your trash could be someone's treasure.

Look for things you don’t use or need around the house anymore and sell them online or donate them to a local charity. You may make a few extra dollars and someone else gets a great deal.

A holiday pitfall to avoid.

As a general rule of thumb, if you can’t afford to buy a gift outright you probably shouldn't buy it. Rather than delay your debt and make it January's problem, try one of our tips above for cheaper gift giving. 

Reflect on your costs.

While you're taking some time out, it's a good chance to think about your spending habits and how you can be a smarter spender next year. Look over your accounts from the past year and get a clearer idea of where your money was spent. CashNav our money management app, can help by categorising your spending and identify any trends.

Tools & resources.

Budget calculator

Break down your income and expenses so you know what you can spend.

Use calculator

Saving for a goal

Discover how to set achievable savings goals and make them a reality.

Use calculator

Money management

Learn about free workshops that help you make the most of your money.

Learn more

Things you should know.

CashNav Terms and Conditions apply.