Former financial 'hot mess' reveals how to not blow the budget this Christmas

As Christmas draws closer, many of us will be hitting the shops to buy gifts for our nearest and dearest … and maybe even one or two cheeky presents for ourselves.

But with the giving spirt comes the risk of blowing the budget!

Thankfully, Stace, Mike and Anika sat down with financial wiz and author of the book Tales from a Financial Hot Mess, Frances Cook, to make sure we don’t overspend this silly season.

She shared her top tips on how we can still enjoy Yule-time festivities without ending up with a credit card bill that we’ll be paying off until next Christmas!

Watch above to hear all of her money gems, but here are some of the highlights:

100 per cent off

"The best way is to always try to not buy it in the first place. 100 per cent off is when you don’t buy it at all."

Secret Santa is a winner

"Secret Santa often actually works for everyone else because even though you feel really generous spoiling all your friends, they feel obliged to reciprocate."

Cards instead of gifts

"I actually have some cards that I’ve held onto that have got the most beautiful sentimental messages inside of them. If you do it right, a card will actually mean more than a present would have."

Rein in your other spending

"If you really want to make it rain with the presents - some of us just can’t resist – rein in your other spending."

Share the Christmas day hosting duties

"Switch up who’s hosting, and this will save you both money and stress."

Compare prices before you buy

"Shop smarter. Price Spy put out some research earlier this year … Some retailers will cost you 40 per cent more for the exact same thing. So check online."

Check out Frances’ book Tales from a Financial Hot Mess – it may even make a great Chrissy gift for someone!