27 Mar

How to keep Easter spending in check

With Easter upon us, it’s hard to ignore the colourful displays of chocolate eggs and bunny-shaped treats appearing earlier every year. But before you dive headfirst into the seasonal splurge, here are some tips to help you avoid overspending and keep your wallet happy.

Last year, I was $50 poorer after a quick trip to pick up some Easter goodies for a family BBQ. After five bags of mini eggs and a handful of marshmallow treats, I realised I could have whipped up a chocolate gateau for half the price or even less if I’d made it myself.

This year it’s Hot Cross Buns. I think I saw the first pack coming out in February!  I love them, and of course I have been happily sampling them since then.  I’ve tried the super expensive ones through to the cheap and cheerful supermarket range.  I’m not even going to think about how much I have spent on this little Easter delight.  I can make these myself too, but as I have just moved house, and had a lot going on, I’m time poor this year.  You can hear the justification bias here can’t you!

The allure of special occasion spending is natural, especially when those tempting displays linger for weeks on end. And if you’ve got kids in tow during your weekly grocery run, saying no can feel impossible.

So, how can you resist the urge to splurge this Easter? Here are a few simple strategies:

  1. Set a Countdown: Decide when to buy your Easter treats and create a countdown at home. This gives you a solid reason to resist impulse buys and builds excitement for the big day.  This tip is a bit late for this year, but make a date for next year, as we all know.  Easter is going to come around again.
  2. Allocate Fun Money: Instead of dipping into your grocery budget, use your “fun” or “pocket money” account for Easter treats. This forces you to think twice about whether those chocolate eggs are worth it.  Not to mention the impact on the waistline too.
  3. DIY Delights: If you’re feeling crafty, why not try making your own Easter treats? It’s not just a money-saving strategy; it’s a fun activity that can make you feel accomplished. Plus, you can control both the ingredients and the cost. I remember my daughter happily painting hard boiled eggs.  Do kids still do this?
  4. Go Chocolate-Free: If you’re up for it, suggest a chocolate-free Easter celebration. Instead, spend quality time with loved ones, enjoy a leisurely stroll on the beach, or simply relax with a good book. Who needs chocolate when you’ve got good company? This can be a great way to strengthen your bond with your loved ones.

If you can go chocolate free, you have more will-power than I do.  Confession time, I have a container of little crème eggs in the fridge, and I’m about to go and dip into it once I’ve finished this article.  But, I am not doing the buy-an-egg-for-everyone at the family get together this year, we’re opting for the beach walk family time instead.

And here’s one last piece of advice: don’t feel obligated to buy Easter eggs just because everyone else is doing it. Recognise that pressure to conform, and don’t be afraid to go against the grain.

However, if you choose to celebrate Easter with chocolate eggs or without, I hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday!