Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the legendary Christmas meal! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and heavenly foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and many of us are left with the burden of considerable credit card balances. Some folks spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial ability to pamper their loved ones with luxurious gifts and lavish festivities, the majority of us should be cautious to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I want to share with you some helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you create a budget and adhere to it. Create a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be far more than you figured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell things that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced a fabulous app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find beneficial.
2. Shop Online
Whilst many individuals find excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the lovely Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are offered on the net at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are highly competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bunch. While shopping online will be more affordable, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many families who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll know that the costs of this exercise can be considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s virtually just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no charge whatsoever. Conversely, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be fairly pricey, so look into buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are commonly given at clothing stores. On the other hand, consider purchasing plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Always remember, some department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, many people spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial hardship in the New Year. If you find yourself in this position, it’s better to seek professional advice sooner rather than later. There are many solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any guidance on financial hardship, talk to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Tamworth by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsgeraldton.com.au