Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, being on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and certainly the famed Christmas meal! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and many of us are left with the strain of hefty credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial capability to shower their loved ones with costly gifts and lavish functions, the majority of us should be vigilant to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can smoothly sail into the New Year. So with this being said, I want to share with you some efficient ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Even though it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you establish a budget and follow it. Create a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be much more than you imagined. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a fabulous app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find invaluable.
2. Shop Online
Although lots of individuals find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the enchanting Christmas displays, almost all the same products are offered on the web at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bunch. Even though shopping online will be more affordable, you need to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll know that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As a substitute, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and amusing Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no charge at all. Then again, 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
An artistically wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be quite costly, so consider purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider buying plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, various department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, many individuals 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 assistance on financial hardship, get in contact with the specialists at Bankruptcy Advice by phoning 1300 879 867, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: Bankruptcy Advice