Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, going on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the legendary Christmas lunch! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, gifts, and scrumptious foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of beefy credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some individuals have the financial capability to shower their families with high-end gifts and lavish festivities, most of us should be conscientious 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 useful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
- Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you establish a budget and stick to it. Produce a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be far more than you imagined. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell things that aren’t being used any longer, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or maybe consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced a great app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find beneficial.
- Shop Online
Even though lots of folks find delight in strolling through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, almost all the same products are readily available online at much cheaper prices. Use comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will be more affordable, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
- Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll have an idea 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 essentially just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send fun and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no charge at all. Alternatively, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped gift can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so look at purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, many department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Regrettably, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up 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 difficulties, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Advice Perth by phoning 1300 879 867, or alternatively visit our website for more information: Bankruptcy Perth