Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, going on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and of course the famous Christmas lunch! It’s indeed a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and extravagant foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and many of us are left with the burden of substantial credit card balances. Some individuals spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some individuals have the financial capacity to shower their loved ones with luxurious gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us need to be cautious to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can smoothly sail into the New Year. So with this being said, I’d like to share with you some reliable ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you set a budget and adhere to it. Draft 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 believed. 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 yard sale and sell items that aren’t being used any longer, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced an exceptional app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find helpful.
2. Shop Online
Although many individuals find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the radiant Christmas displays, almost all the same products are readily available on the web at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re searching for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bunch. While shopping online will be cheaper, you will need to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be fairly expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As an alternative, 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 amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no charge whatsoever. On the other hand, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
An exquisitely wrapped present can make a powerful difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively costly, so contemplate buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider purchasing plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, many department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up in financial hardship in the New Year. If you end up 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 direction on financial difficulties, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Australia by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcy-australia.net.au