Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, being on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and certainly the grand Christmas lunch! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, presents, and scrumptious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and many of us are left with the strain of large credit card balances. Some individuals spend months attempting to repay their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial capacity to shower their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish functions, many of us should be watchful 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 reliable ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
While it may sound cliché, it’s very important that you create a budget and adhere 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 encouragement to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some modifications 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 gifts, or perhaps contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a fabulous app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find invaluable.
2. Shop Online
Even though many people find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are offered online at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re searching for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will be more cost-effective, you have to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many families who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially 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 sent out electronically at no cost at all. Additionally, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A beautifully wrapped gift can make a powerful difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be quite costly, so contemplate buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, certain department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of folks 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 support on financial hardship, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Parramatta by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsparramatta.com.au