Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and of course the famous Christmas meal! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and many of us are left with the strain of big credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial ability to pamper their families with costly gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us need to be conscientious 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 practical ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s critical that you set 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 a lot more than you believed. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published a terrific app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find beneficial.
2. Shop Online
Even though many individuals find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, almost all the same products are readily available on the net at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are incredibly competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will be more affordable, you will 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 have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be somewhat expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s virtually just money down the drain. Rather, 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. Then again, 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
A beautifully wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be fairly expensive, 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 recycle brown paper bags that are regularly given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider purchasing plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, a number of department stores will wrap your presents completely free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up in financial turmoil 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any support on financial difficulties, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Lismore by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertslismore.com.au