Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, being on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the grand Christmas meal! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, presents, and extravagant foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of substantial credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some individuals have the financial capability to shower their loved ones with luxurious gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us should be vigilant 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 reliable ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s crucial that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Develop a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be a lot more than you imagined. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell possessions that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has released an amazing app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find beneficial.
2. Shop Online
Although many individuals find excitement in wandering through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, almost all the same products are available on the net at more affordable prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re looking for. These websites are highly competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bunch. Despite the fact that shopping online will save you money, you 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 families who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be fairly expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends 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 enable you to send fun 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 exquisitely wrapped gift can make a dramatic 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 better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider purchasing plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, certain department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Regrettably, however, lots of people 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 problems, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Taree by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertstaree.com.au