Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and surely the famed Christmas lunch! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with holidays, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and indulge 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 families spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial capacity to pamper their loved ones with costly gifts and lavish parties, many of us need to be vigilant to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly 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
While it may sound cliché, it’s critical that you establish a budget and follow it. Draft a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be far more than you believed. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some changes so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an amazing app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find invaluable.
2. Shop Online
Even though many people find delight in strolling through department stores and basking in the radiant Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are readily available on the web at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re looking for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will save you money, 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 family and friends, you’ll know that the costs of this exercise can be considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s basically just money down the drain. As a substitute, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no charge at all. Then again, 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
An exquisitely wrapped gift can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be pretty pricey, so consider 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 normally given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain green, gold or red paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, some department stores will wrap your gift free of charge, so don’t be afraid 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 find themselves in financial troubles 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 advice on financial hardship, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Shellharbour by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: Bankruptcy Shellharbour