Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, being on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and certainly the grand Christmas meal! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family holidays, presents, and heavenly foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of substantial credit card balances. Some individuals spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial ability to pamper their families with classy gifts and lavish parties, the majority of us should be mindful 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 practical ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
Set a Budget
While it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Prepare a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you figured. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some alterations so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or even contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched an amazing app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find valuable.
While many individuals find excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the radiant Christmas displays, almost all the same items are readily available on the net at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are highly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bunch. Even though shopping online will save you money, you must take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among 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 few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s basically just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no cost at all. Additionally, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
An artistically wrapped gift can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be rather expensive, so look at 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 commonly given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider purchasing plain green, gold or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, some department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of folks 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any advice on financial problems, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Australia by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsaustralia.com.au