Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and of course the acclaimed Christmas meal! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of large credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial aptitude to pamper their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish functions, many of us need to be cautious 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.
- Set a Budget
Even though it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Create 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 pictured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell possessions that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a terrific app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find beneficial.
- Shop Online
Even though lots of people find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, almost all the same products are available online at more affordable prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re searching for. These websites are exceptionally competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will be cheaper, you should take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
- Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your family and friends will in fact 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 lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and entertaining Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no charge at all. Additionally, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
An artistically wrapped gift can make a dramatic difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be rather costly, so look at 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. In contrast, consider buying plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, a few department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of individuals 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any guidance on financial hardship, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Cassowary Coast by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertscassowarycoast.com.au