|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the famed Christmas dinner! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and heavenly foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and many of us are left with the stress of considerable credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial ability to shower their families with luxurious gifts and lavish functions, most of us need to be careful 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 effective ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s extremely important that you establish a budget and stick to it. Write 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 imagined. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell goods that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced a great app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find invaluable.
2. Shop Online
Although many individuals find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the radiant Christmas displays, almost all the same items are offered on the internet at more affordable prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will be more affordable, you have 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 quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s essentially 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 entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent digitally at no charge whatsoever. Additionally, 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
A nicely wrapped present can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so look at purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, various department stores will wrap your gift completely free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up in financial turmoil 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 support on financial difficulties, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Bendigo by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsbendigo.com.au