|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, being on holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and certainly the noble Christmas lunch! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, presents, and heavenly foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and many of us are left with the burden of substantial credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some people have the financial capacity to pamper their families with classy gifts and lavish functions, many of us should be conscientious 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 effective ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you establish a budget and follow it. Write a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be a lot more than you pictured. Use this as inspiration 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 things that aren’t being used anymore, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or maybe contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an amazing app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find valuable.
2. Shop Online
Even though lots of people find enjoyment in strolling through department stores and basking in the stunning Christmas displays, almost all the same items are available on the web at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are extremely competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bunch. Even though shopping online will be cheaper, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among 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 considerably 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. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent out digitally at no cost whatsoever. Alternatively, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be pretty costly, so look into buying 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 often given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, certain 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 find themselves 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 hardship, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Maitland by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-maitland.com.au/