Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, being on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and of course the famed Christmas lunch! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, gifts, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of beefy credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial ability to shower their families with high-end gifts and lavish festivities, many of us need to be watchful 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.
- Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s critical that you determine a budget and stick to it. Draft 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 pictured. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an excellent app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find invaluable.
- Shop Online
While many individuals find delight in strolling through department stores and basking in the enchanting Christmas displays, almost all the same products are readily available on the net at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are very competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will be more cost-effective, you need to 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 considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s virtually just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no charge whatsoever. Alternatively, 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 present can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be pretty costly, so think about purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are commonly given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider purchasing plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, a few department stores will wrap your gift free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, many individuals spend beyond their means and find themselves 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 advice on financial problems, talk to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Fremantle by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsfremantle.com.au