Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, going on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and of course the noble Christmas lunch! It’s indeed a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of considerable credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial aptitude to pamper their loved ones with costly gifts and lavish parties, most of us should be watchful 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 practical ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s crucial that you create a budget and stick to it. Produce 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 imagined. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some modifications so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell goods that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published a terrific app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find beneficial.
2. Shop Online
Although many people find delight in strolling through department stores and basking in the brilliant Christmas displays, nearly all the same products are readily available online at much cheaper prices. Use comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are highly competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will be more cost-effective, you will need 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 understand that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your friends and family 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 lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no charge whatsoever. On the other hand, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
An exquisitely wrapped present can make a significant difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively costly, so consider 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, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, some department stores will wrap your gift free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Regrettably, however, lots of people 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any assistance on financial problems, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Wyong by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: Bankruptcy Wyong