Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the famous Christmas lunch! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with getaways, gifts, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of hefty credit card balances. Some people spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial aptitude to shower their families with classy gifts and lavish festivities, many of us need to be careful to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I want to share with you some helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s very important that you set a budget and adhere to it. Develop 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 believed. Use this as encouragement 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 goods that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a wonderful 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
While lots of folks find enjoyment in strolling through department stores and basking in the spectacular Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are offered online at more affordable prices. Use comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re looking for. These websites are highly competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bundle. While shopping online will be more cost-effective, you need 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 comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will in fact keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. As a substitute, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no charge whatsoever. Additionally, 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
A beautifully wrapped present can make a dramatic difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be rather costly, so contemplate purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are frequently given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider purchasing plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, some department stores will wrap your gift free of charge, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Regrettably, however, many individuals spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial troubles 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 difficulties, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Mildura by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertsmildura.com.au