Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, going on holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and of course the noble Christmas meal! 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 delicious foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and many of us are left with the stress of hefty credit card balances. Some folks spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some individuals have the financial capability to shower their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish functions, most of us should be mindful 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 helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you set a budget and adhere to it. Write a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you pictured. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some changes so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe contemplate 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 sure many of you would find helpful.
2. Shop Online
While many people find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the breathtaking Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are readily available online at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re searching for. These websites are extremely competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Even though shopping online will be cheaper, you must 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 know that the costs of this exercise can be considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As a substitute, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent digitally at no charge at all. Then again, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A beautifully wrapped present can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be rather pricey, so think about purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are frequently given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, a few department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any direction on financial problems, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Coffs Harbour by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: www.bankruptcyexpertscoffsharbour.com.au