Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and surely the famous Christmas dinner! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with getaways, gifts, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and many of us are left with the stress of big credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial capability to pamper their families with classy gifts and lavish functions, most of us need to 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 useful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
- Set a Budget
Even though it may sound cliché, it’s very important that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Develop a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be much more than you envisioned. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has released an amazing app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find valuable.
- Shop Online
Whilst many people find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are available on the net at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be more affordable, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
- Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many families 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 few of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no cost at all. On the other hand, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
A beautifully wrapped gift can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be quite costly, so think about purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much better than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are frequently given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, a few department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, many people spend beyond their means and end up 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 direction on financial difficulties, get in contact with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Newcastle by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsnewcastle.com.au