|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and certainly the famed Christmas dinner! It’s indeed a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, gifts, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and enjoy 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 hefty credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial ability to shower their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish festivities, the majority of us need to 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 effective ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s extremely important that you create a budget and adhere to it. Produce 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 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 garage sale and sell items that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a fantastic app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Even though lots of individuals find excitement in wandering through department stores and basking in the stunning Christmas displays, nearly all the same products are available on the net at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re searching for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bunch. Despite the fact that shopping online will be cheaper, you 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 rather expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As an alternative, 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 sent out electronically at no cost at all. Alternatively, you can always make 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 gift can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be fairly pricey, so contemplate buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are commonly given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider purchasing plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, some 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. Regrettably, however, many individuals 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any guidance on financial hardship, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Lismore by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: https://www.bankruptcy-lismore.com.au/