Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, going on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the famous Christmas lunch! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, gifts, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and many of us are left with the strain of big credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial capability to shower their families with high-end 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 reliable ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
- Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s crucial that you determine a budget and stick 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 far more than you figured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an excellent app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find valuable.
- Shop Online
Whilst lots of individuals find excitement in wandering through department stores and basking in the breathtaking Christmas displays, almost all the same products are available on the web at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re searching for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bunch. Although 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 are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be somewhat expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s basically just money down the drain. As an alternative, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no cost at all. Conversely, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
A beautifully wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be fairly costly, so look at buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are frequently given at clothing stores. On the other hand, consider buying plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, a few 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. Unfortunately, however, lots of folks spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial turmoil 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 support on financial hardship, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Dubbo by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsdubbo.com.au