Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, enjoying holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and of course the legendary Christmas lunch! It’s indeed a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, gifts, and scrumptious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of substantial credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial capability to shower their families with extravagant gifts and lavish functions, the majority of us need to be cautious 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.
- Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s imperative that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Write a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be much more than you pictured. Use this as inspiration 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 belongings that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or even contemplate 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 useful.
- Shop Online
While lots of people find enjoyment in strolling through department stores and basking in the brilliant Christmas displays, nearly all the same goods are readily available on the net at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be cheaper, you must take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
- Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many families who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Rather, 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 out electronically at no charge whatsoever. Then again, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
An artistically wrapped gift can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be fairly pricey, so consider buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, certain department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Regrettably, however, many people spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial hardship 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any assistance on financial difficulties, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Albury by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsalbury.com.au