Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and of course the grand Christmas lunch! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and many of us are left with the stress of hefty credit card balances. Some people 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 families with classy gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us need to be watchful 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
While it may sound cliché, it’s critical that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Create a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be far more than you believed. 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 yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published 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.
2. Shop Online
Although many individuals find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the dazzling Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are available on the web at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are highly competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will be more cost-effective, you will 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 have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. Rather, 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 delivered electronically at no charge at all. Alternatively, 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 remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be fairly expensive, so look at purchasing 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 normally given at clothing stores. On the other hand, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday presents 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. Unfortunately, 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any advice on financial difficulties, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Frankston by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsfrankston.com.au