Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and surely the grand Christmas lunch! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, presents, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of big credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial ability to shower their families with luxurious gifts and lavish functions, many of us should be cautious 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.
- Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s imperative that you set a budget and follow it. Compose 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 envisioned. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell possessions that aren’t being used any longer, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or maybe think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a wonderful app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find helpful.
- Shop Online
Even though many individuals find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the brilliant Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are available online at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are very competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bunch. Even though 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 understand that the costs of this exercise can be rather expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s basically just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are numerous apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no charge at all. Conversely, 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 present can make a significant difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so look into buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, various department stores will wrap your gift completely free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of people spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial hardship 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 support on financial difficulties, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Brisbane by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsbrisbane.com.au