Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, going on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the acclaimed Christmas meal! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, gifts, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and many of us are left with the burden of substantial credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial ability to pamper their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us need to be careful 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 useful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Even though it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you establish a budget and follow 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 far more than you imagined. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has released an excellent app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find beneficial.
2. Shop Online
Even though lots of individuals find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the beautiful Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are offered on the net at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re looking for. These websites are exceptionally competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bunch. Despite the fact that shopping online will save you money, you need to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many families who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your family and friends 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 loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent digitally at no charge whatsoever. Conversely, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
An artistically wrapped gift can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be pretty pricey, so look at 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 re-use brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider purchasing plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Remember, various department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, many individuals 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, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Cairns by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertscairns.com.au