|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and of course the noble Christmas meal! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, gifts, and enticing 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 stress of considerable credit card balances. Some people spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some individuals have the financial ability to pamper their loved ones with costly gifts and lavish parties, the majority of us need to be conscientious 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
Although it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you create a budget and adhere to it. Draft a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be far more than you envisioned. 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 any longer, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a marvelous app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Whilst lots of individuals find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the wonderful Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are offered on the internet at much cheaper prices. Use comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are exceptionally competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will save you money, you must 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 understand that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s basically 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 quirky and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no cost at all. Additionally, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be rather costly, so consider 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 normally given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider purchasing plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, various department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need 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 advice on financial hardship, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Wollongong by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-wollongong.com.au/