|January 5, 2018||0|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family and friends, going on holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and of course the acclaimed Christmas meal! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, presents, and extravagant foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of big credit card balances. Some individuals spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some individuals have the financial ability to shower their loved ones with luxurious gifts and lavish functions, many of us need to be vigilant 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
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you set a budget and adhere to it. Draft 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 figured. Use this as encouragement 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 items that aren’t being used any longer, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published a marvelous app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find valuable.
2. Shop Online
Whilst many people find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the breathtaking Christmas displays, almost all the same products are available on the web at much cheaper prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re searching for. These websites are extremely competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will be more affordable, 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 have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be somewhat expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your friends and family 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 heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be sent digitally at no charge at all. Conversely, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
An artistically wrapped gift can make a dramatic difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be rather pricey, so look into purchasing 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 regularly given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, a number of department stores will wrap your gift for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, many people spend beyond their means and find themselves 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any guidance on financial problems, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Fremantle by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-fremantle.com.au/