|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, going on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and of course the famed Christmas dinner! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with getaways, presents, and scrumptious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of big credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial ability to shower their loved ones with extravagant gifts and lavish festivities, many of us should be vigilant to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I want to share with you some helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you set a budget and follow it. Write a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you pictured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some modifications so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell things that aren’t being used any longer, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched an excellent 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
Even though many individuals find pleasure in strolling through department stores and basking in the lovely Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are offered on the web at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re looking for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be more cost-effective, 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 know that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your family and friends will in fact keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. As an alternative, 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 amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no cost at all. Alternatively, 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 present can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be fairly expensive, so think about 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 commonly given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, a few department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, many people spend beyond their means and find themselves in financial hardship in the New Year. If you find yourself 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 assistance on financial hardship, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Gosford by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: https://www.bankruptcy-gosford.com.au/