|January 5, 2018||0|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and surely the famed Christmas dinner! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, gifts, and scrumptious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season inevitably passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of hefty credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some people have the financial ability to pamper their families with expensive gifts and lavish celebrations, most 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 helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you create a budget and adhere to it. Prepare a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you believed. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used any longer, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched an excellent app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m certain many of you would find helpful.
2. Shop Online
Whilst lots of people find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, nearly all the same products are available online at more affordable prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are incredibly competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be more affordable, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only 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 enable you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no cost whatsoever. Conversely, 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
An exquisitely wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be quite costly, so consider purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Always remember, a few 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, many individuals 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any assistance on financial hardship, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Cairns by phoning 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: http://www.bankruptcy-cairns.com.au/