|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, enjoying holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and surely the grand Christmas dinner! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, gifts, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of sizeable credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial capacity to pamper their loved ones with extravagant gifts and lavish functions, most 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 effective ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
While it may sound cliché, it’s extremely important that you establish a budget and adhere to it. Write a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be much more than you envisioned. Use this as encouragement to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell things that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced a fabulous app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find helpful.
2. Shop Online
Even though many people find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the exquisite Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are offered online at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re looking for. These websites are exceptionally competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will be cheaper, you will want to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only 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 plenty of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be sent out digitally at no cost at all. On the other hand, 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 artistically wrapped gift can make a significant difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be pretty pricey, so think about buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Always remember, many department stores will wrap your presents completely free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, many people spend beyond their means and end up 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 difficulties, get in touch with the specialists at Fresh Start Solutions Brisbane by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-brisbane.net.au/