|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, being on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the legendary Christmas meal! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with getaways, gifts, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of substantial credit card balances. Some individuals spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some folks have the financial aptitude to shower their families with classy gifts and lavish celebrations, most of us need to be cautious to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I’d like to share with you some practical ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
While it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you determine a budget and follow it. Create a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be a lot more than you imagined. 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 goods that aren’t being used any longer, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a wonderful app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find helpful.
2. Shop Online
Although lots of people find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the beautiful Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are available on the net at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are very competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Even though shopping online will be cheaper, you will need 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 fairly expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are numerous apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no charge at all. Additionally, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped gift can make a significant difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively pricey, 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, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, a number of department stores will wrap your gift completely free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Regrettably, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any advice on financial hardship, get in contact with the specialists at Bankruptcy Ipswich by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: http://www.bankruptcy-ipswich.com.au/