Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family and friends, being on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the famed Christmas dinner! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, presents, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and delight in the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and many of us are left with the burden of sizeable credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial aptitude to shower their loved ones with extravagant gifts and lavish functions, most of us should be watchful 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 efficient ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you determine a budget and adhere to it. Prepare a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be much more than you imagined. Use this as motivation 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 goods that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe 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 confident many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Whilst lots of folks find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the dazzling Christmas displays, almost all the same products are readily available on the web at more affordable prices. Use comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are very competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be cheaper, you should 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 friends and family, you’ll know that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your friends and family will in fact keep these cards so it’s virtually just money down the drain. As an alternative, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are numerous apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and amusing Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no cost at all. Alternatively, 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
A nicely wrapped present can make a powerful difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively costly, so contemplate 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 commonly given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, a number of department stores will wrap your presents 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 people spend beyond their means and end up in financial turmoil 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 assistance on financial difficulties, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Kalgoorlie by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: Bankruptcy Kalgoorlie