|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, going on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and surely the legendary Christmas dinner! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, presents, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of large credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
While some people have the financial aptitude to pamper their families with classy gifts and lavish functions, many of us need to be vigilant 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 determine a budget and follow it. Draft 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 imagined. Use this as encouragement to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some changes so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a terrific app to monitor 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 excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, nearly all the same goods are available on the net at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will be cheaper, you have 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 comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be quite 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 plenty of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no charge at all. 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
A beautifully wrapped gift can make a powerful difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so consider buying 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 regularly given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Remember, various department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, 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 support on financial difficulties, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Penrith by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: https://www.bankruptcy-penrith.com.au/