|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, enjoying holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and of course the famous Christmas dinner! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family holidays, presents, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and many of us are left with the burden of big credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some people have the financial capability to pamper their families with costly gifts and lavish festivities, the majority of us should 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 useful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Although it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you create a budget and adhere to it. Produce 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 envisioned. Use this as encouragement to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements 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 family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a fabulous app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find invaluable.
2. Shop Online
Although lots of folks find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the dazzling Christmas displays, almost all the same items are available on the internet at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re searching for. These websites are very competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bundle. Although shopping online will save you money, 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 know that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only a 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 lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent electronically 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
An exquisitely wrapped gift can make a dramatic difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be fairly expensive, so consider purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much better than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain green, gold or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Remember, many department stores will wrap your gift completely free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, lots of folks 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 direction on financial problems, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Gold Coast by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: http://www.bankruptcy-goldcoast.net.au/