Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family and friends, going on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and surely the legendary Christmas lunch! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard 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 sooner or later passes and many of us are left with the stress of big credit card balances. Some individuals spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial capability to shower their families with luxurious gifts and lavish celebrations, the majority of us need to be cautious to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can smoothly sail 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.
- Set a Budget
Even though it may sound cliché, it’s essential that you determine a budget and stick to it. Develop a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be far more than you figured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some alterations so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, talk with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has released an amazing app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m positive many of you would find beneficial.
- Shop Online
Even though lots of people find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, nearly all the same goods are available on the net at much cheaper prices. Use comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re searching for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will save you money, you have to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
- Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many families who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll understand that the costs of this exercise can be somewhat expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your family and friends will actually 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 numerous apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no cost whatsoever. Alternatively, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
- Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped present can make a powerful difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so think about buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, certain department stores will wrap your gift completely free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, many individuals spend beyond their means and end up in financial troubles 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 direction on financial problems, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Emerald by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsemerald.com.au