|January 5, 2018||0|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, going on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly the legendary Christmas lunch! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with getaways, gifts, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The truth is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and many of us are left with the strain of big credit card balances. Some folks spend months attempting to repay their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some individuals have the financial aptitude to pamper their families with extravagant gifts and lavish celebrations, the majority of us need to be mindful to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I want 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 extremely important that you set a budget and stick to it. Create a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be a lot more than you believed. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some refinements 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 contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has released an excellent app to control 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 delight in wandering through department stores and basking in the wonderful Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are offered on the web at more affordable prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re searching for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bunch. Although shopping online will be more cost-effective, 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 people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, 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. Instead, 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 at all. Then again, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be quite pricey, so think about 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. Alternatively, consider purchasing plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, many 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. Regrettably, however, lots of people spend beyond their means and find themselves 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 advice on financial difficulties, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Darwin by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: http://www.bankruptcy-darwin.com.au/