Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family and friends, enjoying holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the famed Christmas dinner! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, gifts, and extravagant foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season ultimately passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of large credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some individuals have the financial capacity to shower their loved ones with classy gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us need to be watchful 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 useful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
While it may sound cliché, it’s crucial that you set 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 far more than you imagined. Use this as incentive to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some changes so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell goods that aren’t being used anymore, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched an exceptional app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find beneficial.
Even though many individuals find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the brilliant Christmas displays, almost all the same items are available on the web at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are remarkably competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bundle. Even though shopping online will be more affordable, you must take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
If you’re one of the many people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As an alternative, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are heaps of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no charge whatsoever. On the other hand, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
A beautifully wrapped present can make a dramatic difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be fairly costly, so contemplate buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Conversely, consider buying plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Don’t forget, many department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t need to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, lots of folks 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 support on financial problems, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Ipswich by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: www.bankruptcyexpertsipswich.com.au