|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, giving gifts to loved ones, and surely the famed Christmas dinner! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with getaways, gifts, and mouth watering foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of sizeable credit card balances. Some folks spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial aptitude to shower their loved ones with expensive gifts and lavish parties, many of us need to be mindful 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 efficient ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Though it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you create a budget and follow it. Draft a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you believed. 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 garage sale and sell items that aren’t being used any longer, talk with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or even consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a great app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Whilst many individuals find excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, almost all the same items are offered online at much cheaper prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re searching for. These websites are very competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst 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 are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s basically just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are plenty of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and amusing Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no cost at all. On the other hand, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be pretty costly, so think about purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider buying plain red, gold, or green paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, a number of 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. Sadly, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and find themselves 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 hardship, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Geraldton by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: http://www.bankruptcy-geraldton.com.au/