|January 5, 2018||0|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and of course the grand Christmas lunch! It’s unquestionably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with getaways, presents, and heavenly foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and a lot of us are left with the stress of considerable credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.
Although some people have the financial capacity to shower their families with costly gifts and lavish parties, most of us should be watchful 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
Whilst 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. Most of the time, it will be much more than you figured. Use this as motivation 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 things that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has introduced an amazing app to keep track of your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Even though lots of folks find delight in wandering through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, nearly all the same goods are offered on the net at much cheaper prices. Take advantage of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are extremely competitive and will often have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will be more affordable, you should take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you’re one of the many families who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll know that the costs of this exercise can be considerably expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. As a substitute, 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 enjoyable Christmas videos that can be sent electronically at no charge whatsoever. Alternatively, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A nicely wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively expensive, so contemplate 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 commonly given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider purchasing plain green, gold or red paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Don’t forget, various department stores will wrap your gift free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Regrettably, however, lots of folks spend beyond their means and end up in financial hardship 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any direction on financial problems, speak to the specialists at Bankruptcy Geelong by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-geelong.com.au/