|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, being on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and surely the legendary Christmas lunch! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to go overboard with getaways, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and enjoy 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 substantial credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to repay their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial capacity to shower their families with high-end gifts and lavish parties, the majority of us should 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 effective 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 adhere to it. Produce 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 envisioned. Use this as encouragement to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some adjustments so you can stick to your budget. You could have a garage sale and sell items that aren’t being used any longer, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched an excellent app to monitor 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 excitement in wandering through department stores and basking in the beautiful Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are readily available on the internet at much cheaper prices. Use comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to locate what you’re looking for. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will be more cost-effective, 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 people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s virtually just money down the drain. As an alternative, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent out digitally at no cost at all. Conversely, 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
An exquisitely wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be quite costly, so consider buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, a few department stores will wrap your presents for free, so don’t hesitate to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Unfortunately, however, lots of people spend beyond their means and end up in financial turmoil 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 advice on financial hardship, talk with the specialists at Bankruptcy Perth by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: https://www.bankruptcy-perth.com.au/