|January 5, 2018||Comments Closed|
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with family, being on holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and of course the acclaimed Christmas dinner! It’s indeed a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to go overboard with family trips, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and many of us are left with the strain of substantial credit card balances. Some people spend months trying to settle their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
Although some folks have the financial capability to pamper their families with extravagant gifts and lavish functions, most 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 effective ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
While it may sound cliché, it’s crucial that you create a budget and stick to it. Produce a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be much more than you figured. Use this as incentive 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 anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for presents, or even consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an excellent 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
While lots of folks find excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, nearly all the same products are offered online at more affordable prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are very competitive and will nearly always have discounts that can save you a bunch. Despite the fact that 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 families who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll have an idea that the costs of this exercise can be pretty expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s virtually 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 allow you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no cost at all. Conversely, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your kids draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
A beautifully wrapped present can make a remarkable difference, even with the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be relatively pricey, so consider 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 commonly given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider purchasing 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 festivities doesn’t need to break the bank. Sadly, however, many people spend beyond their means and end up in financial troubles 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any direction on financial difficulties, speak with the specialists at Bankruptcy Alice Springs by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: http://www.bankruptcy-alicesprings.com.au/