4 Money Saving Ideas This Christmas
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, enjoying holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and certainly the noble Christmas dinner! It’s undoubtedly a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, presents, and extravagant foods; to let your hair down and indulge in the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season gradually passes and a lot of us are left with the burden of big credit card balances. Some families spend months trying to pay off their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.
While some people have the financial capability to shower their families with high-end gifts and lavish functions, most of us should be careful to spend within our means so our Christmas joy can continue smoothly into the New Year. So with this being said, I’d like to share with you some reliable ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you establish a budget and follow it. Develop a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be a lot more than you envisioned. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some modifications 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 perhaps consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has launched a fabulous app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find useful.
2. Shop Online
Even though many individuals find pleasure in wandering through department stores and basking in the wonderful Christmas displays, nearly all the same products are available on the internet at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites such as Google Shopping, PriceGrabber, or Nextag to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are incredibly competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst shopping online will be cheaper, you need 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 understand that the costs of this exercise can be fairly expensive. It’s no surprise that only some of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are numerous apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send fun and amusing Christmas videos that can be delivered electronically at no cost whatsoever. On the other hand, you can always create your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your little ones draw pictures to make them super special!
4. Wrapping Paper
An artistically wrapped present can make a powerful difference, despite being the cheapest of gifts. Christmas paper can be relatively costly, so look at 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 recycle brown paper bags that are regularly given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider purchasing plain green, red, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents 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. Regrettably, however, lots of folks spend beyond their means and end up 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 guidance on financial hardship, talk to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Canberra by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: Bankruptcy Canberra