4 Money Saving Tips This Christmas
Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family and friends, being on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and surely the grand Christmas lunch! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, gifts, and delicious foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The bottom line is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and many of us are left with the strain of substantial credit card balances. Some individuals spend months trying to pay off 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 celebrations, many of us should be conscientious 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 helpful ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.
1. Set a Budget
Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you establish a budget and stick to it. Create a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be a lot more than you pictured. Use this as inspiration to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some alterations 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 gifts, or maybe think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published a fantastic app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find valuable.
2. Shop Online
While lots of folks find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the elegant Christmas displays, nearly all the same items are offered online at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are incredibly competitive and will generally have discounts that can save you a bunch. Despite the fact that shopping online will be cheaper, you should take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.
3. Rethink your Christmas Cards
If you are among the many families who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll understand that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Instead, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are lots of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send quirky and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent out electronically at no cost whatsoever. Alternatively, 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 nicely wrapped gift can make a remarkable difference, despite being the cheapest of presents. Christmas paper can be rather expensive, so think about purchasing plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are often given at clothing stores. Additionally, consider buying plain gold, red, or green paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Remember, a number of department stores will wrap your presents completely free, so don’t be afraid to ask!
As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of people 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 advice on financial hardship, get in touch with the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Joondalup by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsjoondalup.com.au