Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your family, enjoying holidays, offering presents to loved ones, and of course the famed Christmas dinner! It’s most certainly a time for giving, and with this comes costs. It’s very easy to overdo it with family trips, gifts, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season eventually passes and a lot of us are left with the strain of hefty credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to settle their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.

Although some people have the financial ability to shower their loved ones with extravagant gifts and lavish celebrations, many of us should be careful 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

While it may sound cliché, it’s vital that you determine a budget and follow it. Compose a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. The majority of the time, it will be far more than you pictured. 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 garage sale and sell possessions that aren’t being used anymore, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or even consider making gifts yourself! ASIC has published a great app to control your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find valuable.

2. Shop Online

While lots of individuals find excitement in strolling through department stores and basking in the exquisite Christmas displays, almost all the same products are offered on the web at more affordable prices. Make use of comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to locate what you’re trying to find. These websites are exceptionally competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bunch. Whilst shopping online will be more cost-effective, you will need to take extra precaution to ensure you get what you paid for.

3. Rethink your Christmas Cards

If you are among the many people who send Christmas cards to all your friends and family, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be relatively expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your friends and family will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. As an alternative, 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 enjoyable Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no cost at all. Alternatively, you can always make your own Christmas cards with personalised messages and have your children draw pictures to make them super special!

4. Wrapping Paper

A beautifully wrapped gift can make a significant 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 much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even recycle brown paper bags that are regularly given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider buying plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday gifts throughout the year. Always remember, certain department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, 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 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 solutions available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any direction on financial difficulties, talk to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Whitsundays by calling 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: Bankruptcy Whitsundays