Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with your extended family, going on holidays, giving presents to loved ones, and certainly 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 heavenly foods; to let your hair down and enjoy the spirit of Christmas. The fact is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and many of us are left with the strain of big credit card balances. Some people spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others end up in much deeper water.

While some people have the financial capability to shower their loved ones with extravagant gifts and lavish parties, the majority 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

While it may sound cliché, it’s imperative that you establish a budget and stick to it. Compose a list of all the presents you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be far more than you believed. Use this as motivation to think outside the box (pardon the pun!) and make some revisions so you can stick to your budget. You could have a yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, speak with friends and family about a setting price limit for presents, or perhaps think about making gifts yourself! ASIC has published an amazing app to monitor your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m sure many of you would find helpful.

2. Shop Online

Although lots of folks find delight in strolling through department stores and basking in the breathtaking Christmas displays, nearly all the same goods are offered on the net at much cheaper prices. Utilise comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are extremely competitive and will almost always have discounts that can save you a bundle. Despite the fact that shopping online will be more cost-effective, you will want 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 family and friends, you’ll understand that the costs of this exercise can be quite expensive. It’s no surprise that only few of your family and friends will actually keep these cards so it’s ultimately just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are loads of apps on smart phones and tablets that allow you to send quirky and enjoyable Christmas videos that can be delivered digitally at no charge at all. On the other hand, you can always create 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, 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 a lot better than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are typically given at clothing stores. Alternatively, consider purchasing plain gold, green, or red paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Always remember, some department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!

As you can see, Christmas festivities 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 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 assistance on financial hardship, reach out to the specialists at Bankruptcy Experts Townsville by phoning 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for more information: Bankruptcy Townsville