January 5, 2018 44

4 Money Saving Tips This Christmas

Posted by:Charles Bosse onJanuary 5, 2018

Christmas can be a wonderful time of year. Spending quality time with friends and family, being on holidays, offering gifts to loved ones, and of course the grand Christmas meal! It’s undeniably a time for giving, and with this comes expenses. It’s very easy to overdo it with holidays, presents, and enticing foods; to let your hair down and savour the spirit of Christmas. The reality is, though, that the silly season sooner or later passes and many of us are left with the strain of beefy credit card balances. Some families spend months attempting to pay off their Christmas debts, while others find themselves in much deeper water.

Although some folks have the financial ability to pamper their families with luxurious gifts and lavish functions, 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 want to share with you some practical ways of celebrating Christmas, without breaking the bank.

1. Set a Budget

Whilst it may sound cliché, it’s paramount that you determine a budget and follow it. Develop a list of all the gifts you’ll be giving and calculate the total amount. Most of the time, it will be a lot more than you believed. 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 yard sale and sell belongings that aren’t being used anymore, speak with family and friends about a setting price limit for gifts, or maybe contemplate making gifts yourself! ASIC has released a terrific app to track your Christmas spending called TrackMySPEND (https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/) which I’m confident many of you would find useful.

2. Shop Online

Although many individuals find enjoyment in wandering through department stores and basking in the magnificent Christmas displays, almost all the same goods are available on the net at more affordable prices. Use comparative shopping websites like Google Shopping, Nextag, or PriceGrabber to find what you’re trying to find. These websites are highly competitive and will usually have discounts that can save you a bundle. Whilst 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 people who send Christmas cards to all your family and friends, you’ll comprehend that the costs of this exercise can be rather expensive. It’s no surprise that only a few of your family and friends will in fact keep these cards so it’s essentially just money down the drain. Rather, why not send a family Christmas video message online? There are plenty of apps on smart phones and tablets that enable you to send fun and entertaining Christmas videos that can be sent digitally at no cost at all. Conversely, you can always create 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 presents. Christmas paper can be rather expensive, so look into buying plain brown paper and adding a festive ribbon from a craft shop which will look much nicer than Christmas paper. You can even re-use brown paper bags that are normally given at clothing stores. In contrast, consider purchasing plain red, green, or gold paper which can also be used as birthday presents throughout the year. Remember, a number of department stores will wrap your presents free of charge, so don’t be afraid to ask!

As you can see, Christmas celebrations doesn’t have to break the bank. Sadly, however, lots of individuals spend beyond their means and end up in financial troubles 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 options available to you; all you need is the right advice. For any assistance on financial problems, speak to the specialists at Fresh Start Solutions by calling 1300 818 575, or alternatively visit our website for additional information: Freshstart Solutions

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