Stay in the black this Christmas

rich 2I know a lot of Bacchus Marsh families spend up big over the summer months, throwing parties, buying Christmas presents, booking holidays, and entertaining the kids during the holidays.  It’s definitely an expensive time of year. So it’s no surprise that already many Bacchus Marsh residents are starting to feel concerned about the months ahead.

We’ve previously posted a few tips for making sure your bank balance is Christmas ready.  We thought we’d brainstorm around the office and put together a few more tips that we use during this time of year to help keep the bank balance in the black for the New Year.

  1. Start by budgeting.  Set yourself a few limits when it comes to what you’re going to spend on Christmas presents, and write a list of what you plan to buy for who, so you can estimate whether you’ll be able to keep to your budget.  If you find that your list of presents grows larger than your wallet, try choosing a different present or head to eBay to see if there’s a less expensive version of the gift for sale.
  2. If you really can’t cut down on Christmas present expenses because there are too many names to buy for, consider introducing a Kris Kringle idea to your family.  Draw names from a hat, so that everybody buys a present for one other family member (this can also work for groups of friends and work colleagues), and set a dollar limit on the gifts.  This should significantly lighten your load, and you’ll likely find that your whole family will love this idea!
  3. Instead of buying a new outfit for every party, borrow from fashionable friends, or change the look of an old outfit with new accessories.  You’d be amazed how your look can change with a different necklace, clutch, shoes, earrings or hairdo.
  4. Hosting a Christmas party and scared your entire pay is going to go on puddings and turkey?  Why not ask everyone to bring a plate?  That way you can concentrate on a main ‘specialty’ dish, and enjoy being a sensational host/hostess instead of worrying about how you’ll live on two minute noodles for the next month.
  5. Finally, change your focus.  Many of us feel the pressure to up the ante on the gifts we buy from year to year – Particularly when our kids are begging us for the latest and greatest toys and games, that ALL of their school friends apparently own.  One of the best gifts you can give your family is the gift of giving.  Volunteering at a kitchen may not be possible, but you might let them wrap all the Christmas gifts for family and friends, or you could help the kids organise a family donation to a charity that will help bring Christmas joy to those less fortunate.  Switching the focus to giving rather than receiving can help alleviate the pressure on you to constantly have to keep up with the Joneses.

If you have more strategies for staying out of the red this December, please share them here.  Our team at Professionals Arbee Real Estate would love to see all Bacchus Marsh families enjoying this fun time of year without stressing about the costs.