Christmas is called the season of giving for a reason, but you also don’t want to give so much that you’re left feeling financially burdened. It’s easy to get carried away with giving to others, but you’ll have to find the balance that works for you.
If you’ve struggled with Christmas debt in the past, you’re not alone. A reported 1 in 3 Australians starts the new year with what’s called the Christmas debt hangover. Still, overspending doesn’t have to be a part of the holiday season.
How do you avoid Christmas debt? One idea is to twist the focus of the season around donating. Instead of overspending on new things, donate and gift the things you already have. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Shop Your Own Things
The first way to avoid Christmas debt is to “shop” through your own things. If you’re like most people, odds are you have a few things lying around that are in great condition but you don’t use them like you used to. These can make great gifts.
Some things to consider re-gifting are:
- Clothing in good quality
- Games and toys
- Movies, CDs, and vinyl
- Fine china
Most of us tend to collect more than we need. While it’s great to fill your home with practical and sentimental things, you want to avoid having too much clutter. At the same time, these things could be valuable to the ones you love.
Gifting a close friend a practically new sweater of yours could make the perfect gift. Similarly, gifting gently used toys to a niece or nephew is another idea. Many of these things are in great condition, so why not send them to a loving home?
Donate to a Good Cause
Another great idea, when you’re shopping through your things, is to donate things you don’t need to a good cause. Include your friends and family in the fun, taking trips to organizations and donation centres together.
Not only does this free up space in your home, but it feels good to do good for others. Knowing that your things are going to someone who needs them embodies the true spirit of giving during Christmastime.
Give the Gift of Your Time
If you don’t have anything to gift this holiday season, you can also save money by giving the gift of your time. You don’t have to buy anything to make this season special for your loved ones and those in need.
When you give your time, you do something for someone else. Here are some ideas that are perfect for the holidays:
- Bake or cook a fresh meal for a loved one
- Clean someone’s yard, garage, or home
- Organize someone’s documents
- Do a family’s holiday food shopping
- Volunteer with a local organization
- Help out at a food bank or donation centre
Taking some time during the season of giving to show up for the people in your life matters more than any physical gift. If you don’t have the budget to afford expensive gifts, don’t underestimate the power of your time. Just being there for someone shows how much you really care, and these memories last a lifetime.
Upcycle to Create Something New
Last but not least, you can also upcycle during the Christmas season to create something new from the old. If you have anything in your home that might be in need of an upgrade, now is a great time to do it. You can find crafting or DIY repair supplies for cheap at local hardware and craft stores, and you can learn just about any skill on the internet.
Transforming a favourite white plate into a hand-painted masterpiece is something any loved one would appreciate. Similarly, upgrading a simple pillow into a custom throw cushion could be just what someone was looking for. These fun crafts are perfect for bringing the whole family together, and they’re incredibly inexpensive.
Do Good and Save Money This Christmas
It’s called the most wonderful time of the year for a reason, but this is also a time to give back. There’s an expectation that you have to break the bank to find the perfect physical gifts for friends and family. While this is appreciated, it’s simply not your only option.
Donating things you already have, upcycling, or even just giving your time all mean more than you know. Everyone just wants to feel remembered and loved during Christmas. This goes for close friends and family as well as those in need in your local community.
How can you give back this season? If you’re wondering how to make a Christmas budget that suits your needs, talk to the experts. The professionals at Debt Busters will work with you to create a seasonal strategy with your goals in mind.