Six better ways to spend your money this Christmas

Christmas can be a hectic time – it may be your turn to organise the Christmas lunch and you are feeling overwhelmed, or perhaps trying to split your time between various families is getting too much. Let’s not forget the endless list of presents you need to buy. Between all the commitments and expectations, it’s easy to forget what Christmas should really be about.

This year, try to think about some other ways you could spend your money, rather than buying excessive gifts that may not always be cherished. By giving to those in need rather than spending unwarranted amounts on luxuries, you may be surprised to discover a greater pleasure and sense of satisfaction this Christmas. Here are a few ideas of better ways you could spend your money.

1. Buy a bale, help a farmer

With natural disasters all over the news recently, it comes as no surprise that a lot of help is needed around the world as well as closer to home. In Queensland farmers are doing it tough this year with drought resulting in dire financial circumstances for many. Support the Buy a Bale campaign and you could help keep our farmers on the land. Alternatively, the Red Cross and Salvation Army are encouraging donations for the recent bushfire victims in NSW, some who have sadly lost their homes.

2. Shop in a way that helps others

If you are smart about where you spend your money, it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune nor be wasteful. Consider seeking out unusual gifts that also aid the welfare of others. For example Oxfam is a wonderful shop, selling lots of bits and bobs which can be great presents, as well as helping out those in need. Online there are also many retailers including Amazon and iTunes that will make small donations from your purchase to a charity of your choice.

3. Make a Wish!

The Make-a-Wish foundation is a different sort of charity. They are a little like Santa Clause aiming to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. You can help out by encouraging friends and family to contribute – and help groups come together via an online meeting place to make a child’s wish come true.

4. Donate blood

This gift only costs you a small amount of your time and can make a huge difference. Currently only 1 in 30 people give blood, but 1 in 3 will need blood in their lifetime. It takes barely an hour out of your day and you can even hang around for some free snacks at the end! The best thing you receive however, is the feeling that you have potentially saved another person’s life.

5. Invest in your local culture

It may be a local school or university, or maybe your local community centre or library. Take the opportunity to make a donation or even buy a membership. You may find that it encourages you to attend interesting events and meet new people, as well as allowing you to help out your community.

6. Save for a holiday

Rather than buying presents for each other, put the money you would have spent on gifts towards a family trip or a romantic weekend away with your partner. This way the same amount of money is spent, but instead of just being left with (sometimes unnecessary) presents, you will have an everlasting memorable experience.

These are just a few examples to inspire your imagination – what other things can you think of that may make you holiday extra special while helping others at the same time? There are countless worthy causes out there, so why not bring the Christmas spirit back into your household this year, and give a little more back.


Source: Capstone Financial Planning

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