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10 Money Saving Tips for a Frugal Holidays!

Christmas time can just be a crazy time! So many people you want to give gifts to, so many things your kids want, and only so much money to spend in your wallet! What is a person suppose to do?
I am here to help you! I use these tips to help me save money at Christmas and still feel good about the holidays. These tips can help you too!
1. Set a budget! I set a budget for each kid of $75 each and try extremely hard to be under that. I don't have a budget for stockings, but I try to find item cheaply and that will take up some room!

2. Make some of the gifts yourself. Beware: some gifts cost more to make than to just buy. Be a thrifty present maker! Make sure it is a labor of love and not on your wallet.

3. Decide carefully who you are buying gifts for and who you are not. Despite the generosity of the season, not everyone needs a gift. A card stating your appreciation for all they do can be enough. A small plate of cookies is fine too. However, teachers can only get so many cups and pl…

Christmas 2013 Gifts

Christmas 2013 (left to right) Shali, Paige, Dane, and Jordan
Today I thought I would share with you what I did for Christmas for the kids. I try really hard to follow the four present rule: one gift to wear, one gift of need, one gift of want, and one gift to read. I also give a stuffed full stocking.

The following is a list of what the kids got and how well or not so well I followed the four present rule:

Shali: A new winter coat (need)
         2 pairs of pajama pants (wear)
         cosmetic travel bag (want)
         Barnes and Noble $25 gift card (read)

Jordan: A new robe (wear)
            hair straightener (need in her mind)
            cosmetic travel bag (want)
            Amazon Kindle $25 gift card (read)

Paige: 2 pairs of pajama pants (wear)
          large utility tote (need)
          handmade snow globe (made by me!) (want)
          3 new books (read)

Dane: A new shirt and pants (wear)
          Mindcraft Lego set (want)
          Star Wars snap together model kit (wa…

Time To Get Serious

Time to get serious about my spending and tighten down the hatches. And maybe, just maybe, if I tell you all about this I will have to be more accountable for myself.

First of all:

DID YOU KNOW THAT WE ONLY HAVE 72 DAYS UNTIL CHRISTMAS?!?!


If that wasn't enough to inspire panic in my (and possibly your) heart, I have another problem. Until next spring, I have a $165 a month car payment. Add to that, a raise in car insurance of $50 a month. Yikes!!!

My monthly available income has been severely reduced. Not good when I have Paige's birthday and Christmas coming. The good things in my favor is that Paige's birthday shopping is done, the Christmas stockings for each kid is almost done (girls are done, Dane just needs a few more things), and I have started Christmas shopping.

I need to cut down the Christmas spending. Fortunately, I have gotten really good at this in the past years. First thing I realized was that my kids did not care if everything they got was brand new or us…

Stay Home on Black Friday. Shop Small. Shop Local.

(Originally posted in 2013. Revised and expanded for 2018. The views of the author haven't changed!)

Black Friday shopping can be crazy. Stores opening at midnight if they even closed at all. Standing in line and getting a ticket to buy an item at significant savings. Most of the time people are buying things they don't really need. They are missing out on time with family and friends to go shopping. Employees are missing out on time with family and friends on a holiday to satisfy a corporation's greediness.

No, I don't agree with stores being open so early on Black Friday and even on Thanksgiving Day. It is a holiday after all!  Just because someone works retail doesn't mean they need to pay the price of missing out on sleep and time with loved ones. I don't agree with stores opening at ungodly hours to satisfy their bottom lines while offering deals that are supposedly irresistible to shoppers. I don't like the whole craziness of these shopping days and wha…