Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm dreaming of a cheap Christmas

I know we haven't even hit Halloween yet, but when you are going to be working with very limited resources like we are, you have to start planning ahead.  This year we will be headed into the holidays with the most limited budget ever.  I am talking EVER!  We probably had more to spend when we were in college and could just save... or we just charged it, if I am being honest.  We are going credit card free.  They are literally frozen in a block of ice. All accounts that I have cards saved to for online shopping are linked up to debit cards.  Actual dollars in hand only.

One suggestion has been made to do layaway for Christmas.  I considered it, but since our income is very unpredictable and there isn't a lot of extra, I can't count on being able to finish paying off the layoff purchases.  I don't want to lose the money that I had already put towards it. 

I fully think it is the thought that counts, so I don't feel bad if people don't open some big expensive gift.  I do not care that I found a great gift on sale for $5.  I am not going to go spend an additional $20 on that person just to make it equal in spending amounts.  It is impossible to be totally equal unless you give gift cards but that just isn't as fun.  This also takes away the idea of just not giving people gifts.  I am doing something even if it is making a dozen cookies.  It is the thought that counts.  Getting a gift means you are thought of and loved.  To do nothing gives into the capitalistic idea of Christmas.  Just think back to the Christmas scene in Little Women. Wasn't that fun?

I am trying to get creative with gifts.  Realistically creative.  In the past I have made stuff, but that actually costs a lot if you don't do it right.  It doesn't mean that I am going to make everything.  It just means I am going to try to do something cool with a little money.  I also started planning months ago.  I have already finished Christmas for 2 people and have started collecting things for Rhys and Ava. They get really pumped about stuff they see in the dollar section at Target?  Why should I feel like I have to get them big like a DS?  That is my own issue.

How do you handle cash only holidays?