Sunday, November 21, 2010

Expensive time of year

Here we go again. November and December seem to always hit our budget hard! Between Christmas gifts, donations and gifts to charities and ministries, extra parties and events to attend and buy tickets too, traveling expenses to see family. The list just keeps going...I'm sure you're all familiar with all the same expenses. Then, by January we're all shell shocked by the bills coming in and the total amount of money we've spent over the holiday season.

I'd encourage you to make this year different. We've been working on making the changes necessary for our family to not feel these effects in January and I'm hoping we won't.

Here are some things we're doing differently that maybe will give you some ideas for saving too:
-Saved for the last few months and continue to put money away for gifts (I got a later start on this this year, and hoping to do some of our shopping throughout the year next year).
-Saved and continue to put money away for our trip to see family for holidays
-Staggered our shopping, so we could pay for it as we bought things
-Waited for sales on items we knew we would need for gifts or dinner gatherings
-Paid cash for everything! This is really the key. If you're paying for things with cash as you go along, it ensures you stay on budget.
-Being realistic about what we can afford and who we can buy for
-We hardly buy anything for our kids. They get a lot of gifts from family, so we buy one or two larger gifts for them and then a few small things for their stockings and that is always plenty!

What ideas do you have? What are you doing to save money this holiday season?


  1. Hey Chels,

    One great way of saving money is to use a credit card that gives you points on groceries (in Canada, we use a President's Choice master card). Once we use our credit card, we go home and pay the credit card amount from our bank account - online - right away (similar to using cash - just takes a little more "work"). This way, we get to rack up the points for free future groceries AND we can be budget-conscious, too.

    Another tip I've found useful (with our bank in Canada, anyway) is to add my dad's name on our bank account. Here in Vancouver, seniors (people over 60) get free chequing accounts w/ unlimited withdrawals. Adding my dad's name saved us banking fees and allows us to order free cheques! Mind you, this only works if you trust your parents (that they won't dip into your funds as well!). :D

  2. I am focusing on making some homemade items for gifts this year to help reduce the cost of gifts.


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