29 November 2010

Budgeting Christmas

Being a single mom means living on a budget. There I said it, now it's out there.

I know everyone is on a pretty tight budget these days but the reality is I don't get child support for my kids so the not-for-profit company I work for is the income I have to stretch every month. It's the kind of work you do for love and not so much money.

Normally I am out shopping all year round looking for great deals for friends and family so November and December aren't as stressful. This year was something else entirely.

I could talk to you about how my car broke down right after sending Mister to camp. Or how the first week of school I needed to come up with over $100 for a school camping trip. Then there were the hot lunch orders at another $100, never mind the school supplies, uniforms, and tuition's.

Well it's been a rough year. Lets leave it at that.

So how am I going to handle Christmas? Well I have a plan.

First let me introduce you to Advent Conspiracy.

Cool Eh?

So One little magazine and for a little over $100 I was able to get meaningful presents for my family. Mister asked me if I could de-worm a community for one of his presents :) That will be $50, and guess what that one they buy a community new shoes to prevent parasites from getting into their feet.

It's painless and it means something. It's also cheaper than going around trying to find something that they will probably never use.

It also teaches things like social responsibility to the children. I like taking these opportunities where ever I can. I think it's important to teach your children to look outside themselves and see the needs around them.

Another idea I have really gotten into this year (and please hear me out on this one) is thrift stores.I know the stigma attached here but seriously just hear me out!

Where else can you find a collectors Star Wars watch new in box and pick it up for under $10.00?

Or how about this great find? S/N Thomas Kinkade! In a Sally Anne auction you know it's going to sell way under value!

Going to thrift stores is a lot cheaper than going to an antique shop, but really there are some of the same finds.

OK so tell me what are some of your tricks for budgeting Christmas?

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