Don’t you just wish it was true when they say that it was “Santa” who gave all the presents so that you wouldn’t have to? I don’t know about you, but I feel like this Christmas tradition was only made for rich people. Come on, who else can afford expensive gifts not only for their own children and spouses, but to their entire extended family, their friends and co-workers in this economy, if not the rich? Realistically speaking, this tradition is crazy and sometime unnecessary. That’s just me.
What then shall we do? Shall we stop giving out present on Christmas? Of course not! This tradition is widely practiced that most children expect their presents and for most parents, their joy is to provide something meaningful to their children during that time of the year. This bring me to my very first advice: DO NOT stop giving because you will NOT feel good about it. Here’s why:
“My husband and I had our second child two days after Christmas. During the pregnancy, we stayed focused on preparing for our second baby’s coming that we forgot to save a little for our, then, 1 and a half year old son. We thought to ourselves that he was just a baby and that he wouldn’t remember a thing. We still got him something but, it wasn’t much. I’ll tell you that we have never felt as terrible as we did for not giving much to our son (this experience inspired this post). It felt almost as if we had failed him for not giving him our best”.
This story is exactly why I’m encouraging you to never stop giving especially to your family. My experience really inspired me to find ways to prepare myself for the next holiday without stressing out. So, If you’re interested about knowing what I did, then keep reading.
Please keep in mind that the were strategies that I used depended on my circumstances and that they might not work for you 100 percent. However, I still encourage you to pick what you think could work for you.
YOUR CHILDREN AND/OR SPOUSE COME FIRST
Don’t stress about offering gift to your friends or extended family. Focus first on your close family and then spend it only others if you have some money left. Don’t worry about offering to all of them if you cannot afford it. What you should worry about instead, is first the people in your household. This option alone saves you lots of money and protects from developing health issues due to stress. So, DO NOT WORRY ABOUT PLEASING THOSE WHO DO NOT LIVE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD!
YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT
Sometimes you just have to say no. Buying gifts for your children and/or spouse alone can be expensive, and stressing about pleasing people outside your household is totally unnecessary. I understand that this option can be hard especially if you happen to be close to your extended family. Therefore, I encourage you to try these tips if you feel obligated to offer a gift:
- Provide only to their children by giving them gifts that are less expensive (believe me, they will NOT use it unless you meant the world to them). So DON’T spend over 10 buck on them if you feel obligated to give.
- Tell them that you don’t need any presents so you won’t feel pressured to return the favor. I always thought that this holiday’s tradition was fit for children and not adult. And, I also don’t think that it’s fair to offer presents to working adults who probably make more than we do and who are more likely to never use them. However, that’s just how I feel.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL BLACK FRIDAY TO START SAVING
We’ve all made the mistake by thinking that black Friday is the only time to save big. Believe me when I tell that there are plenty opportunities throughout the year that can help you save and help you avoid stressing over the holiday.
Being a blogger helped me realize that there are stores that offer big savings’ opportunity of up 90% OFF. Buying ahead of time not only helps you save, but it also helps you spend a little a time rather than a lot at one in a short period of the time. This will also allow you to purchase for people outside of your household.
Here are some saving opportunities:
1. Right after Christmas: This happens between the December 26th and January First when stores would dramatically drop their prices for up to 95%.
2. The fourth of July Sales: You could save up to 70% OFF store wide in many stores in America.
3. End of Season sales: This usually happen at clothing stores where they will offer up to 50% or more Off their last season items. What I love about this is that you may find yourself owning an “expensive outfit” for very less.
4. Black Friday sales: This event doesn’t happen during the traditional Black Friday day. It happens sometimes during the year when stores would decide to drop their prices. Sometimes they’ll do it because they really want those items out of their store as son as possible and they would dramatically drop their prices sometimes up to 90%.
5. Every day is sales day: Being a blogger helped me realize just about how many time stores put their products on sale. This is a secret that most people don’t even know. My advice here is to subscribe to bloggers and they’ll tell you what is in and what’s on sale. (So please, subscribe to our website!)
Believe it or not, there are stores such as Walmart that offer layaway months before Christmas to help their customers to afford items. These layaway options don’t usually start until the later during the year (From August to December at Walmart) but are pretty helpful especially if you are planning on buying things that are a little over your budget. What you do for a layaway is to go to your local store that offers it and register. Once you register, you’ll be asked to give a percentage of whatever it is that you wish to put on layaway. And then, You’ll be asked to pay them whatever’s left over as you go. Keep in mind that you don’t get your items until they are all paid off.
The credit option is pretty similar to layaway. However, there are some differences. For example: On credit, you are allowed to take your items home once you qualify for it without waiting until it’s all paid off. However, there are some business that charge interest which can also be pretty expensive.
No worries, because while there are companies that charge interest, others, however, do NOT. Eloquii, CoEdition, and Kohl’s are examples of stores that offer interest free payment plans.
Never take advantage of your cash back offers especially if you’re late on purchasing for the holidays. The cash that you get back will help you to purchase more and save more. Rakuten for example, gives you option for cashback from many stores. All you need to do is to sign up and it’s free!
Last but not least,
These were the five strategies I developed that helped me afford for Christmas and other events. I don’t know about you, but saving isn’t that easy because emergency do happen and not everyone has thousands of dollars saved up. Please don’t get me wrong. I still believe that some do have lots of money saved up. However, there are still many that do not, unfortunately, especially with low pay and the rising cost of living.
I’ll tell you that I used to save up for black Friday the entire year before I had children and any responsibilities. And I was able to keep it until Black Friday came. However, after responsibilities strike and I had children, I could barely keep the same amount of money for a month even if I tried hard not to spend (keep in mind that I don’t usually spend on myself that my husband would usually push me to do so). However, bills happen and many other realities do happen that you and I can relate to. So, I understand that saving for an entire year might not be a possibility for some.
What I’m trying to say is that you do not need to stress out for the holidays and that there are countless ways to help you slowly prepare yourself throughout the year.
I really hope that this post was helpful to you and I encourage you to either subscribe, share this post/bookmark it, or comment below if you have any questions concerning this post or anything questions at all.
Until next time,
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