Let's talk about some practical ways to rein in spending this holiday season.
Commit the Holidays to the Lord
- Pray and ask God to help you create a frugal and joy-filled celebration!
- Ask Him to provide things you can't afford (remember, He does miracles for His children!).
- Ask Him to provide bargains, pray specifically for everything you need (food, paperware, decorations, gifts, stocking stuffers).
- Make the season about growing closer to the Lord! Fill your days with music, Bible reading, singing, laughing together, and making memories!
- Put your credits cards in the freezer now, so you can't use them!
- Talk to your spouse and freeze his or hers too!
- Use cash, not credit or debit cards.
- Keep budget with cash in an envelope in your purse (or in a pocket) when you shop.
- Write down EVERYTHING you spend on the holidays and keep in envelope.
- Purchase several turkeys during the Thanksgiving sales and freeze. Prices on turkeys never get lower than at Thanksgiving.
- Carefully watch sales and stock up on needed items ahead of time.
- Make gifts instead of buying them (but use supplies you have on hand or you can end up spending more money!)
- Rent a movie and pop popcorn instead of going to the movies. (Waiting for movies to come out on video teaches delayed gratification!)
- Look for deals online.
- Try using store brand products when they are cheaper or only buy expensive items on sale when you have a coupon.
- Don't spend money on yourself while you are out shopping! Be firm! (But share with the Lord what you would like and ask Him to provide--you will be surprised how much the Lord enjoys blessing us!)
- Have everyone commit to a spending limit on gifts and keep gift giving to one per person.
- Or draw names and just buy for the person whose name you've drawn. This works great for extended family get-togethers.
- Have a cookie swap with your friends where you bake your specialty, providing that cookie for other families. Everybody bakes the same amount of cookies and you each go home with as many cookies as you brought, just different kinds!
- Let guests bring side dishes to holiday meals and parties.
- Make a wish list for yourself and have others give you their wish list. That way money is being spent on things that people really want and need!
- Make a gift with your friend's young children for her and have her make gifts with your children for your young children.
(Meredith Ludwig Curtis)