Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Christmas with Limited or No Funds

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      We have an unwritten “policy” in our home associated with Christmas.

      We have three kids (one young boy, one teen girl, one teen boy) that

      all know that they only get 5 things each and possibly one big thing

      that the “whole family” gets as a present. Our kids know that it’s

      mainly about the gift of Christ being born and not so much material

      things. We’ve also used this to teach them how to stay out of debt.

      They know not to expect 5 expensive things, either.

      Hubby & I usually put items in lay-away at Pawn Shops, in October,

      if possible. I refuse to pay over $4-6 dollars/DVD versus paying $19-

      26 at some place like Wal-Mart. Sometimes, we also lay-away video

      games. Pawn shops offer a 7-day guarantee if something doesn’t work,

      you can exchange it for credit. We usually ask the clerk at the Pawn

      shop to try everything out before we put it in lay-away to make sure

      that it works-even though the guarantee is for when the lay-away

      comes out. We usually wait until October to do the lay-away because

      out kids change their minds about what they want, or buy some things

      with their own money that they earn.

      Our kids know that they aren’t going to get the latest version of

      their favorite video game that comes out every year just before

      Christmas that costs between $25-40. We also buy DVD’s/video games at

      GameStop, eBay, Goodwill, Yard Sales and other thrift or consignment

      stores. Most of what they get is bought this way, no matter what it

      is. We also check Craigslist and we’ve gotten some great items on

      there. Craigslist has a free section and a place for people to post

      stuff for sale. The only thing that they might get new are board

      games that are on sale at a fantastic price-but some of those they

      get used, too. Belonging to a Freecycle group has helped us get items

      for our kids for presents when we’ve had little or no money to buy


      My daughter’s birthday is Christmas Eve, so we usually have a

      Homemade birthday cake, pan of brownies, or cookie cake decorated

      with icing that has a dual celebration purpose-her birthday & the

      birthday of Christ. A homemade cookie cake is one of her favorites.

      She knows that she is going to get one present on her birthday.

      Sometimes, it’s a bag with 4 or 5 dollar things from the dollar

      store, or we put 6 Christmas presents under the tree for her, and let

      her choose one to open as her birthday present.

      Our older kids are turning out to be fairly thrifty, too, because

      they see that we set boundaries on what we are willing/can pay for

      something. We’ve told them several times that even people that are

      millionares have to have a budget or they’ll run out of money.

      Salvation Army helped hook our family up with Christmas Presents one

      year when my husband lost his job not long before Christmas. Usually

      you have to call them in October to find out about their programs for

      Christmas. No later than early November. Our City has an annual

      Christmas Giveaway for anyone who needs toys for their kids, too.

      This is sponsored by Toys for Tots and other companies, as well as

      donations from indiviual citizens.

      HTH someone. Have a blessed day!

      Beth Ann

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Budget101 Discussion List Archives Budget101 Discussion List Christmas with Limited or No Funds