The commercialization of the holidays has made it more difficult than ever to enjoy the season without breaking the bank. This is especially true when you have kids in the house. Here are three ways that you can give your kids a magical holiday experience when money is tight:
Focus on Experiences, Not Things
By focusing on the experiences during the holiday season rather than the giving of gifts, you will naturally save money. Not all experiences have to be costly ventures. Something as simple as making hot chocolate at home and then heading out to look at Christmas lights is a true treat for young children. Or simply going outside together during the first snowfall can turn into an epic adventure that your kids will remember for years to come. Remember that memories created as a family will last longer than anything that money can buy.
Save Throughout the Year
For most families, it is difficult to come up with the money needed during the holidays all at one time. Saving throughout the year will help to take the sting out of the high cost of this season. Even putting away just a few dollars per week will add up throughout the year. If your budget is tight as a result of a job loss or injury on the job, be sure to look into the many resources available to help people in your situation. If you’ve lost time at work, you could get workers’ compensation benefits for certain injuries.
One of the best ways to cultivate gratitude during the holiday season is to give back to those in need. Instead of going on an expensive holiday vacation, you can stay home and volunteer in your community. Waking up Christmas morning and heading to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen to give your time will take the focus off of the presents. You do not even have to go far to give back. Simply baking holiday cookies for your neighbors is a festive gesture. As a bonus, your children will develop a sense of inherent joy in serving others.
Do not let social pressure cause you to spend more than you need to this holiday season. There’s no reason to open a new credit card for the holidays, only to start the new year in massive debt. With a little creativity and the right attitude, you can make this special time of year truly magical without busting your budget.
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