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3 Tips for Surviving the Holidays Financially

The holidays can be stressful. There is the giddiness that fills the air and the magic of the first snowfall. Little noses pressed against the window in anticipation of the arrival of the Jolly Elf and the gathering of friends and family. It’s also a time of budgets stretched thin, wish lists that never seem to end, and trying to keep it all on track.

Enjoy three takes on surviving the holidays financially below. It’s three women’s perspectives on how to get creative and make the holidays about family and love.

The holiday season is incredibly fun, happy, and seriously crazy with its demands on us as parents, people, and monetarily! Here is how some of your favorite bloggers get creative, crafty, and really frugal with the demanding season! Pittsburgh Frugal Mom, Natural Hair Latina, and Mommy’s Memorandum have gotten down and dirty with savings and getting the most out of your holiday with money, gifts and enjoyment!

First up, let’s get crafty and remember the true spirit of the holidays with some well-voiced thoughts from Mommy’s Memorandum who knows there is more to the season of gifting than buying those commercial gifts!

Mommy’s Memorandum offers some great insight into the season of gifting!

When I was in 8th grade, I remember my mom sitting my siblings and me down and explaining we were going to be doing a “Homemade Christmas.” That year I gifted homemade dolls to my 8th-grade girlfriends. I was embarrassed. Then when I was 18, I happened to be at one of those girlfriends’ homes, and on her bed was the doll I had made her. I smiled and said, “I can’t believe you kept this.”
She took the doll from my hands and held it to her chest, and said, “How could I not? No one has ever given me a gift so great. You made this for ME!”
When I married and we had little money, and the holidays had my husband’s large family beyond our budget, I returned to that homemade holiday. I spent nights hand-sewing blankets, and dolls, making “puddle hoppers,” and more.
Through the years, Homemade Holiday has been my go-to. When my oldest was five and we arrived with boxes filled with things we’d made–ornaments, toys, food and more, he puffed out his chest and replied, “Look at all we have to GIVE!”
My crafting days slowed down, and these past few years have been commercialized at our home. Last year I went home for the first time in ten years. As store-bought gifts continued to be opened, I paused and said, “What happened to homemade Christmas?” A quiet filled the room as we all remembered those moments.
This year my baby sister is returning to the tradition. She’s spending her time creating magical gifts by hand and heart. Hers will be the gifts I am most excited to open. The ones I celebrate.
Whether your budget it tight or not, consider a homemade holiday.

There are so many options…we’ve:

  • dipped plastic spoons in flavored chocolate and caramel for coffee stirrers
  • created ornaments–as simple as tracing our new baby’s hand on construction paper or using clothes pins to make reindeer
  • Taken #10 cans, added a cord, and made Puddle Hoppers.
  • Made neck warmers with rice and dishtowels,
  • drew circles on paper, and colored the center red for target practice
It’s the most rewarding holiday you can ask for to see the delight on someone’s face, knowing they were thought about and their gift was indeed one of love.
Now if you go a little overboard on that spending, Latina Reddick is the owner of the blog NaturalHairLatina offers you a few thoughts on Is Gifting During The Holiday A Scam for Debt?

Holiday shopping reality is setting in. You know your family deserves all the gifts in the world, but perhaps you’re not sure just how you’ll pay for them. You could max out your credit cards, but debt doesn’t sound like the brightest idea. You need to set a budget.

Setting a realistic holiday shopping budget means you need to prioritize and plan how you will spend your money.

Decide how much you will spend on on each person and remember If you overspend in one area, you’ll have to make up for it by spending less on something else. Also, be creative. Think Frugal and DIY!

Setting a realistic budget doesn’t mean you can’t have the perfect holiday on a budget. It is only a means of making it affordable so you can enjoy your holiday without worrying about how much it cost. 

Pittsburgh Frugal Mom loves the holiday season and her insight is all focused on earning while you spend! Pittsburgh Frugal Mom loves gift cards as they are a one-size fits all and the choice is vast! Many grocery stores across our great nation offer future discounted gasoline purchases when you buy gift cards in their store for gifts or your own use, but how you actually manage these cards will make the difference in your spending habits. Buying a gift card and stashing it in your purse is a waste, don’t let balances go unspent, use a great app to mange those cards!

Did you know that gift card purchases are up this year and sales continue to rise, but if you have gift cards in your wallet make sure you are using them! If you are stocking up on gift cards to cash in on the gasoline perks popping up at the different grocery stores in our area, make sure you have a handy app to manage those card balances: GoWallet. You can use the app from your computer or your smartphone. GoWallet is a one stop place for your gift cards to be managed in and it offers real-time gift card balances for supported gift cards. Your information is with you all the time on your phone. Wallet is a secure alternative to toting around your cards. The app provides access to your cards immediately and you have access to your cards, leaving you with no unspent balances, which is very frugal!

Save your money, think before you spend and remember the true spirit of Christmas is green, and that is only in the trees you see!

About Julee: Julee Morrison is an experienced author with 35 years of expertise in parenting and recipes. She is the author of four cookbooks: The Instant Pot College Cookbook, The How-To Cookbook for Teens, The Complete Cookbook for Teens, and The Complete College Cookbook. Julee is passionate about baking, crystals, reading, and family. Her writing has appeared in The LA Times (Bon Jovi Obsession Goes Global), Disney's Family Fun Magazine (August 2010, July 2009, September 2008), and My Family Gave Up Television (page 92, Disney Family Fun August 2010). Her great ideas have been featured in Disney's Family Fun (Page 80, September 2008) and the Write for Charity book From the Heart (May 2010). Julee's work has also been published in Weight Watchers Magazine, All You Magazine (Jan. 2011, February 2011, June 2013), Scholastic Parent and Child Magazine (Oct. 2011), Red River Family Magazine (Jan. 2011),, and more. Notably, her article "My Toddler Stood on Elvis' Grave and Scaled Over Boulders to Get to a Dinosaur" made AP News, and "The Sly Way I Cured My Child's Lying Habit" was featured on PopSugar. When she's not writing, Julee enjoys spending time with her family and exploring new baking recipes.
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