My mom, Sharon Ramsey, returns to my video blog to talk with me about how she managed Christmas on a tight budget while my parents were rebuilding their finances after bankruptcy.
Thank you Sharon for your insights. I’m really sweating this Christmas budget. It’s tighter than ever before. You didn’t talk about the food side of Christmas. Can you speak to that? And also I would love some concrete ideas for teens on a tight budget
Thank you both for sharing your insights! We have 2 great kids, 13 and 10, and we’re working to really stay on a budget this Christmas. One of the things I’ve done, and will definitely do again this year, is to fluff up Christmas by shopping the clothing sales this time of year. I put off buying winter clothes (we live in Northern California so I can get away with this), and then wrap up every single piece of clothing individually so that they both have tons of things to open. I would have to buy these clothes no matter what so it’s not really extra spending — it just looks like that. Gift wrap is cheap, and even now when they’re getting older, they get so excited to have a big pile of presents. I swear, they’ll get excited about underwear and socks if it’s wrapped up in Santa paper! For us, that helps keep things from feeling too sparse.
I just recently started following Dave and Rachel after reading their book which I loved. I haven’t been that disciplined with my money (not really a big spender either) and not in debt thank God, but I really want to teach my kids to be money-smart and I’ve learned it starts with me. I have started their envelope system with the salaries I am currently paying them at ages 8, 7, and 4. 🙂 Anyway, what I really wanted to share is that we live in a third world country, Honduras, and most of us here live on a permanent tight budget, or by faith many times I should say. What our families do here for Christmas with our extended families is having the “secret friend” game. We all draw a family member’s name and that’s all we are responsible for buying, one gift for one adult of the family. It is so freeing and so fun at moment of giving the gifts! Whoever has the means and wants to buys something for the little ones can do so, but no one feels the pressure to buy a bunch of stuff for everyone. This really helps our budgets!
These are the things I’m doing for our four this Christmas! Imagine my delight when I got confirmation from Sharon Ramsey herself that these are good ideas; I was worried that I was just being completely random (and cheap!), but now I know I’m on the right track! Thanks for the video. Merry Christmas to you all. 🙂