Monday, November 24, 2008

Dealing with Holiday Money Stress

The last few days (or weeks if I want to be honest) have been stressful. I know the holidays are coming and I am worried about being able to give my kids a good Christmas. I know in my hart that they will love what ever they get for Christmas, but I also feel bad knowing I am unable to get them what they want.

This year it is different. Last year we put ourselves in DEBT to give them a wonderful Christmas, and we still have not gotten out from under it. So we don’t have the credit to use. This year is going to be tighter then ever and it is kind of hard to deal with as a parent. It is a combination of the economic downturn, our retail website is not making sales right now and the fact that both of us are going back to school so that we can try and get jobs next year simply because we cannot make a living off of our retail site right now. That may change eventually, but it is going to take a lot of time and some big changes in the economy.

We made the mistake of going to the mall with the kids this weekend. It was hard because we had to keep telling the kids no, we cannot buy that. We don’t have the money. Usually we try and pick them up something small, maybe $5.00 or even $10.00 each, but this time we just could not do so. They watched people filling their carts up with the toys they wanted and you could see the confusion on their little faces and they tried to understand why other people could get the toys but they could not. We will not be taking our kids into the stores again, if we can help it, until we do have a little money set aside for them.

We are going back in a week to get a Christmas picture of them with Santa, even though that is going to be about $30.00. We will try to make sure they can pick up something small on the same day, but it is going to be difficult. What is harder is knowing out kids have been asking for the same toys over and over again, and we know that we cannot get them because they are all over $30.00 each. We are going to see what we can do about getting them each one of the toys they want. We have been explaining to them that Santa can only fit so many toys in his bag, so they may only get one or two of the toys they ask for.

The truth is that they don’t need any more toys; they just want the newest ones. Also we have been buying small gifts all year, so they actually have a lot of things to go under the tree, just not what they are asking for right now. So we are not doing that bad, IT JUST FEELS THAT WAY! It is just hard when you cannot give them what they ask for; no matter how many toys you actually have under the tree, because all I thinks is Oh, I cannot buy this and I cannot buy that forgetting what I have already gotten them.

We are signed up for a Christmas basket from the Salvation Army this year and it is going to make a difference. Each kid will get one big toy and one little toy and a few small stocking stuffers. They would like to be able to do more, but the demand is way too high this year. There are way too many other families in the same situation we are in. I am going to be writing about how to have a good Christmas on a tight budget over the next few weeks.

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