It sort of snuck up on us, the realization that, once again, we really don't have a lot to spend for the holidays. I know that it isn't about giving and receiving gifts. For us, it's about spending time with family and enjoying their company. But, since we celebrate "commercial Christmas" as we like to call it, the whole gift part is pretty fun. The last two years have been tight on money. In 2008, Glenn was on the chopping block and we weren't sure he'd have a job after Christmas. In 2009, he finally got a permanent position (after getting laid off in early 2009 and, luckily, getting the last temporary position they had for laid off reps), but his income had dramatically decreased and we were trying to make it work. This year I was really looking forward to celebrating! So was Glenn.
But, right now, I'm stuck trying to figure out how we're going to stretch our dollars and have enough money for Thanksgiving dinner next week. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I will figure out a way to make it work.
What I do know is we really need to figure out a new way to live financially. If you've read this blog for any amount of time, then you know we've struggled with this before. We've been talking about it a lot lately and decided a shift in thinking is required. And quickly. There's also the change in thinking of how we can make things happen that we do want (from little things like a nice dinner out to big things like remodeling the house to building our savings).
So, our current Save Money Now plan is:
- Plan meals weekly and shop once.
- No going out for dinners when we're lazy, tired, don't "feel like" what we have at home.
- Pack Glenn's lunch every day.
- Start selling things that we just have sitting around on Craigslist.
- Change how we think about income and expenditures.
I'm looking at making things for the grandparents for the holidays. Does anyone have an idea of something they're going to make as holiday gifts? Glenn doesn't like any of the ones I've had so far.
And, I'd love to hear your ideas on saving money.
How do you live frugally, both during the holidays and all year long?