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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Greetings Thrifty Friends,

Christmas is almost here. That means it is time to empty the bank account and break out the credit card because if you're not willing to go into debt on gifts, parties and decorating, what is the point of Christmas?

But you know, it is possible to celebrate the holiday and have fun without going broke for months trying to pay off all your bills.

Let's keep things simple...

Keep pinchin' those pennies,

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Artificial trees and wreaths. It may not be exactly traditional, but for less than $100 you can buy an artificial tree that looks so realistic you have to touch it in order to tell the difference. The same for wreaths. Compare that to spending 60, 80 or 100 dollars every year for live decorations and it will have paid for itself after the first year.

Spend time together making decorations. Experts and gurus will tell you that experiences and memories are a better value than generic gifts that will probably soon be forgotten. Create some memories by making decorations with the family. With some simple craft supplies, you can combine the holiday decorating with quality time. Paint ornaments, string popcorn, or a any of a hundred different holiday arts and crafts you can find on the Internet.

Figure out what you can really afford. Many of us don't have the means for a financial free-for-all with the justification that Christmas only comes once a year! Christmas might just come once but those credit card bills will keep on coming. Make sure you pay your bills first, put aside a little money for an unexpected emergency, and have a stocked pantry of food before you go and spend hundreds or thousands on presents.

Let the kids know what to expect. I have seen kids literally sit in the middle of a pile of hundreds of dollars worth of Christmas presents and act disappointed. They should have known in advance that they will only get 2 or maybe 3 presents on their gift list. If they know what to expect, they will never been disappointed on Christmas morning, and YOU will reduce some of your stress over providing a merry Christmas.