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Thank you for joining me on a money-saving journey for the past year. This thrifty living stuff is so much more fun with friends. Now, I have just a few words of advice for the eleventh hour before I take a couple of days off to live large (on a tiny budget, of course.)
Remember that Christmas is ONE DAY out of the entire year.
With a day left – and a weekend day at that – there’s still time for all your careful planning to go sideways. Instead of using the phrase, “Christmas comes but once a year” to excuse any kind of frivolity, let it be your frugal battle cry. Don’t let ONE DAY destroy the hard work you’ve put in to get your finances under control. Don’t let ONE MEAL cost you the entire grocery budget for January. Don’t let ONE GIFT create high-interest debt.
Don’t let a last-minute panic destroy your budget.
If you can avoid the store today, DO IT. Not only will it be filled with crazy, stressed-out people who are trying to get things done at the proverbial last minute, but it’s far easier to panic-spend if you’re actually there.If you do have to go to the store today, use lists and bring the cash you have allotted to spend. Don’t suddenly say “screw it” when you discover that Harris Teeter has a ready-made batch of whatever that you were about to spend 3 hours preparing unless you’d already planned to get Mr. Teeter’s version. Don’t suddenly switch the menu from $ 1.19-a-pound turkey to an unspeakable amount-per-pound prime rib. Don’t be drawn in by a gold-and-diamond something-or-other that’s on sale if you really have a sterling silver budget.
Don’t panic. Everything you’ve already planned and gotten is wonderful.
Write on people’s drinks.
I know this sounds ridiculous but you can save yourself a tidy little sum by writing on people’s drinks. I like to use sharpies and unused gift tags for this. They look sort of festive and unless you spent tons of money on them, it’s a thrifty way to do it.
That could mean little tags on stemmed glasses or the handles of mugs for adults. For water bottles, write on them in sharpie before handing them out. For cans, add a little tag to a hair elastic and pop them on. Stick-on tags don’t work well on cold drinks but are just fine for room-temperature drinks in disposable containers.
Focus on your reasons.
Finally, to avoid panic, guilt, and other messages your brain is sending you telling you that you haven’t spent enough, made enough, or given enough, focus on your reasons.
If you have people coming over, your faith, your family, your friends – one or all of these are why you are gathering today. If you have these things, you are more fortunate than many others in this cold, hard world.
And if you are spending the day alone, I hope that you have arranged a treat for yourself. A tasty meal to eat, a new book to read, a special movie or series to watch, or a project you’ve been savoring making the time for. All of these things are a special way to spend the day that won’t break the bank.
Merry Christmas, Dear Frugalites.
Thank you for being a Frugalite. I hope your day is beautiful, happy, and filled with the people, food, and traditions you love.
Daisy and the entire Frugalite team