As you likely know, I love to write to you about learning activities with children, crafts and activities, and simple living in general. But am also very passionate about saving money.
The reason I am able to be home now with my kids, that we are able to live on one income, and that we own the farmhouse of our dreams is, in a very large part, because we know how to save money.
I thought this relevant to How Wee Learn, as many of you are also families living on one income — many of you are also Mama’s staying home with your little ones. I thought you might find this useful, or a little helpful, especially at this time of year.
There are a million ways to save money at Christmas – and you have likely heard of most of them: shopping sales, giving homemade gifts, the classic ideas. And they are good — wonderful ways to save money.
But if you are like me, that isn’t quite enough.
You might want to save even more. Perhaps you are going through a rough patch, or perhaps you simply are a saver. Whatever the reason, I have some extremely unusual (but HIGHLY effective) things for you to consider:
Here are 3 Unusual *but highly effective* Ways to Save Money at Christmas:
1. Share Santa. Santa visits our house each Christmas morning, and brings toys and presents for our little ones. Lots of them too. Instead of having only the parents be in charge of that role, what about sharing Santa? Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents. Perhaps these relatives would consider having Santa give their special gift to their little ones, instead of themselves. Extremely unusual, right? But perhaps? Self-less giving at it’s best.
2. Give the gift of Time. We do this a lot, not to unusual, but have found a trick to actually make it work. If you have friends or relatives with children, instead of giving a gift, give the gift of your time to babysit. BUT, the trick to make this actually work, is to also give them a date. “On February 7th at 5:30 pm I will be coming over to babysit your little ones so you can go out for the evening” Giving an actual date will mean they will actual use the gift.
3. During December (if you are a stay at home parent) cut your driving in half. This one is amazingly hard. ESPECIALLY in the winter – making it rather extreme. But by staying home twice as much as you usually would, you will spend half as much on gas (not to mention the spending that would happen once you got into the car). I drive a mini-van (yep) and to fill the tank is about $100 right now, which lasts me just over a week. By driving half as much I save $200 in December and can put that money towards our holiday gifts.
And there you have it. Three unusual ways to save you a lot of money this Christmas. They might also save you a lot of stress.
While we love to live simply, and I truly teach my children the joy of being grateful for what they already have, I do love to watch their faces light up Christmas morning.
What about you? What is a way (extremely unusual or not) that you save money over the holidays? I would love this to become a great resource for Mamas.