For single moms, trying to raise children and keep the household running can seem like a challenge in itself. As the holidays roll around, you begin to realize that there’s just not enough to give your children the Christmas you want to give. While that’s certainly disappointing, it doesn’t mean you still can’t make Christmas meaningful. These tips can help you give your children a happy holiday in spite of a lack of money.
Start Prepping for Next Christmas:
To begin, preparing for next year’s holiday can help single moms on a tight budget avoid the holiday crunch again. Some single moms recommend buying a reloadable gift card and using it strictly for holiday purchases throughout the year. This will help you put away a little money at a time. You’ll also have it on hand when you run into a good sale on toys or kids’ clothes throughout the year. Another idea is to research cash advance options ahead of time so you know which ones to count in when end-of-year spending money is needed.
Visit the Dollar Store:
There are plenty of discount stores in every area and they can provide a surprising cache of cheap and last-minute gifts. You may find generic versions of your children’s favorite toys and other gift ideas. While you’re there, check out the food aisle for deals on items you’ll need to make a memorable holiday meal.
The Gifts That Keep Giving:
Instead of trying to blow $50 on one toy, use that money to buy gift certificate booklets and cards for the local theater, arcade, ski lodge, or zoo. If you think back to your own childhood, you’ll realize that you remember experiences more than gifts. A booklet of gift certificates to the theater or another favorite place will provide a year’s worth of fun for all of you.
Browse Area Second-Hand Stores:
Another way of affording Christmas this year is by visiting second-hand stores and watching for yard sales. You’ll be surprised what you may find at discounted prices. Be sure to ask about return policies, especially if you buy previously used electronics. This is also a good way to pick up brand name clothes for your children at a discount.
Skip the Unnecessary Expenses:
Even though it’s a little late in the year, you can still put away a small Christmas fund by eliminating waste. If you dine out regularly, start eating at home. Buy a bulk container of coffee rather than visiting the corner cafe every morning. There’s still enough time to build up enough cash to make Christmas a memorable day.
Make Gifts for Your Kids:
Everyone has some hidden talent, whether it’s sewing, carpentry, and woodworking, or other creative interests. You can put those hobbies to good use by making gifts for your children. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of ideas to be found on Instagram and Pinterest. In most cases, you can use scraps you find around the home to make some great personal gifts.
While you do have an opportunity to start saving for next year now, this year’s Christmas is fast approaching. You can be prepared for it by visiting smaller stores you might not have previously visited. Often, smaller, locally owned stores will offer generous sales in the hopes of turning holiday shoppers into regular customers. Watching for deals and looking for ways to stretch the money you do have is the best way to make Christmas seem like a miracle. By the time that special day comes, you may even surprise yourself with what you’ve been able to achieve.