For When Money is Tight…

For When Money is Tight…

Dear Mama.

 

I see you.

 

You’re at the checkout line wondering if your card will go through. You know you should know exactly how much is in your account but you’ve been too scared to check and know that you just need to get some produce and milk.

 

You hold your breath and pray that the words DECLINED don’t show up so you can just get your milk and leave before you bump into anyone that sees you using WIC checks to make ends meet.

 

I feel your heart beating faster and faster as the cashier looks at you with a sad look in your eyes that your card didn’t go through and she still needed $5.25 for the bill. I feel the panic set into your brain as you realize you have no cash, no cards with any money on it and you know you’ll have to walk away from the store empty handed.

 

 

 

I can feel the tears well up in your eyes as the woman behind you looks at you with pity and says “I’ve got it hunny, don’t worry about it” and your face flush red as you accept her help.

 

Your mind starts to race at all the things you wish you could say to her. How you want to explain your situation, what happened that you needed to get help, that you aren’t lazy or just wanting a hand out but just need a little help. Your mouth can’t seem to form words so you just nod and replay with tears streaming down your face, “Thank You”.

 

Mama, I see you at home, opening up the bills and wondering how you’ll make it through. You sit there and try to plan out if you’ll be able to get the kids anything for Christmas, what you can sell to make extra money for groceries or to pay the phone bill, and wonder when your husband will be back at work or how you can help bring in more money.

 

I understand your fear mama. I know what it’s like to have the ground ripped from under you. I feel your jealousy rise up as you see other people on social media taking their kids to fun events, filling up the Christmas tree, or eating out multiple times a week and you wonder just when you’ll be able to even take a breath again without worrying about money.

 

I know what it’s like when you feel your faith tested. When you find yourself asking God, “What else can I do”? And wondering if He has forgotten about you or what you did wrong. Mama, I know the despair in your heart.

 

But mama… can I tell you something?

 

I know it’s hard right now and it might not get easier for a long time. I know how scary it is to not know whether or not your phone will get shut off, your card will get rejected at the store, or how long you can put up a front to your friends and family about how tough things really are.

 

But know there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.

 

No matter how deep and dark things feel now, know that things WILL turn around. God has you in His arms and though you don’t understand why you’re in this valley, things will be okay.

 

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help. There is no shame in using assistance if you need it and there should be no judgement from the people who really love you. Know that there is always something you can do or somewhere you can go for help, even if it’s just something little, to make it through.

 

Dear mama… I know you’re scared. I know you feel lost. I know you are broken. I know you are hurting.

 

But I also know that you are not in this alone.

 

You are a warrior. You have all you need to get through today. Take things one day at a time, one decision at a time and one step at a time. You deserve all the happiness in the world and know, your time will come and your light will shine again.

10+ Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

10+ Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

Homemade Christmas Card Ideas on a Budget

Hopefully you’ve been joining us for this series on enjoying Christmas on a Budget. This post is going to focus on homemade Christmas card ideas on a budget!

And no, you don’t have to be super crafty to make your own holiday card. I actually really love giving and receiving our holiday cards. It’s such a special time of year to get to see how everyone’s family has grown and getting to tape them up on our mantle.

A few years ago, when we started sending our own cards out each year, I was shocked at the prices! I could not even wrap my head around the fact that it might cost us $100+ to create and mail cards out!

I refuse to pay that much (I mean I’m ALL about saving money to stay on our budget) so I went on a hunt to figure out how to DIY my own cards in the cheapest way to stick to our Christmas budget.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

DIY cards christmas

You’ll need a few things to get started with creating your own cards this year and it’s key to start planning ahead. You’ll want to give yourself some time and put in your calendar to spend maybe 30 minutes a week for a few weeks putting these cards together.

For your cards you’ll most likely want; a family picture, a quote or message, stamps, photo printer paper, and time to snag some good deals if you don’t want to print them yourself!

Holiday Card Sayings, Quotes and Inspiration

If you want a nice quote or message besides just “Merry Christmas” on your card, head over to Pinterest and create a board for yourself to save some inspiration. You can PIN ideas that you see of styles you like, quotes that you might want to use or even simply some color inspiration!

Pinterest is always a starting place for me when it comes to my creativity because honestly, I don’t have all that much of it. I like to have a starting place and not a blank canvas because it saves me time.

Don’t get too caught up in all of the fancy cards though. Know your crafting and DIY skills and know that it doesn’t have to be complicated to put together a nice DIY card!

DIY Christmas Cards Photo  {using Canva}

 

We always DIY our holiday cards because they are the simplest way to get started. We recently took family pictures so, while my kids have grown up a bit, I don’t feel the need to take new ones right now.

 

If you want a new family picture, you need to book those sessions NOW! There are so many great photographers that offer awesome rate (and if you’re in Bucks County, PA make sure you check out Mini Bucks County for discounts for our members) and a great place to start finding one is in Mommy Facebook Groups.

 

I’ve actually been able to trade services for a free photoshoot! I found a photographer who was looking for some blogging services that I offered and we swapped services! If you have a business that someone might be interested (particularly around the holiday time!), don’t hesitate to post that you’re looking for a services swap in a group and see what happens!

 

Hiring a professional photographer might not be in the budget so don’t shy away from places like JC Penny that often offer great deals. It may not be the fanciest but you’ll get some nice pictures that you and your family can use for the cards!

 

After you’ve gotten your pictures, head over to Canva to create your card! I’ve done a quick video for you below on how you can use this free site to make awesome cards. They have a ton of templates that I love and make it super easy for us non-creatives!

 

 

Holiday Card Promo Codes

 

Once you have your card created you have a couple options when it comes to printing it out and staying on your budget. We have plenty of photo paper so, depending on our ink situation, I sometimes print mine out. We often do this for birthday party invitations but, when it comes to Christmas cards, it might not be as cost effective.

 

You can also just send some somewhere simple like Target or CVS and get them printed out as regular pictures. If you choose the matte finish, they look like regular cards (just not printed on thicker paper) and can be around 10 cents a photo!

 

At first, I really wanted to make sure they were super fancy but I realized that most people were going to just throw them away anyway and if they really cared more about the quality of the card vs. the people on it, they weren’t ‘my people’ anyway!

 

Always search for promo codes on sites like Ebates so that you can get a great deal on top of it! You might save only $4-5 but if you’re still looking ot cash flow your Christmas, that money matters!!

 

If you don’t even want to go the Canva route, use Ebates to find deals or wait until Cyber Monday. So many places like Mixbook will have killer deals and if you plan in advance to be ready to order that day, you will at least get a discount!

 

DIY Christmas Card Ideas

 

Depending on your level of craftiness, the amount of involvement you want your kids to have in making the cards, and the time you want to put into them, you might want to do something that’s even a little more Pinterest worthy

 

I’ve found some other ideas for you to get your crafty on below! Check them out and know, no matter which route you take, your cards are amazing because they represent you and your family!

 

Confessions of An Overlooked Mom

County Chic Cottage

The Soccer Mom Blog

Blue Bear Wood

 

Heart and Vine 

Where the Smiles Have Been 

Messy Little Monster

My Cultured Palate (printable gift tags!)

Projects with Kids 

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

    Using The Beginner's Bible To Teach Your Toddler    As a parent, it is up to us to teach and help our children grow in their faith. One of the best ways to start this young is to get them a biblically based bible. This helps them connect with God, learn about the...

5 Smart Ways to Make Money at Christmas

5 Smart Ways to Make Money at Christmas

Make Money For Christmas

The holidays are a time when we all wish we had more money to spend. There are a lot of ways to make money at Christmas and jobs that are great for working moms and stay at home moms to earn more money for their family.

 

Before I ran my blog, I was a highschool teacher. I loved being a teacher but I was burnt out and barely saw my family. When I was home, I was spending my weekends grading papers and lesson planning. I told myself that this wasn’t the life I wanted and that I would do what I could to make money as a stay at home mom.

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.
There are a lot of different ways that you can make and save money to create an income as a mom. Some moms might want some money so that they can  contribute financially to the family, some want to be able to pay for Christmas gifts in cash or save for a holiday or college savings, and some need to make money to put food on the table and pay bills.

When I started working from home full time, I did it through network marketing as a beachbody coach. I was able to grow a successful 6-figure business and, during that first full time year, replace my teaching salary.

After working my beachbody business for 6 years, I felt a calling to spread my reach and do more to impact women for God. That’s when I started A Purpose Driven Mom. I knew that if I was going to spend the majority of my time on APDM, that my Beachbody income would go down, and I was okay with that. That also meant that I had to find other ways to supplement the income without adding too many more hours to my plate.

You can find ways to make extra income but know, the amount you make will depend on how many hours you want and can put into your day working.  There are ways to supplement your income if you work outside your home and ways to work from home while making money for your family.

Pick your goal and know, that with hard work, you can 100% have a cash Christmas (or holiday or savings account or anything!)

Become a Couponing Mom

 

Okay, okay… if you’ve been hanging out here at A Purpose Driven Mom for a bit, you probably knew that I was going to start with talking quickly about how to SAVE money first.

 

Yes, you can totally cash flow your life without coupons but, before you go crazy taking on extra hours, I really want to suggest you start by looking at your current budget. Are there areas where you can save money? Are there places you are overspending? Do you have an income problem or a spending problem?

 

If you don’t have a budget or know where to start, you need to head over now and grab my budgeting course “Busy on a Budget”  This course will walk you through all of these questions and help you set up a budget that allows you to start paying off debt NOW!

Once you look deeply at your budgets, you’ll be able to see where you can make some cuts in order to save for Christmas and beyond. Start with printing out last month’s bank and credit statements and use highlighters to color code your spending (for example, make purple eating out and green kid’s stuff). This will give you a bigger picture at where you can cut things out.

Instead of spending $10 a week on Starbucks, take that money you’d spend and put it in an envelope for holiday spending. If you were putting your Starbucks on your credit card… STOP. There is no point in finding ways to make extra money if you’re just going to use credit cards. You’re just taking that money from yourself right away. I know how hard the credit card mindset can be, and believe me, I constantly work on my money mindset, but you CAN make these changes if you’re serious!

The #1 place where people are spending too much money is on food! If you can stop eating out for the next month, you might have enough money to make a decent dent on your holiday budget. We rarely eat out (which includes convenience stores, drive thrus or sit down restaurants) but when we do, we make sure it’s in our budget and we always get a groupon or a coupon!

Holiday Jobs for Moms

 

The most basic place to start making some extra money is finding a part time job. As a mom that can be really hard since our hours are tighter and we would need to pay for childcare, which often offsets the cost of actually going to work.

 

My recommendation is to look for some seasonal or part time jobs that you can do in the short term to make money for the holidays. So many retail jobs are hiring since they are so much busier. Check and see if any of the holiday jobs have later hours that you can work.

 

Many of the stores in the local mall have shifts that are either overnight or late night. While I wouldn’t suggest working overnight if you didn’t have to (because our sleep and self care matters too!), try talking to them and seeing if them have a shift that you could go to when your husband gets home from work.

 

 

The CVS near me is 24 hours and has an available shift from 6p-11p that I could work. While that’s not ideal and limits my sleep (though not by much since I get to bed at 11pm most nights) it allows me to get in some extra hours without having to miss too much time with my kids.

 

There is also a consignment sale in the area that is also always looking for extra help. I typically volunteer (because that adds to the percent that I make when I consign) but I asked them if I could take extra hours for credit to shop and they said yes! If I take 3 shifts, it’ll be enough credit to buy all the kids (mine and all in the family) their Christmas gifts AND get all the kids winter clothes!

 

Could you find the place where other moms work and do some swapping for babysitting services? If you have other moms that work alternate shifts at your job, maybe you could watch their kids while they work and they could watch yours during your shift.

 

Remember, if you’re able to make some sacrifices during this holiday season in order to cash flow your Christmas, you’ll thank yourself in the future for not having those credit card bills! And if it doesn’t fit in your cash budget… you don’t NEED TO BUY IT!

Best Jobs for Working Moms

 

If you are a working mom or can’t find a part time job that fits the hours you need, there are a lot of jobs that you could do on your own schedule.

 

One of the best jobs for working moms is to take in some hours as a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant helps a business on their own hours to do a lot of the tasks that they’d like to get off their plate (this could be anything from social media management to answering emails).

 

Bloggers are always looking for extra help at a reasonable costs and I know other mommy bloggers love to get to help out their fellow moms! You could charge upwards from $15-20 an hour and work when your kids are napping!

 

The best way to find places that need VA help is to be proactive! Do you have a blogger you love? Send them an email and see if they need any help. Tell them you have holiday or introductory rates and would love to take some work of their plate. Make sure you pick things that you are already skilled in or actually enjoy doing so they don’t take you a ton of time and you can be super effective.

 

You can also call local business or reach out to ones you see on Facebook. If you’re in any Facebook groups like I am, I am sure you see people advertising their business all the time. It never hurts to reach out and see if they need any help!

 

Most will pay you directly via paypal each week and you can decide if you work per hour, per tasks, or one flat rate!

Stay at Home Mom Jobs

 

My other recommendation for quick holiday money and how to earn more money as a mom is to get busy in referral marketing.

 

Referral (or affiliate) marketing is a great way to suggest things that you love to people and make extra money. If someone asked you if a restaurant or movie was good, you’d give your opinion right? How about if they asked for your favorite pair of yoga pants or a great book to read? That’s the same concept behind referral marketing.

 

Almost all online businesses will offer a referral program to suggest their products to your friends, family or audience (You can sign up for mine here and get a 40% commission if anyone buys any of my products through your link). They do this because it helps them expand their audience and allows you to make extra money too!

 

There are some really great ones out there for moms and my favorite is the Ultimate Bundles (you can sign up to be an affiliate here). They come up with crazy amazing digital bundles that moms love and save them money! When I sell a bundle to a friend, I make between $10-$25 and they get a great deal!

 

There are a lot of ways to find programs but the easiest is to either google the name of the program + affiliate program or just scroll to the bottom of their homepage and see if they have the words ‘referral’ or ‘affiliate’ there.

 

 

 

My biggest suggestion though, is to only suggest products you actually love and use. I never will suggest anything to you (in my emails, social media or on a blog post) that I wouldn’t use and don’t already love. People can tell if you’re just trying to sell them things, so think about it as a suggestion. If you’re best friend said “what is your favorite cookbook?”, which book would you send them too? That’s the one you should suggest to others because you know it will help them a ton!

 

If you’re looking for other ways to conquer your debt , gain control of your finances and stop stressing over money, make sure you join the kick your debt to the curb in 5 days challenge!!

 

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

    Using The Beginner's Bible To Teach Your Toddler    As a parent, it is up to us to teach and help our children grow in their faith. One of the best ways to start this young is to get them a biblically based bible. This helps them connect with God, learn about the...

9+ Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

9+ Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

DIY Christmas Gifts

 

As a mom, I absolutely cherish the DIY christmas gifts from my kids. And I know that grandparents and other family members think they are super cute too! Not only do homemade gifts warm people’s hearts and make memories but, they help you have a Christmas on a budget!

My sister is a Pinterest queen and each year she makes the cutest DIY gifts for all of us. And for so long, I kept away from making my own gifts because well… I’m not super crafty and I wanted them to be quality.

But, the past few years, I’ve come across some great gifts for us non crafty people, ones that your kids can help make, and ones that really do help save you money!

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Christmas Shopping on a Budget

 

When it comes to the holidays, I am ALL about DIY gifts for as many people as possible. While I want to make sure I’m still giving out awesome presents, I think it’s key to make sure I stay as close to my budget as possible. DIY gifts are a great money saver and help you give out memories as well!

 

The goal for holiday shopping is to make sure that you’re sticking as close to your predetermined budget, only using a cash envelope system (ALA Dave Ramsey) and doing your best to give quality gifts that are full of memories

 

Easy DIY Christmas Gifts

 

Now I know what you’re thinking… what if I’m not crafty at all? Shouldn’t I just save my time and spend a little extra buying gifts?

 

No Way!

 

I am definitely not the most Pinterest Mom out there but I can follow directions and put together some simple gifts that will make family members ohhhh and ahhhh when they open them!

 

First up, refer back to your initial Christmas shopping list and budget. You can use this to separate out the people you need to buy for (like grandparents, school bus drivers, or neighbors) that would be perfect candidates for DIY gifts.

 

Once you know who you want to make gifts for, it’s time to start brainstorming ideas!

 

One of my favorite DIY gifts that doesn’t require too much creativity are photo gifts! You can take family pictures or kid’s school photos and create photo albums, frames with that person and your children, or even calendars!

 

I use the Freeprints app where you can order 80 free pictures a month (and just pay shipping). They also have another app where you can get a free photo book a month (again, just paying shipping)

 

These are super easy to make and very thoughtful. You can get each of the grandparents an album, personalized frame, or take the pictures to Target and put them on a calendar for less than $10 a gift!

DIY Gifts For Teachers

 

Home DIY Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

 

Homemade Bird Feeders 

 

 

Candy Cane and Lime Swirl Bath Salts

 

 

 

 

Cotton Candy Lip Scrub

 

 

 

DIY Gifts For Parents or Grandparents

 

Salt Dough Ornament

 

 

 

Handprint Christmas Card

 

 

 

 

DIY Christmas Wall Decoration

 

 

 

 

DIY Snowglobe

 

 

 

Handprint Calendar

 

 

 

Clay footprint bowl

 

 

 

Shrinky Dink Keyrings

 

 

DIY Gifts For Kids

 

 

DIY Bouncy Balls

 

 

 

 

Money Basket

 

 

 

 

Make sure you sign up and join our 5 day holiday money saving challenge! We kick off soon and we’ll be sharing the top tips to MAKE money for holiday spending and keep on your budget!

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

    Using The Beginner's Bible To Teach Your Toddler    As a parent, it is up to us to teach and help our children grow in their faith. One of the best ways to start this young is to get them a biblically based bible. This helps them connect with God, learn about the...

3 Amazing Ways to Save Money on Gifts

3 Amazing Ways to Save Money on Gifts

Christmas Shopping on a Budget

When it comes to buying cool gifts, it is key to look for gifts on a budget so that you don’t overspend and over stress. Whether you need to buy Christmas gifts for a big family or just one or two, if you shop smart, you can save money on gifts!

Last year was our hardest Christmas we’ve had where money was super tight. We had to make a lot of decisions about who and what to buy for and I had to be very creative with our money.

At this point, my husband had been out of work for 5 months, we were on government assistance to cover food for our family and our unemployment had just ran out.

But I knew that there were gifts that I wanted to get for my kids and family members and that there had to be a better way to still enjoy gift giving (which I REALLY love) without breaking the bank!

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

Best Rebate Apps to Use to Make Money

Rebate apps are one of my favorite ways to save money anytime I shop. I use so many rebate apps when I do my regular shopping so, why wouldn’t I do it with my holiday shopping?


If you’ve never used a rebate app, they are essentially apps that you can download on your phone for free and, before or after shopping, you can go to them and they’ll give you cash back on stuff you are buying anyway.

 

I like them a lot because, they are super easy to use and often have great referral programs. Many of those apps give me cash back or even gift cards to some of my favorite places! Using the Fetch Rewards app (get it and use my code for $2! ---> Q1XNB) I’ve gotten hundreds of dollars in Target gift cards just for referring other people to the app!

 

Some rebate apps like Shopkick , will even have coupon codes, discounts or dollar cash back for stores that you couldn't find anywhere else. Whenever I am checking out at store, I always make sure to do a quick scan to see if I can save even just 10% on something I was planning on buying anyway!

 

You can head over and read my favorite money making apps and don’t shy away from using them! Even though you may only save a few dollars here or there, if you’re working to stick on your holiday budget, then those dollars matter!

Earn Money Shopping Online (and save on gifts!)

Let’s be real, we’re gonna do most of our shopping online this year. Going to the stores can be a real pain, particularly when you have little people in tow so, don’t feel guilty if Amazon Prime is your best friend! And if you don't have Prime, head over and grab a free 30 day trial!

Before you impulse buy just because you get 2 day shipping, make sure you’re shopping smart! Always make sure you’ve logged into EBATES  first. EBATES is another rebate site that will get you discount, shipping codes AND cash back at most stores. Again,these sites and apps are a no brainer since you're planning on spending the money anyway! You might as well just do one extra step to get the cash back!

If you’re planning on shopping Amazon, I really suggest utilizing Cyber Monday for your deals. You’ll be able to get the best cash back on your Ebates and Apps and catch some great deals! If you put items you know you want to buy in your cart, Amazon will alert you if the price drops. You can also use the Amazon app to create a watch list to know when they go on sale!

If you’re planning to shop off Amazon and know what stores you’d love to go to online, head over there RIGHT NOW and sign up for their email list. If you wait between 15-30 seconds, almost every website will have a pop up appear where you can put in your email and they’ll send you discount codes or shipping deals. They typically send them within the first 24 hours so if you sign up now, you’ll be able to get alerted of the deals before you checkout!

Good, Cheap Christmas Gifts

Besides just shopping online or in stores for gifts, this year I challenge you to be a bit more creative about what you’re buying and how you’re spending money.

We follow a 4 gift system where our kids get the gifts they want and need without us going overboard, wasting money, or getting them things they may never even open.

Once you come up with your Christmas Budget  go ahead and make a list of who you are buying for so that you can start to pre-shop for them. You can always get great gifts at consignment sales or DIY things to save money.

Also, don’t underestimate personalized gifts! Grandparents especially love those types of things with the kids’ pictures or homemade by them! You can save a lot of money but DYIing gifts that people will love!

When buying gifts for more than one person, think about doing a couple or family gift. Maybe they need an appliance or you want to go to Groupon and get them tickets to a family experience. They’ll probably enjoy it more, it’ll actually get use and save you money!

Our family also has just started doing a secret Santa to save money. This is where you only get a gift for one person and get just one gift in return. This eliminates a TON of spending for us and a lot of unnecessary clutter coming into our home!

And make sure you go NOW and sign up for my Kick Your Debt to the Curb in 5 Days Challenge! This will guarantee you some extra cash to add to your holiday budget!

Using the Beginner’s Bible to Teach Your Toddler

    Using The Beginner's Bible To Teach Your Toddler    As a parent, it is up to us to teach and help our children grow in their faith. One of the best ways to start this young is to get them a biblically based bible. This helps them connect with God, learn about the...

The Complete Guide to Christmas on a Budget for Moms

The Complete Guide to Christmas on a Budget for Moms

The Complete Guide to Christmas on a Budget for Moms

Christmas on a Budget

 

Christmas and the holiday season is full of so much joy but, it can also be full of so much financial stress. Without knowing how to save money at Christmas or how to have a fun Christmas on a budget, us moms can feel overwhelmed and stressed.

Last Christmas was a hard one for us. My husband had been out of work for 5 months, we had just had a new baby, and I was battling Postpartum Anxiety and Depression. We were on government assistance and barely had money to eat or pay our bills.

 

This post may contain affiliate links which cost you nothing extra to use but may provide me with a commission. To read my full disclosure head on over here.

 

But that didn’t mean we didn’t have an amazing holiday. We sat down at our family budget meeting and determined what our needs were for the holidays. As we talked about events and things that we had previously spent money on, we knew this year would be one where we would have to say “no” to some things, get creative about other things, and just replace some traditions with more frugal ones.

 

The #1 thing that allowed us to be able to not feel like the Grinch and enjoy the memories was the budget that we created and STUCK TO all season. This was a 100% cash budget that requires some creativity and, for me, to get smart about how I could bring in extra cash during the months leading up to it.

 

 

Once you look deeply at your budgets, you’ll be able to see where you can make some cuts in order to save for Christmas and beyond. Start with printing out last month’s bank and credit statements and use highlighters to color code your spending (for example, make purple eating out and green kid’s stuff). This will give you a bigger picture at where you can cut things out.

 

Instead of spending $10 a week on Starbucks, take that money you’d spend and put it in an envelope for holiday spending. If you were putting your Starbucks on your credit card… STOP. There is no point in finding ways to make extra money if you’re just going to use credit cards. You’re just taking that money from yourself right away. I know how hard the credit card mindset can be, and believe me, I constantly work on my money mindset, but you CAN make these changes if you’re serious!

 

 christmas budget for moms

 

 

Why you need a budget for the holidays?

 

It is so easy to overspend during the holidays. You have gifts to buy, events to attend, and parties to host, and soon your debit or credit cards can become your best friend. Come January, you’ll check out your bank statement and realized you’ve spent over $1,000 on things that you don’t even remember buying.

 

You need to go into the holidays with a budget in mind so that you are not full of regrets later on. If it’s within your means to spend a little more extravagantly, then go for it! But, if you need to be smart and frugal about where your money goes, that’s okay too!

 

The key here is that you develop your budget in advance, determine how much you want to spend that you can cash flow and stick to it! It is incredibly easy to not fully plan out your spending and then double your budget that last week before Christmas because you are just impulse and last minute shopping!

Using a Cash Budget Envelope System

 

It is SO easy to overspend when you don’t have a budget OR you choose to use cards instead of cash. By creating a budget and using a cash system for all of your holiday spending, you can prevent overspending, stay on all of your predetermined budgets, and feel a ton less stress.

 

We use a cash system for all of our budgets and financial organization. We used to use credit and debit cards ALL the time but the problem was that we really had no clue what we were actually spending. Our bank statements were often a transaction or two off, we would forget to write down the little purchases and we went too quickly into our wallets to pay with a credit card if we thought we ‘needed’ something.

 

christmas budget for moms

 

If you and your family commit to a cash Christmas, you have to make sure you’re all willing to stick to it. This also might mean that the way you previously have spent will need to get altered. If you can’t afford to cash flow the $500 fancy watch for your husband then maybe this year, you come up with an alternative gift (that I’m sure he’ll love just as much) at half the cost.

 

Really think about what your holiday needs and wants are and don’t feel like you have to spend a ton ‘just because’ it’s the holidays. When it comes to gifts for the kids, we follow a 4 gift system  and make sure our gifts are thoughtful and practical without going overboard. There is no need to overspend on toys that are most likely not going to get opened anyway (or forgotten about in a week or two).

 

Once A Month Meals

Create a Christmas Budget Worksheet

 

The first step you need in creating a budget for Christmas that fits you and your family’s needs is to create a simple chart to track all of your estimated spending and actual spending. I use Trello to do this and it’s a lifesaver!

 

On Trello you can create lists of who and what you are spending this season, save links for deals and items you need to buy, and track what you’ve actually spent. This will help you start to save and stay on track when it comes to spending. 

 

Using a Trello board makes it super easy because you can link all of your holiday stuff in one place. If you see a link on Etsy for a gift you love, come across a coupon code for something you need, or want to look at your budgets and shopping lists when you’re out at the store, you can just check it out on your mobile phone and BAM, it’s all in one place! You can learn more about Trello and how it makes my mom life easier over in my Trello course!

Simple Budget Categories

 

When thinking about what areas you want to budget for, the best thing to do is braindump all of the areas you know that you’ve spent money in the past. Do you have to buy gifts for each of your kids’ teachers? Does your job have a holiday party that you need to pay for a sitter and an Uber? Do you host Christmas dinner?

 

Start by writing down all of the areas you know that you need to save for. This will allow you to start figuring out how much is in your means to spend (because remember, the goal is a CASH Christmas!) and where you can start looking for deals!

 

By having it organized, you’ll also just get a better bird’s eye view of all that is coming up and some thing that maybe you should say no too. Now that you know what’s coming in advance you can search Groupon for deals on memories and events or start to look for sales for gifts you might need.

How to use the Envelope System

 

 

After you determine how much you plan to spend in each area, it’s time to start saving an putting cash aside. I suggest creating an envelope for each area so that you can separate the cash.

 

You can follow my 12 week system  to start saving cash each week and putting it in your envelopes. You can also start finding other ways to get cash (like selling things on Facebook Marketplace or using Apps  and, as it comes in, put it in envelopes instead of your wallet! This way that money won’t get mindlessly spent on Starbucks but intentionally spent on what you need.

 

The key to the cash system is making sure that all of the envelopes are labeled and you don’t borrow from another one! If you go overboard on buying baking items for cookies, you can’t take from the ‘holiday events’ envelope! This just means you’ll have to be strategic, find some coupons, or say no to something.

 

If you want some extra help getting your budget together for the holidays, and beyond, than make sure you sign up for the Kick Your Debt to the Curb Challenge! In 5 days, I’ll show you how you can save up to $500 (yes in just 5 days!) and start to get your finances under control!

 

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