Frugal at Christmas ~ doesn’t mean you’re a Scrooge

Christmas candes

I’m a believer in God’s blessing. I believe He delights in blessing those who love and follow Him. That said, I also believe in good stewardship. And I don’t believe ‘frugal’ and ‘blessing’ are opposed to each other.

I’m also a list maker and one who always has Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C.

If statistics are correct, a great number of people, when the January bills came in last year, nearly had a stroke? Their Christmas spending literally wiped out their savings? It would be a good idea not to do that again this year. Proverbs 21:20 [The Living Bible] ~ The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.

Tips For A Wonderful Christmas Than Won’t Break The Bank:

Tip #1: Decide what you can afford to spend…and then pay with cash. People who use cash spend less than those who pull out the plastic. Paying cash insures you won’t go into debt.

Tip #2: Make a list (not a naughty or nice one). Simply divide your budget by the number of people on it. You might have to make two lists, one for the people you’ll be giving more expensive gifts (loved ones), and one for associates you’d like to bless but you intend to spend less. With either list, if the ideal gift for one is less than you’re spending for others (but is still in the ball park and doesn’t look cheap), don’t try to compensate by throwing in a bunch of pointless do-dads that eat up money. If it looks cheap, then perhaps you should question if it’s ideal. Remember frugal doesn’t equal cheap.

Tip #3: Have your list in your hand when you shop for gifts (or for food, for that matter). Stores will have incredible Christmas sales and you’ll be tempted to overbuy. This is also where shopping with cash will help you. You can’t buy it if you can’t pay for it. Leave your credit cards home.

Tip #4: If you have an aging parent, get all the “kids” together to purchase one big, more expensive item mom or pop might be yearning for but can’t afford, rather than a bunch of smaller gifts.

Tip #5: Create a Christmas menu for your holiday dinner(s) and/or buffet(s). Make a list . Don’t wander around the super market picking up whatever catches your eye. If you do that, you’ll wind up with items you won’t use and have to come back for what you should’ve purchased the first time — a costly mistake.

Tip #6: If you shop with coupons (and that’s a real good idea) throw away those for items you don’t usually use. Don’t wait until you get into the store because you might succumb to the temptation to purchase those items because they’re a bargain…and honestly, you’ll be staring at them on your shelf for a long time until you finally throw them out.

Don’t forget to include in your budget a gift to whatever mission or charity your church is sponsoring this Christmas. Send a check to a TV or radio ministry you’ve watched for years but have never financially supported. Give to your local food bank. Whenever you see a Salvation Army worker ringing a bell, throw a dollar or two into the pot. A wonderful idea is to fill a shoebox and send it to Samaritan’s Purse/Operation Christmas Child. Or you can fill a box online, or simply make a small contribution. While we’re cautious about spending, we can budget in ways that honor the Kingdom of God.

Nativity figures

 

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About NikeChillemi

Nike Chillemi has been called a crime fictionista due to her passion for crime fiction. She writes literature that reads like pulp fiction. She likes her bad guys really bad, and her good guys smarter and better. She is the founder and chair of the Grace Awards, a member of ACFW. She has judged numerous literary awards including the Grace Awards, Carol Awards, Inspy Awards, and the Eric Hoffer Awards. View all posts by NikeChillemi

6 responses to “Frugal at Christmas ~ doesn’t mean you’re a Scrooge

  • leannelc

    great tips Nike – I’m a big believer in not going overboard with spending at Christmas time – it takes away from the whole meaning behind the day. It should be about family and remembering Jesus’ birth – not about huge gifts and too much food!

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    • NikeChillemi

      Leanne, I agree. The best memories should not be about the gifts, but memories of how the true meaning of Christmas touched us and memories about family. Although, I do know that children do remember when mom and dad (Santa) got them that one special gift they really wanted. However when the special gift is surrounded by ten other high end items, it also becomes meaningless. I like the glitz of Christmas decorating and do believe it brings “the magic of Christmas” and it is a time nonbelievers are more receptive. That is why there is such a war on Christmas. It is a time when the message of Jesus is more easily presented.

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  • Gail Johnson

    Great advice, Nike. Keeping it real. Merry Christmas, my friend!

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  • Lynette

    Appreciate the qualities of other folks. Be positive and believe in your power.

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