How do we "simply" live the frugal Christmas?

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"Bah humbug!"

Yep, I know what you think when someone says

"Frugal Christmas."

"Bah humbug!"

You think of Ebenezer Scrooge and his one-track mind.

Stingy, hoarding, cheap, making money, keeping money. .

However, just the opposite is true.

Remember the story. Mr. Cratchet and his wife and children are simply living the frugal life, and living out the Frugal Christmas.

They are living within their means. They don't have much, but they are happy and thrifty.

True, they have no choice in it. The little money he makes goes to pay for treatments for an ill child, the

right choice.

They have a simple Christmas with simple things.

They have realistic expectations and they are happy.

They have a roof over their head and food to eat.

They have friends and family to celebrate the holiday.

They realize joy comes from people rather than things.

That is what I call a simple frugal family spending a Christmas together.

We get wrapped up in the commercialized expectation of a

"Good Christmas."

We convince ourselves we need the big toys, the latest electronics, new computers and fancy gifts.

We are always searching for that perfect gift. Most of the gifts media encourages families to buy involve

Little

Contact with friends or family.

When was the last time you shared an IPod or Nintendo DS with Grandma?

More often than not, what we are left with is a shallow feeling and enormous credit card bills in January.

Here's a simply, frugal, Christmas Quiz!

What was the favorite gift you got last Christmas?

Sometimes it is hard to remember.

Now, what did you do at Christmas?

Where did you go?

Who did you talk to?

We tend to remember these experiences more than the things of Christmas.

It's time to be an Ebenezer Scrooge and say

"Bah Humbug"

To the electronics,

"Bah Humbug"

TVs and Xbox,

"Bah Humbug"

Wii

And spend some time with our family.

Do something instead of buying something.

Make cookies.

Make a Christmas ornament,

Make a frugal Christmas gift.

Ring the bill for the Salvation Army with a friend

Or as a family.

Donate time to a favorite charity.

Invite friends for a special Christmas meal or party.

Do we need money to have a simple memorable Christmas?

The answer to that is obviously,

no.

We need a spirit of giving ourselves and spending time with family.

However;

We do need to get back to the whole holiday concept.

Whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other, the season is a time to remember our friends and loved-ones.

What do you think of when you think of Christmas?

I think of Christmas Eve, church, and apple cider or hot chocolate in Santa cups with family.

You most likely have different memories when you think of Christmas.

People like formulas. They like to have a plan laid out for them that they can follow for success. Just to make this clear, each person is different. Each family is a blended group of individuals, all unique by themselves, so your outcomes are going to be absolutely different than anybody else.

Here is the formula.

Number of family members

Number of celebrations

Amount able to spend per person

Gifts you can make

Food you can make

Money available

Remember even though it is the holidays you still need to pay your bills.

All the categories in your budget don't take the month off.

You need to plan ahead, sometimes far ahead, depending on what you want to do.

That is why your budget needs a simply frugal Christmas category.

It all takes planning.

If you are able to add a little to your

"Just for Fun"

or created a category "Just for Christmas"

you are blessed.

If not,

please do not skimp on the basics

housing,

utilities

and other important monthly bills,

especially your credit cards.

Get creative.

Create memories, not more debt.

Don't lose sight of your everyday obligations this Christmas. Giving

Savings

Housing

Utilities

Food

Transportation

Clothing

Health Care

Personal Things

Just for Fun

Debt

Pay all your regular bills and budget the rest out for Christmas. Try your best to stay within your means and don't use any credit cards this Christmas. Share with your family your desire to spend the holidays together as a family and just being with them.