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Home Holidays How to Survive Christmas on a Limited Budget

This entry is part 2 of 16 in the series Single Mom Budgeting
During this time of year it’s easy to get overwhelmed because your money may be limited. There were several Christmases that I struggled to make it but with a little creativity I was able to give my kids a great Christmas day.
A couple of friends of mine agreed to share their tips on how to have a stress free holiday for you while giving the kids an enjoyable day.
Deesha Philyaw from CoParenting101.org shares:
“Throughout the year, many single moms do a juggling act when it comes to finances.  Holiday spending can add extra pressure, not just on the personal budget, but also when it comes perhaps to negotiating with the child’s other parent.  Who’s going to buy what?  And if the co-parenting relationship is already strained, it may be difficult to communicate and partner to give your child gifts without breaking the bank.
“On the other hand, if the other parent is absent, then mom must bear this load alone.  One solution is to have your child make a wish list and aim to purchase one thing off that list, instead of building the expectation that she will receive a laundry list of items.  In our family, in lieu of lists of what we want, we make a list of gifts we want to give others.  This helps put the focus of the season where I believe it belongs: on giving, rather than getting.   I also encourage homemade gifts which come from the heart and which help us stay in budget.”
Taliba Mbonisi of WeParent.com shares how a good support system helps single moms manage holiday stress:
 “Throughout the year, too many single mothers find themselves having to make difficult trade-offs in an effort to make ends meet while giving their children the best opportunities they can afford.  That pressure is constant.  And, during the holidays, it’s intensified for single moms who want and are expected to shower their children with toys, gadgets and all things fun, even though they may not fit into the budget.  Guilt and frustration can take over.  But, the resources and support of a community can uplift mothers through this festive but often pressure-filed season and help them find ways to feel confident in their financial decisions and powerful in their lives…which promises a happy holiday season, even when funds are tight.”
Surviving Christmas from a financial perspective might be challenging this year, but you can do other things to make this season memorable for you and your children. Here are a few tips that come to mind, many of which I have done in past years.
  • Make paper snowflakes and hang from the ceiling or tape to windows
  • Make your own ornaments
    • Stuff clear ornaments with ribbon, glitter, or potpourri
    • Shape and bake clay or play-doh ornaments
  • String popcorn or cranberries
  • Make paper chain garland
  • Bake cookies and other treats and give as Christmas presents
This year your holiday can be the best ever. All it takes is a little thought and positive anticipation to make it what you want it to be.

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Series Navigation<< Single Mom’s Guide: Budget and Save on Small IncomeSingle Mom Money Tips – Your Kids & Money >>
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