Bills, Bills, Bills!

This time of year it seems like the bills really start to pile up. There are normal bills like rent, utilities, and food, but now you have the additional Christmas bills as well. As a single mom who is barely making it as it is it can really put a damper on your holiday spirit. If you’re wondering how you are possibly going to make it this Christmas season, you may be tempted to pull out the credit card. Before you resort to plastic look around and see if there might be some other options, rather than spending all that … Continue reading

Our First Christmas

I know Christmas is about the kids but I think the toy manufacturers must think it is fun to torcher parents! When the kids finished unwrapping all their presents and breakfast was over all we could hear is “Can you open this for me?” This is when the fun really began. If you have not opened any toys lately you should know that it is a lot of work. Do the toy makers do this just to drive parents crazy? One little truck had all sides of the box taped, the truck wheels are wrapped with wire ties holding it … Continue reading

But It’s My Birthday!

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday dear me! Happy birthday to me! Yep, you guessed it: It’s my birthday. Another year gone, another year older. Birthdays used to be so exciting. I remember looking at the calendar in anticipation when I was younger, counting down the days until I got to eat cake and open presents. It was nearly impossible to go to sleep the night before. I’d wake up early, go into my parents’ bedroom, and the entire family would gather around for gift opening. I would be freed of my morning duty of making … Continue reading

Hurt Paw = Sympathy Windfall

I mean to tell you, Murph has not minded his hurt paw very much. Another title for this blog could have easily been: “Murph Makes Out Like a Bandit.” That’s what’s happened ever since Murphy’s fan club got word of his demise. The Vet It all started when my friend Brenda sent Murph a care package. Inside was a note from her dog Mocha hoping Murph would get well soon, as well as a stuffed vet toy. When I thanked her, Brenda emailed me back and said, “I wasn’t really thinking. I guess he can’t really play right now.” “Oh … Continue reading

Frugal Gifts for Hard Times

Practically everyone I know seems to be struggling one way or another in these economic times. With the holiday season approaching, it is more important than ever to practice responsible gift giving. This not only means reigning in the spending for yourself, but also giving gifts that are especially thoughtful during this time. Your gift can not only be a delight but also make a positive impact financially. Really think about what your friends, family and associates need. Is it another coffee mug, or would a basil plant in that mug save them money on cooking? Does your nephew need … Continue reading

What Can You Do Instead of Birthday Presents?

Earlier this month, I wrote about how birthday parties can get out of control. In “Whose Birthday Party is it, Anyway?” I wrote about all the ways that we can lose perspective and how birthday parties can get hijacked by different parties until we forget who the celebration is supposed to be for. One of the ways that birthdays can get out of hand is by putting too much pressure on gift giving and getting. Have you ever considered starting a new family ritual and coming up with activities or other things to do INSTEAD of focusing on birthday presents? … Continue reading

How Buying Gifts Each Month Can NOT Be Frugal

Creating a title for this article was difficult, because I always recommend that people purchase gifts throughout the year to make Christmas a bit easier on the budget, it is an extremely frugal thing to do. People tend to overspend when faced with the daunting task of shopping for everyone on their Christmas list in November and December. I still hold true to that, but I have a bit of advice while you are doing it. Typically I suggest assigning a person to each month, which means that person is shopped for during that month. However this year we did … Continue reading

Last Minute Frugal Gift Ideas (2)

Still trying to find that perfect last minute gift for someone on your shopping list? Or perhaps you found yourself the recipient of an unexpected gift from a friend, neighbor or co-worker. The frugal side of me says we don’t have to get a gift for every person that buys for us, especially if we wouldn’t normally exchange with that person. However, the practical side of me tells me that I love to give gifts and that I would feel horribly guilty at not getting them at least something. Here are a few more ideas to keep you from stressing … Continue reading

Last Minute Frugal Gift Ideas (1)

Have you ever waited until the last minute to do your shopping for someone or even for most of the people on your shopping list? Well, it happens to the best of us even when we don’t mean for it to. There are some very easy ways to avoid this happening, by stocking up throughout the year so that you have nice things on hand to give when you receive an unexpected gift or your put it off until the last minute. But not all of us plan ahead or remember to purchase things on clearance throughout the year. For … Continue reading

Make Gift Wrapping Fun

Do you spend hours on Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning wrapping gifts when you really should be enjoying the quiet joy of the season? Or do you park a block away from the relatives house just so you can wrap the gifts before you join in the celebration? What about delivering presents in a bag or box instead of wrapped? I have to admit that my family has done all of the above things during past Christmas seasons. Wrapping the gifts can be a chore. Oh the first one or two can be fun, but by the time you … Continue reading