I have learned over the last few years how to shop more creatively for Christmas and Birthday presents. As the children have gotten older so there desires have gotten more expensive and being able to meet these needs has not always been possible. Over the last year I decided that being stressed out and ending up in debt at these times is not an option and so I have resolved to be organised and shop early using layby as an option. We are currently having a huge toy sale at one of Australia’s big department stores and so I popped in and put aside a few items for Aaron for Christmas. Normally I would not be able to afford these but with 5 months to pay them off it makes it possible. I did this last year and we had a great Christmas and there was no debt left at the end so I am sold on it.
Another creative way to shop is to look on auction sites like ebay or trade me (I realise that my South African family don’t have this option or privilege). My son wants an X Box 360 for his birthday and they are so expensive – over $400 new and then the games are $100 plus – who on earth can afford that?? I went on ebay and managed to win an auction for an almost brand new, hardly used X Box that comes with 5 games for a fraction of the cost of a new one. I was delighted with the purchase.
Learning to shop in ways we are not always familiar with or comfortable with is something that we should overcome. Garage sales, op shops, auction sites, layby – whatever it is can save us heaps of dollars at the end of the day. I am also looking at making gifts more creative this year. I want to make some of my gifts so that they have memories attached to them – my goal is to give each child one special handmade item from us for Christmas – these are a good way to remember special times as a family and to treasure them. Hopefully I can get the kids to make each other a special gift too. As we become more advanced technologically and things become more affordable and disposable, so we become greater consumers and this is not always a good thing. Sometimes it is good to sit back and smell the roses.
Hubby and I were chuckling the other day because we have a TV channel here that has all the really old shows. Shows like The Partridge Family, Jeannie, Bewitched, The Flintstones, the Jetsons and Here’s Lucy are on. The kids just love watching them which amazes us. It tells me that even our kids can enjoy wholesome family entertainment after seeing amazing technology in the cinemas here. Sometimes the good old ways of doing things don’t have to become outdated and old fashioned. So think of ways you can recycle, re-use or create something from scratch or a way to shop creatively that does not put you into debt or leave you stressed at the end of the year. Happy Shopping!!