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Financial Stress this Christmas

It's coming up to the end of the year. I have one pay left until Christmas and I'm feeling the strain. I have enough for the essentials but this time of year always upsets me because there's so much I can't afford. I've got a week off from work but didn't plan it properly so it falls on an off pay week. And I know there's worse off than me but I just feel so depressed and upset. Why does life have to be so hard.

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Answers (11)

Thanks girls for the kind advice and suggestions. Will def get more organised for next year. Setting aside the $20 is a great idea and I'll look at some of the other suggestions as well. Just felt in a dark place last night but feeling much better today. Thank you.

Does everyone buy for extended family? We all buy for our own kids and then catch up with family after presents. Everyone brings along 2/3 plates of food and we do BYO drinks. I buy presents throughout the year for the kids and that way there's no big out lay at the end of the year. Christmas is a really stress free time for our family we just get together with water activities for the kids, food available all day long, music playing, drinks to be had and family

When I am strained at the holidays I will make gifts rather than spend extra money. Many pantry staples make great natural skin care, cleaning, or snacks. Old shirts turned into cool bags, dress up, or barbie and doll clothes. Second hand shops are great for dolls, barbies, toy cars, and action figures.... i clean them up, fix any nasty hair, for faded make up or eye brows I use markers (same for paint on cars and trucks)... They also have nice platters forn couple dollars so there is a keepsake when cookies are eaten, pretty bottles and jars for home made infused oils forn cooking or face scrubs from Pinterest... it's the thought and love behind a gift, not it's price tag. Not every year is easy, but it can be just as special. Instead of paying for a tree, and then added bill of lighting it, hang green paper on the wall and let the kids use glitter, paint, and markers to decorate it. Bonus no needles to vacuum 5x a day... dig deep, you've got this! You're kids will never know the difference, and you might create a new tradition.

For next year try one of those challenges where you put an amount away weekly, see of your bank offers a Christmas club account. A lil transfers every week and they close it late November and give you the money. This was my moms secret when we were young.

 I like this!^^^ Challenge yourself to think outside the box, rather than throw in the towel. We should get a thread going with some ideas, links to patterns, recipies... have you checked out the Freecycle network in your area. People just giving away great stuff!
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 ^great idea!
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I like the $20 a pay idea. Another is buy a coles/woolies gift card each grocery shop and use them at the end of the year.

It will get better, a nice trick you can try next year is taking a $20 out each pay and hiding them somewhere (more on the fortnights you are doing well and can afford to). At the end of the year you have $520 (more if you've had a few good fortnights).

The $520 might not cover everything you want to do for Christmas, but it will take the strain off without feeling like a huge Burden throughout the year.

Oh honey. I know. Are you able to get an advance from Centrelink ($500 loan you pay back at $40 a fortnight)? Might be worth asking for a food hamper too. Also, try getting a lot of smaller presents. I got a fake $2 my little pony from Kmart. Try a cheap store for craft items as gifts and then you'll have something to do with the kids on your week off. Also Google microwave salt dough recipe to make Xmas decorations. Send your ex a Xmas card telling him what a loser he is too. You are doing a great job. Ps. Perhaps don't lodge your tax return until November next year, that way you will get your refund and Centrelink supplements before Xmas. Xx

I spoke to everyone and said we won't be doing presents, this cut down so much of my Christmas shopping. My kids get a few presents they want but mainly things they need.

Thanks that really helps. I feel like life is suddenly worth living now. Like why didn't I think of that. Oh wait I did. I'm a single mum with three kids. Ex doesn't pay child support. I work full time balancing paying childcare and expenses and can't see a light at the end of the tunnel.

 stop spreading your legs to losers
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Meeeeee toooooo I have been honest with family I only have enough money for small presents for their kids and cards for the adults I'll need every dollar for the basics

Live within your means, go and get skills and get a batter paying job.

 better or you mean batter fish
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 some peeps with a better paying job don't know how to budget
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