This is a re-post from the last few years with a few edits here and there. I share it every year as it’s still very timely and I pray it encourages you, especially if you’re struggling to provide for your family during this Christmas season.
With Black Friday coming up, there will be a lot of shiny new toys with bells and whistles calling your name. First I’m going to be as bold as to say, you don’t need most of it so you can just sleep in on Friday, you won’t miss much. I know, everyone else everywhere is telling you to get ready and building the hype about the biggest shopping day of the year. I’m not scrooge or anything – I’ve spent many years out there with the best of you. My point in this post is to remind you a good deal is only a good deal when it’s the very best that you can afford.
In years past I’ve stood in line at Target to buy some shiny plastic things that I didn’t need and my kid’s didn’t want. Sure those $3 barbies were a hot deal – but my daughter has never played with a barbie and we don’t even like them! Oh but the 20 pack of hot wheel cars for $5 was also a good deal, forgetting the fact that we already have a bin FULL that they don’t play with. Honor your children’s wishes and buy the best you can afford for them as well. Don’t undercut them just because there is a better deal and you think they’ll like it. I’m not saying that my 4 year old is getting a Nintendo DS this year because that’s what he really really really wants – instead I’ll take a good hard look at the rest of the items he’s shown and interest in and see where and how I can bless him this year.
I remember being there in line way too early when it was literally BLACK out on Black Friday – $50 cash in hand. My goal was to get as many gifts as I could for $50. I know it sounds so silly now, but that’s what I thought, the more gifts under the tree the happier they’ll be! When the truth is my son would have been happy with ONE $50 lego set, instead he got a bunch of toys that he didn’t play with just a few weeks later.
What can I afford?
Do you have enough cash to pay for it? It’s as simple as that – if you’re planning to shop with Credit Cards this year you cannot afford Christmas, or at least not at the level you were planning for. I’m sorry guys, but even those Credit Card with rewards points…if you don’t plan to go home and write a check paying off your balance off in full that very same day – you’re basically buying those points.
You will likely spend 12-18% more if you use plastic and you’ll be paying it off come next year! – Dave Ramsey
What do you mean buy the best I can afford?
Don’t undercut yourself.
What I mean by this is if your budget this year is $100 for a digital camera – take the time and do your research. Don’t buy junk, a lot of people fall into the trap of buying a $75 digital thinking they’ve just saved $25 bucks – but remember you get what you pay for. Those Black Friday door buster deals are there to lure you in to the store so that you’ll buy more – they aren’t always as great of deal as they seem to be. Research the product in advance. Some of them are legitimately good deals, and that’s great! Just know what you’re getting into beforehand.
Live within your means.
If you have a $100 budget, don’t spend $150 because the next model has more to offer. There is always a next model up even when you have $1000 to spend. Be satisfied that you’re able to make your purchase in cash and that you’ve done your research, knowing full well you’re buying the best camera $100 can buy.
A personal note from me to you…
Don’t forget that Christmas is all about people, not gifts. It’s about one very special little baby that would become our Savior, the richest gift of all. If your heart is breaking this year because you can’t afford Christmas for your children or family please know that Mr. Frugal and I ARE praying for you. I will do my very best here on TFF to share with you the absolute best deals I can find. I won’t water down the site with a bunch of wishy washy deals that will have your head spinning wondering what is up from down. I don’t want to waste your time or mine. I’ll also make a point to share charities that are available to help during the Christmas season. Plus we have MANY giveaways planned, so hopefully you’ll win one of those too! Thank you for reading, I know you’re here because you need to be – to learn to SAVE more so you can GIVE more so you can LIVE more.