Is your budget bursting like the buttons on Santa’s coat? Is swiping your credit card making your anxiety run high? Holiday spending is a major cause of stress. It is easy to get caught up in all the gift giving and Holiday activities that we live in the moment and forget the Holidays can spin us into a whirlwind of debt.
The best way to curb the anxiety is to create a plan. If you make a budget and check it twice, you are bound to have a stress free Holiday Season with visions of a debt-free life dancing in your head.
According to an annual study conducted by Prosper Insight and Analytics people plan to spend an average of $967.13 which is up about 3.4% from last year (source National Retail Federation). Not to mention, 56% of Americans plan on going into debt for the Holidays and although many realize how important a budget is 58% of families fail to stay on budget. (source: The Motley Fool). Spending $967.13 is a HUGE chunk of change, especially if you are already struggling financially.
Many are tempted to dip into their emergency fund or retirement account or open a credit card to make ends meet during the Holiday Season. This is a bad idea all around. Your emergency fund should be used only when NEEDED and using a credit card only guarantees you will pay way more because of interest. Since going into debt this Holiday season is not an option, I’m going to give you some jingly-good ideas to help save your budget and still have a nice Christmas or any Holiday you celebrate.
Toy shopping for young children is quite overwhelming. There are so many choices and it is difficult to know just what toys are the best learning toys for preschool children. Lucky for you, I was a teacher! Part of my studies included early childhood education and I taught preschool for two years in college. Then I worked with preschool age children that were struggling while I was a special education teacher. Yes, this gives me the inside scoop! Oh and I forgot to mention, I have two sweet, sticky-faced preschoolers living with me! My sons are ages three and five and attend junior kindergarten and preschool three’s respectively.
With all this inside info, it will be easy for you to find the best learning toys this year. Yes, it is great to have that cool action figure or doll your son or daughter adores, but in this gift guide, you will find the best learning toys for your children so you can give them something you feel good about.
Furthermore, I will describe why the toys I picked are useful and beneficial for growth and learning in young children.
After teaching for thirteen years, I’ve concluded that all parents want the best for their children. No matter where we come from or what age or stage of life we are in, we are all pulling for our children and want to do right by them.This is why it is crucial to have some preschool age play-based learning toys under the tree this year, instead of the same old toy that your child loves for one day and then throws in the closet and never uses again – parents, we all know that toy! So this year follow along and let this be your number one toy gift guide!
Keep in mind, there is something for every budget and you do not have to spend a lot of money to help your child learn.
One year of blogging has come and gone! It has been an amazing ride and I have learned so much along the way! As I move forward, I am really focused and ready and I want to thank all you for joining me thus far!
Blogging is such an amazing journey! I mean, I get to write about a subject I love, SAVING MONEY and make a real connection with people by helping them with budgeting. Nonetheless, I chose personal finance because I have always loved budgeting and bargain shopping and have been pretty smart with my money thus far! (I think Suzie Orman would give my husband and me an A.) We have paid off over $100,000 combined worth of debt (mostly being student loans) because we believe in the value of living debt-free and being smart with our money! Finding a hubby with similar money values was a win-win for me (love ya, hubby).
Blogging is also an awesome side hustle for me since I am a stay-at-home (well I guess I can now be called a work-at-home) mom of two young boys, ages five and three! It has given me a hobby, I can call my own (instead of always being M-O-M – picture someone yelling that loudly about every five minutes – ha!) and I have made a little extra income with my blog, so for that, I am thankful!
If you are interested in starting a blog, check out my free tutorial! Do some soul-searching and find your passion! Then start writing! Honestly, I was so nervous about starting a blog but I am so glad I did! It has been a fun way to stay busy and I love learning about all the fun, creative things you can do with blogging! I would have to say my favorite thing about blogging is creating pins in Canva and writing, of course!
I often have people ask me, “What does a teacher want for Christmas.” Why would they ask me this? Well, I used to be a teacher. For thirteen years I worked as a special education teacher with kids from preschool up to middle school. So today you get the inside scoop! I can definitely give you some thoughtful ideas that your kid’s teacher will love and appreciate.
Let me start by saying, I never expected anyone to give me a gift at Christmas time when I was a teacher. I worked in a low-income school district and gifts for teachers were not the norm. I also taught middle school, so at this age, it is difficult to buy all five to seven of your kid’s teachers a gift. I think teacher gifts are more common in preschool and elementary and lucky for you, I taught all the above.
I find one easy way to stick to my budget during the Holiday’s is to shop early and make a list with my budget included! Below you will find gifts that fit any budget and I suggest buying your teacher gifts first because you will be giving these out before Christmas. All of the gifts below will also work for the end of the year or teacher appreciation gifts.
If you are stuck on what to give your kid’s teacher this year keep reading and there will surely be something you can buy and feel good about to thank them for all of their hard work.
It is so nice to teach your child the value of giving instead of only wanting “stuff” during the Holiday time, and this is surely one way to teach it. Kids like to give and it makes them feel good about themselves. One of my son’s favorite parts of visiting the firehouse over the summer was giving the firefighter donuts! Also, every time we gave my older son’s teacher a gift, I allowed him to hand it to her and see the smile on her face. This put a big grin on my son’s face too and kept warm fuzzy Holiday feeling alive!
I am back today with another money quote and this one by Thomas Edison is a good one! There are so many opportunities in today’s world and there are more ways to make money than ever before. We are in the age of technology and the Internet. Hence, the opportunities are endless. We often hear people talk about their “Side Hustle” and how they work so hard to get ahead. However, there are the people out there that miss out on these opportunities because they are afraid of pulling up their overalls for a hard day’s work.
Did you know in the United States alone there are $10.8 millionaires (CNBC.com article)? This number struck me as HUGE but the most interesting part is that many of these millionaires are self-made. No, they did not grow up with money, my friends. They got out of bed every morning and hustled! They found opportunities to create wealth and did not give up. Many millionaires failed over and over! But the difference between the millionaire mindset and the average Joe is perseverance and learning from failure. Just look at Bill Gates. He started out with nothing and became one of the richest men in the world. There is something to be said for the self-made millionaire and work ethic!
Are you struggling with your morning routine? Are you having a tough time getting the kids out the door? Is there panic, yelling, and even though you try your best, you are still late for school or work? If this is your morning, you want to keep reading.
Up until now, my son went to afternoon preschool. We enjoyed lazy mornings snuggling on the couch, watching cartoons and then casually getting ready for the park before school. Then he started Junior Kindergarten with a start time of 8:00 A.M. WOW – That first week was rough! But, I have developed a system in our house that has made this transition so much easier and we are all happier as we drive off eagerly early on our way to school!
I used to be a teacher so I am no stranger to getting up early; however, it is a different story when you have two little ones in tow that depend on you for everything. You have to shift gears a little, lower your standards and then lower them a little more! After you try my tips, you will be CRUSHING your morning routine with your coffee in hand and a smile on your face.