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Does anyone feel poorer lately?


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If they did pay healthcare, they wouldn't be able to sell the stuff at such a discounted price, though, and though that sounds like it would work out--some people are living out of Walmart right now because they can't afford anything else.

 

It's not that a company should or shouldn't pay, it's the monopoly of the insurance companies and the skyrocketing cost.

 

The money comes from somewhere.

 

And the money goes somewhere too. Walmart stock is doing well and they pay a dividend.

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What market is the new construction for?

 

Nothing here is below $500k; builders won't do anything smaller.Not much market for that since there aren't sufficient private schools. Folks that are proposing condos are finding that the existing residents don't want to raise taxes to the extend needed to build out the infrastructure and erect new school bldgs. My water bill, for example, tripled, just to put in a new store. It was needed, but I think the bill should have gone to the developer rather than the existing residents who either have the stagnating wage scenario or are ss/pension recipients as opposed to people who are regularly getting wage raises higher than inflation -- especially since the store is out of their league price-wise.

 

Our town was spreading non stop for a long time. Everywhere you looked there was new development. It's one of the wealthiest counties in the US. It basically stopped in 2008 though. There are still pockets with buildings that were never finished. And while most restaurants and stores are busy there are many restaurants and stores that folded and sit empty. Some things might have been built some where but neither dh or I can think of anything off the top off our heads.

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I can't afford to get a job. Besides the fact that there aren't any around here, I wouldn't make enough to cover childcare or the increased taxes. :glare:

 

I feel like a horrible mom, too. At my 8 yo's bday this weekend, we went to family's house. She got some cards with money, mostly. In the car she told us "now I can give you gas money when we run out!" Remarking about how I had to cancel violin the week before because I couldn't afford the gas. I really wish they didn't have to know how hard it's been lately.

 

Weve had to do that and it does hurt. :grouphug:

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Everything everyone said. It's beyond tight. I like beans but three times/ week is getting old. My 5 yo was thrilled with her new garage sale pants. I don't think she knows you can buy them at a store :-(. I'm thankful we have a home and food but I wish we could do some extras for the kids.

 

:iagree: It does kind of make your heart hurt a little when your kids say, "I need some new clothes. Can we go to the thrift store?"

 

At the moment we still pay for pitching lessons for my sons (one gets them free) and violin lessons for my dd. When you have people on the inside of the baseball business telling you your son has the potential to "make it" and violin is the only activity your girls do, it is SO hard to give that up even if it means we eat beans every night (or even meals without the beans!). I just don't know how other people are making it. The sad reality is that some aren't. I've know one person to go homeless in the last two years (there was a little more to the story than just the economy) and one that is on the verge.

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Oh my gosh, our income hasn't changed, but boy something is changing! We have no extra disposable income any more. Our healh insurance will triple in 2013, so we are dropping it and going with our military insurance, but not many people take it here where we live. Our retirement has been cut giving us a ridiculous cut in our senior years, and you all know what college tuition is looking like. What happened?

 

Yes, we feel poorer. Because we ARE poorer. Dh is working harder than ever to support us. He took a pay cut in '08, and then had to pump money into the company in '09 (He's a VERY minority stockholder in a small business). Our health insurance costs have gone up relentlessly. We have pure insurance now. No co-pays, no prescription help. We basically pay for everything out of pocket until the bill hits $25k. Then some insurance kicks in. Dh says it will get worse before it gets better. The grocery bill is kicking my butt, hugely. And fuel..... well between the ranch and just normal driving to get groceries, etc. it's amazing what we spend. We're trying to take a long term view. We try to do without whatever we can. Dd is headed to college, and it's hard to talk about what her dreams are, when it will all come down to $$. BUT, at least dd gets to go to college. At least we have money and/or credit to pay our medical/dental/vision costs. And we still eat very well, thanks to home-raised beef, lamb, and pork.

 

We have talked, repeatedly, about giving up homeschooling, so that I can start working again. We've been homeschooling for 12 years. It is of great importance and value to us. But so is college for our dc. So is the ability to meet our medical needs. So is the ability to put food on the table.

 

I know we are very fortunate. Dh still has a job, and we didn't have to sell the cow herd in the drought..... so we have a source of income for next year. But I'm afraid we are going to have to really bite the bullet in the coming years..... both as families and as a nation. For those of you who are less fortunate, my heart goes out to you. The next few years, even several years, I fear will be very difficult for all of us.

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Hugo Chavez and the OPEC robber barons do :glare:

 

Whenever I hear about the WTO going after this or that for unfair trade practices, I always have to wonder why they don't do anything about the oil cartel. If oil was back at $30/barrel, the world economy would be doing so much better...

 

Some very big builders walked a way with a lot of money, and of course the Walmart founder's family is profiting immensely while the states pick up their employee health care costs.

 

I concede. I was thinking of middle men which I don't consider either of the above to be.:)

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Perhaps the only upside of growing up as poor as I did is feelin fortunate at pretty much any income level. I know that if necessary I could be happy living in a camper van or motel because I did both as a child. We cut our income (by choice) significantly this last year so I can stay home. It means a lot of adjustments as I made more an hour than my husband and my husband is not a super high earner because he is also in college. But I feel as fortunate as I did before and I am strangely enough happier. We do bike way more and drive less and we downsized our housing outlay so that all helps. We do eat a bit differently. Way fewer splurges and I buy coffee at Costco now rather than from gourmet shops. We are so fortunate and lucky to have our health and great insurance coverage through my husband's work and that he works for a place that is paying for his schooling and still gives annual raises. I know full well that things have become harder though and people are feeling real pain. Our car takes $60+ to fill. When we bought it in 2007, it took under $40 to fill.

 

It is unquestionable to me that much of the pinch all but the affluent are feeling has resulted from a major transfer of wealth away from the middle class- with plummeting housing equity and decimation of nesteggs and retirement accounts.

 

I think this book is especially timely: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/208774/who-stole-the-american-dream-by-hedrick-smith

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Yes, we feel poorer. Because we ARE poorer. Dh is working harder than ever to support us.

 

This. On paper we look good but DH is working 2 jobs, 7 days a week, 12+ hour days M-F, for us to be at the income level we're at. It's not even worth it to me but he's a workaholic so he can't not do it. But I really feel for the providers who aren't true workaholics yet have to act like one just to stay employed. I don't know how a "normal" person could do it.

 

And neither job provides health insurance so we're self insured.

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What happened?

 

Well, it used to cost only $20-30 to fill up your gas tank. Now it costs nearly $100.

 

A large container of goldfish crackers used to cost $5. Now it costs $7.

 

The tube of toothpaste used to be much bigger than it is now, meaning that now it won't last you nearly as long. You have to buy toothpaste more frequently.

 

If you take these examples and multiply it out across the spectrum, you can easily see why disposible income is disappearing.

 

:iagree: We are being nickel and dimed to death. Everything is "just a little bit more", but that adds up to a whole lot more when you apply it across the board.

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I've been on foodstamps for a while with my dd. It use to be that I could buy great, health food at a good price. Sometimes I could even buy organic. Now the same amount of foodstamps barely gets us through a month (no cost of living adjustment in several years). Produce has gone up so much I don't even look at it anymore. Today I couldn't even afford breakfast cereals for me because they eat up too much of my food budget.

 

We're paying more for a gallon of milk than we do for a gallon of gas.

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Jackie in NE: Our health insurance costs have gone up relentlessly. We have pure insurance now. No co-pays, no prescription help. We basically pay for everything out of pocket until the bill hits $25k. Then some insurance kicks in. Dh says it will get worse before it gets better.

 

It's almost ALL about this. That problem that isn't even slightly addressed by Obamacare. And don't call it insurance. You don't really have anything but catastrophic insurance. You merely have a discount for anything under $25,000, which only families with extraordinary health needs will ever meet. So what you have is pure profit - for the insurance company.

 

It's really a travesty.

 

 

The grocery bill is kicking my butt, hugely. And fuel..... well between the ranch and just normal driving to get groceries, etc. it's amazing what we spend. We're trying to take a long term view. We try to do without whatever we can.

 

Yeah, this isn't helping.

 

 

Dd is headed to college, and it's hard to talk about what her dreams are, when it will all come down to $$.

 

And this is worrisome for everyone. It is the next bubble.

 

 

 

We have talked, repeatedly, about giving up homeschooling, so that I can start working again. We've been homeschooling for 12 years. It is of great importance and value to us. But so is college for our dc. So is the ability to meet our medical needs. So is the ability to put food on the table.

 

 

Would you make enough to make much of a difference? This only happens if you don't have many or young kids, or if you are a highly paid professional of some kind. Otherwise, you are simply trading one set of issues for another.

 

I know we are very fortunate. Dh still has a job, and we didn't have to sell the cow herd in the drought..... so we have a source of income for next year. But I'm afraid we are going to have to really bite the bullet in the coming years..... both as families and as a nation. For those of you who are less fortunate, my heart goes out to you. The next few years, even several years, I fear will be very difficult for all of us.

 

 

Yes.

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Good grief! Where does it cost $100 to fill a gas tank?

 

In California! I live less than two hours away from a refinery and gas is $4.59 a gallon today.

 

I'm really looking forward to paying $1,650 a month for health insurance next year. :confused: That's a house payment!

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I have been talking about downsizing for a while now. I am afraid we will take a big hit on our house and may not recoup it in buying another one. We are still debating.

 

Overall though, things have gone up a lot. Gas, food, taxes, all the fixed expenses have gone up. Our health insurance hasn't gone up in the last few years but the coverage has gone down.

 

Dawn

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Things are starting to look better for us. My DH finally got a raise. After yrs of praying that he'd keep his job! He still needs to work a second evening job. Then they recently asked him to work an extra evening for more pay which is helping a ton, but that means 4 nights a week he is gone from 8:30 am to 11 pm!

 

Our insurance costs are insane! It's to the point where we pay so much we can't afford to use it! After looking at the deductible and such, if everything went well (full term and healthy) a baby would be over 10% of our income!

 

The cost of gas and food is crazy. I don't buy any junk foods. I cook from scratch and know how to make poverty look like more. I feel very fortunate that I don't have to stretch a budget that far right now, but we can still not afford lessons for the kids. I'd love to have them in piano or gymnastics/dance, but the cost is too high.

 

When asked to tell a talent your spouse has that no one knows in a Sunday school class, my DH said the ability to stretch a penny was mine. I never thought it was a talent, but a necessary skill!

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In California! I live less than two hours away from a refinery and gas is $4.59 a gallon today.

 

I'm really looking forward to paying $1,650 a month for health insurance next year. :confused: That's a house payment!

 

:svengo: Who affords that?! That's not far from our total monthly income! Unreal.

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:svengo: Who affords that?! That's not far from our total monthly income! Unreal.

:iagree: We had to take me off my dh's work insurance because it was over $300 per month. Now I have a wonderful catastrophic plan with a $10,000 deductible and after that they pay 50% up to $20,000. Then I believe (I hope I understand correctly) covered procedures are, well, covered. I am oh, so, relieved.:glare: Kids are covered through the state for now, I fear we may make to much to get help in the next couple of years, yippee, then we can use all that extra money for health insurance.

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Yes - feeling pinched here, too. We've had two cars for a few months and we'll be selling one within a month. Dh has picked up extra work to help out. We're adjusting our budget.

 

I hate the way grocery items are being downsized - price slightly higher, slightly less stuff in the box. My money isn't going as far as it did last year.

 

Milk here is $4.65 a gallon, butter $4.00 a pound, eggs over $3.00 a dozen usually.

 

Everything's up a little bit higher, at least, and I just noticed that gas jumped way up. Usually it does that in the summer, not the winter!

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In California! I live less than two hours away from a refinery and gas is $4.59 a gallon today.

 

I'm really looking forward to paying $1,650 a month for health insurance next year. :confused: That's a house payment!

 

AHH!! That's more than half our monthly income!!!

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Well it's gotten to the point that I often skip lunch (just for me, not the kids) and at dinner, I serve them first and eat if there are leftovers (after putting aside a portion for DH to take for lunch, because we certainly can't afford for him to eat out!).

I haven't told anyone that IRL. and the kids/dh don't notice because we all eat on different schedule.

Kinda depressing. And no we don't qualify for any aid (WIC, etc).

And I refuse to buy unhealthy food just because it is cheap and try to keep it whole foods:meat/veges/pot or rice, you know basic stuff. I started using 3/4 lb where I used to use 1lb ground meat in recipes. ughhh..

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Well it's gotten to the point that I often skip lunch (just for me, not the kids) and at dinner, I serve them first and eat if there are leftovers (after putting aside a portion for DH to take for lunch, because we certainly can't afford for him to eat out!).

I haven't told anyone that IRL. and the kids/dh don't notice because we all eat on different schedule.

Kinda depressing. And no we don't qualify for any aid (WIC, etc).

And I refuse to buy unhealthy food just because it is cheap and try to keep it whole foods:meat/veges/pot or rice, you know basic stuff. I started using 3/4 lb where I used to use 1lb ground meat in recipes. ughhh..

 

:grouphug: I feel ya! I wasn't going to chime in, I was going to just sit back and hope to see some helpful suggestions. I'll say it, though. DH and I are doing the same thing you are. We both have been skipping breakfast and lunch for a while now. We also don't qualify for any aid. And we're vegan, so it's not like we're buying meats and dairy. I have no idea where else to cut back. :confused: We're already making do with just the one car, which leaves the kids and I home, alone, for up to 12 hours a day during the week. Ugh. It IS depressing. And I can't tell anyone IRL, either.

 

I'm hoping more suggestions come out of this thread.

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Well it's gotten to the point that I often skip lunch (just for me, not the kids) and at dinner, I serve them first and eat if there are leftovers (after putting aside a portion for DH to take for lunch, because we certainly can't afford for him to eat out!).

I haven't told anyone that IRL. and the kids/dh don't notice because we all eat on different schedule.

Kinda depressing. And no we don't qualify for any aid (WIC, etc).

And I refuse to buy unhealthy food just because it is cheap and try to keep it whole foods:meat/veges/pot or rice, you know basic stuff. I started using 3/4 lb where I used to use 1lb ground meat in recipes. ughhh..

 

I used to do that. I'd cook enough for the kids and then eat the leftovers. DH always skips breakfast and then he gets free lunch at work (tho it's cheap awful fast food).

 

I know we need to return to our more frugal habits, but I enjoyed the last year or so of being able to pick up something I wanted or eating out. Time to get back to barebones :(

 

 

I'm in that boat of people who going back to work wouldn't make any sense. Child care would be so expensive it would cancel out any paycheck I'd get. We'd get some of that back after filing taxes, but that wouldn't help during the year. I'd basically be getting a lump sum in April for working all year. I do have a part time job, but my employer is going to cut me way back after I give birth in November. I might bring home $100 a month doing some side work from home, but that's it. Big drop from the $5-600 or so I bring in now.

Edited by oceanseve
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In one of the Little House books, didn't Ma make bean soup? All it was was the broth from boiling the beans. They saved the beans for other meals. I make things like chicken soup with homemade noodles (egg and flour). We eat a lot of soup because it stretches everything and is filling. But we aren't to drinking bean broth yet, thankfully!

 

I'm trying to grow things again. I have an old plastic swimming pool filled with dirt. I put in some sweet potatoes that had sprouted and they have some nice looking green leaves now. Of course, we live where it is very hot in the summer so we are in our growing season now. I hope they are ready before it get too cool.

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Good grief! Where does it cost $100 to fill a gas tank?

 

It costs it here in PA. Gas is running a bit under $4 a gallon, and my minivan holds 26 gallons. I don't fill it completely full at once, unless I've got enough grocery store bonus points to get it down significantly. That happens about once every six weeks, and thankfully, that's enough to be the bulk of my driving.

 

Other posters, I feel for you. We got salary decreases plus a whopping property tax increase (which mainly goes to the school district) plus the increased costs of food/gas/etc. Lousy.

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We are definitely feeling the squeeze here! My Tahoe costs so much to fill up that I hardly drive it. We bought a van that is a little better on gas. We had a used car business that we just quit because there are little to no profits in the used car business anymore. It costs a fortune to go to the grocery store. We don't eat out hardly at all. I started buying my kids clothing at consignment shops. I started buying generic everything!

 

Thankfully, I'm a nurse and have been able to pick up extra days at work to fill in the gaps. Without that I'm not sure how we would make it because the the few months I was on maternity leave this year were ROUGH!

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Everything everyone said. It's beyond tight. I like beans but three times/ week is getting old. My 5 yo was thrilled with her new garage sale pants. I don't think she knows you can buy them at a store :-(. I'm thankful we have a home and food but I wish we could do some extras for the kids.

 

If it makes you feel better, we recently shopped at a local thrift store, which has really nice stuff at really good prices. Many of my local friends shop there too, which makes it cool. ;) Anyway, my boys were thrilled to find some great deals. Later, I overheard DD and DS7 talking, and DD said that DS7 didn't know it was a secondhand store. :) (And then he didn't care; he just thought the stuff he got was cool.)

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Most definitely!

 

And like others, we're pretty frugal to begin with. But I've had to cut a lot of corners on the grocery bill. I don't know when was the last time I bought beef. I miss having a good pot roast or steak every now and then, but I just can't afford it anymore. We go meatless a couple nights a week, too, at least my husband, eldest and I do...the two younger kids aren't fond of beans.

 

Thankfully, there are several things both DH and I can do for freelance/side jobs, and we take on as many as we can. There's also a local antiques market that opens the parking lot to vendors for $10 every Saturday. So we go a couple weekends a month and sell yard sale items. We end up making an extra $100 or so a month (plus it helps us declutter).

 

But yeah, I miss the days that I didn't have to thoughtfully weigh every single purchase. I hope we'll enjoy a lifestyle like that again someday, but the reality is that this might be the new reality.

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I can't afford to get a job. Besides the fact that there aren't any around here, I wouldn't make enough to cover childcare or the increased taxes. :glare:

 

I feel like a horrible mom, too. At my 8 yo's bday this weekend, we went to family's house. She got some cards with money, mostly. In the car she told us "now I can give you gas money when we run out!" Remarking about how I had to cancel violin the week before because I couldn't afford the gas. I really wish they didn't have to know how hard it's been lately.

 

:grouphug: We owe the girls so much money, and they've been nothing but angelic about the fact that any cash they get is rapidly used to buy food or gas. It breaks my heart.

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:grouphug: We owe the girls so much money, and they've been nothing but angelic about the fact that any cash they get is rapidly used to buy food or gas. It breaks my heart.

 

:grouphug:

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We are feeling it, but not as bad as some on here and we already shop thrift stores and things like that. We never buy new.

 

Only suggestion I have is- in Illinois we have a program where hunters can donate deer meat to get processed and then its handed out to those in need of food. I have no idea how you get to be a part of the program and I don't know if its only in Illinois, I just know we donate to it. maybe people would have luck googling it.

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We are right there with everyone else! Costs keep going up, and pay is not increasing to match! Being the income earner in our family I often feel like a failure because I can't make more; not a lot more, just enough more. It's getting harder and harder to meet bills. We don't do a lot of extras; we don't drive anywhere; we never eat out; my kids don't have a ton of clothes (don't need them really); we don't have fancy cell phone plans, cable or special TV. I find totally free curriculum because I can't afford to pay for it. And actually, I just lost the biggest break I have ever had in regard to curriculum: my boss (now former) used to let me print off stuff for the kids at work. I no longer have that option, and I don't know what I am going to do. I guess for next year, they will be totally on the computer, with whatever free I can find.

 

And we still struggle. We eat plain, plain plain: I don't buy red meat at all. We use ground turkey, pasta, rice. Cheap. And we still struggle. It's getting scary.

 

Saying a prayer for all of us!

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Can someone in this thread give some encouragement for Christmas and the holidays? I've been trying to buy a little extra for the pantry every time I go to the grocery store, but I'm genuinely concerned about the holidays this year.

 

I go to Target post Halloween and post Thanksgiving sale. I bought quite a few Halloween cake mix last year and used them for Christmas baking. I just did not use the orange frosting than came with the cake mix.

 

Pumpkin paste and squash are also cheaper after Halloween and Thanksgiving.

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Can someone in this thread give some encouragement for Christmas and the holidays? I've been trying to buy a little extra for the pantry every time I go to the grocery store, but I'm genuinely concerned about the holidays this year.

 

What kind of encouragement do you mean? Do you mean not being able to eat? Do you mean not being able to "do" Christmas?

 

We will not be able to do much for the kids in the way of gifts this year at all; normally we actually take a trip and that is Christmas. We can't do that this year. They will probably get one really nice gift each: we are thinking Kindles. That's it. And we won't be buying for anyone else. We have not bought for anyone other than our kids and ILs (they go on the trip with us and we pay for the house rental) for several years now; our family understands.

 

Our kids are old enough to understand that times are tough and that we have to tighten things up. Times are hard for many many ppl (as we can see in this thread) and I expect ppl to understand about the Holidays.

 

Don't know if this helped or not, but I hope so.

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Can someone in this thread give some encouragement for Christmas and the holidays? I've been trying to buy a little extra for the pantry every time I go to the grocery store, but I'm genuinely concerned about the holidays this year.

 

Yes. It could be worse. :D Seriously, that's how I stay optimistic.

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Can someone in this thread give some encouragement for Christmas and the holidays? I've been trying to buy a little extra for the pantry every time I go to the grocery store, but I'm genuinely concerned about the holidays this year.

 

:grouphug: We have had a few Christmas seasons without much in the way of material things. Here's what we did:

 

Focus on doing more things together as a family. Look for free events in your community, such as a living nativity, a tree lighting, a Winter Wonderland, a Christmas concert, a skate-in-the-park, or some community event(s) that is(are) free.

 

Practice as a family/group and go Christmas caroling to your friends, family, and neighbors.

 

Make a BIG DEAL about cooking and/or baking something special just for Christmas day. Something delicious, special, and cheap -- Bubble Bread (little dough balls, roll in melted butter, then in sugar/cinnamon, layer with chopped nuts, bake until done). There's got to be a recipe online. Found it. Pair this with a broccoli quiche, and you have a great Christmas breakfast!

 

When I was a child, my parents used to put either a pomegranate or a huge orange in the toe of my stocking, along with some walnuts and almonds in the shell. This was a carry-over from when THEY were children, and they reminisced about how the oranges were such a big deal to them each Christmas. Now I carry on this same tradition with my children.

 

Make a BIG DEAL about decorating the house (paper chains & snowflakes, pine cones, holly branches), stringing pop corn to hang outside for the birds, or a homemade Advent calendar.

 

If you can't get new clothes for Christmas, maybe you could add a cool patch or crocheted flower to a sweater or jacket in the wardrobe. Or add a few rhinestones to a pretty sweater. Or a red ribbon in the hair.

 

Light candles every night. Turn down the electric lights, and let this Christmas surround you with stillness and peace. The Light of the World has come to earth. Emmanuel, God with Us.

 

Read the Christmas story (Matthew 1-2; Luke 1-2) out loud as a family. Read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" or "A Christmas Carol" (abridged) or "The Shoemaker & the Elves" out loud as a family.

 

From your public library, borrow DVDs that have a Christmas theme. For example, because we have three little girls, we watched Molly (American Girl), Felicity (American Girl), Booky, and some other movie whose title escapes me now. Make a big bowl of pop corn (cheap) and enjoy Family Movie Night.

 

Play Christmas music softly in the background throughout the season. It's wonderfully cheerful! A Savior has come!

 

Skip sending out photos and newsletters and cards. The costs of these can quickly add up, and it's hard to know what to say when times are tough. Perhaps you can catch people up on your news next Christmas.

 

Our family put together a goofy Christmas skit, with costumes (old striped towels sewn up the sides). My oldest was Gabriel -- "Behold! I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY!" The twins were Mary and Joseph, which they thought was tremendously funny (Mary was Mary). My parents were Zachariah & Elizabeth, then Simeon & Anna (at the temple). My husband was Abu, the Wise Man. He was an absolute riot, with a sheet wrapped around his head as a turban. I was a camel. :glare: No comment.

 

You can have a lot of fun, in a small space, with little money, and few presents, if you decide ahead of time that you will. As for us, we are the _____________ Family, and we are not going to let some stupid economy get us down or ruin our Christmas. Christmas is beyond the economy. Christmas is eternal, KWIM?Hope this helps. Be encouraged! :grouphug:

Edited by Sahamamama
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I'm not poor. I feel grateful. I should not complain.

 

However. Everything is more. We are pretty careful.

 

But. Gas, heating, electricity, food, books, paper...just everything... is a much greater percentage of our income than ever before.

 

We are not living in our car, and my kids are not hungry, so I can't fuss without feeling like a jackass.

 

I don't know how the David Ramsey people are making it.

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:svengo: Who affords that?! That's not far from our total monthly income! Unreal.

 

I have no idea. Dh's went from over that to now ~$1400 a month. And that's for terrible insurance with a huge deductible. We can not afford it, so we have Medicaid (except dh, who gets BCBS cheap through work for himself.

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:grouphug: We owe the girls so much money, and they've been nothing but angelic about the fact that any cash they get is rapidly used to buy food or gas. It breaks my heart.

 

:grouphug: we've had to do that far too much lately, too. My kids get a lot of money for holidays from our families. I hate having to borrow from my kids. I had an earnings system going with my kids before the income drop. My 11 yo still reminds me that I owe her a trip to the movies from 5 months ago. Sigh. I hate not being dependable. I've been trying to sell stuff online (I have too much curricula!), but not much has been selling, and what does sell is barely covered by shipping prices.

 

Sahamamama- Great ideas. I will add:

 

Don't forget YouTube for Christmas music and movies for free!

 

Some libraries have Christmas parties where you make decorations or crafts-great frugal way to get in the mood for the holidays.

 

Use pretty pages from catalogs or old catalogs for wrapping paper. Or old clothes to make reusable wrapping bags.

 

Pretty much every kid ever would be happy with bubble gum in their stocking!

 

Pinterest has TONS of cheap decoration ideas.

 

Make "gift certificates" for your kids for things like a movie with mom, ice cream cone out with mom, spa day with mom at home, girls movie night, bowling coupon, camp in the backyard, make something together-cookies are a big hit. But if you do this, buy the cookie mix (or Pre-prepare a dry one if you make it yourself), throw in the $10 for a movie, whatever, and seal it so that you can follow through when it is time!

Edited by mommymilkies
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Do you have a dollar theater you could take her to?

 

If not, would she settle for a home "theater" with dimmed lights, a huge bowl of super buttery popcorn, and a homemade slushie?

 

My 11 yo still reminds me that I owe her a trip to the movies from 5 months ago. Sigh. I hate not being dependable. I've been trying to sell stuff online (I have too much curricula!), but not much has been selling, and what does sell is barely covered by shipping prices.

 

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Do you have a dollar theater you could take her to?

 

If not, would she settle for a home "theater" with dimmed lights, a huge bowl of super buttery popcorn, and a homemade slushie?

 

That's what I'm about to ask her. We are rural and our local theatre is small and pathetic. It's not too expensive, but they don't often get good movies and the screen is so small, I may as well be way pitching at home. Seriously.

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We have been trying to be more frugal for years. If there is a cheaper way to do it, I will find it!

 

We aren't hurting though and I cannot complain. I am not skipping meals or telling my kids they can't get anything, or not taking vacations. I just know we don't have a lot for big extras.

 

Dawn

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Well it's gotten to the point that I often skip lunch (just for me, not the kids) and at dinner, I serve them first and eat if there are leftovers

 

:grouphug: This is what I often do (except the leftovers I eat are off the kids plates) - and I shouldn't because I weigh less then 100 pounds as it is.

 

It costs us $100 to fill our car and we don't have a van or a 4x4 - just a regular, falling to peices sedan. Gas here is $1.50 a litre /5.55 a gallon.

 

DH just got a new job where he earns more money then before and we just had our natural gas cut off because we couldn't pay the bill :confused:

 

Food here is crazy - we spend $250 a week and yet it seems like we are eating nothing but peanut butter sandwiches everyday. I can't afford meat and I can't afford a lot of fruit and veg - I feel terrible feeding my kids such a limtied diet but we can't afford a lot of healthy stuff.

 

Thrift stores here are pointless - clothes here are so expensive that people never donate if they have life left in them -they sell them on ebay for almost the same price they paid for them. Which means I've never been in a thrift store that ever had more then one rack of stained kids clothes - never in any of my kids sizes and so faded, worn and out of date they are fit for nothing but the rag bag - so I have to buy my kids clothes all new. We have never been given a bag of hand me downs from anyone - ever - no one can afford to give away clothes if they can get money for them.

 

I myself own two pairs of jeans (one with a hole in the knee) and 4 t-shirts and 2 hoodies and one church outfit. That's my whole wardrobe - it's so sad it's funny :lol: Any money I have goes on clothing for growing kids.

 

I haven't seen my family in 10 years - some of them have never even met my kids - we only live 3 states away but have never had the extra cash to go see them.

 

My kids have never been to see a movie in a theatre - we don't have dollar movies in Australia and it costs close to $100 for our family of 5 to go.

 

I think the worse thing though is not seeing family. I remember when I was in my 20's we could just jump in the car and travel interstate to see family and it was not a problem. Now we can't even afford to go to the neigbouring state and it's only a 6 hour drive. My kids don't know who their family are - they only know them from pictures and Skype :crying:

Edited by sewingmama
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It's almost ALL about this. That problem that isn't even slightly addressed by Obamacare. And don't call it insurance. You don't really have anything but catastrophic insurance. You merely have a discount for anything under $25,000, which only families with extraordinary health needs will ever meet. So what you have is pure profit - for the insurance company.

 

It's really a travesty.

 

TranquilMind. I hear you. But I don't have the courage to go without catastrophic insurance. We did that for several years, and it was scary. My husband works in a high-risk business (ranching). If he gets hurt, it could be the end for us financially. I find myself making sketchy health-care decisions for myself.... My horse threw me in May. My hip is still swollen and numb. I cannot raise my arm above my head. I went to the Dr. enough to make sure I didn't have any broken bones. Cost: $250. That's a week's worth of groceries. I cannot afford 21st century healthcare. I certainly cannot afford it for anyone else (Obamacare). And supplementing someone else's birth control choices? Please!

 

 

Would you make enough to make much of a difference? This only happens if you don't have many or young kids, or if you are a highly paid professional of some kind. Otherwise, you are simply trading one set of issues for another.

 

In my previous life, I was a commercial lender, so yes, I could probably make a difference. I could pay some tuition. I might get better health insurance. It would break my heart to send my kids to public school AND not be there when they get home.

 

But again, we are taking the long-term view. Sending my kids to a good college, and paying debt on the ranch so that they will have an inheritance seems like the best I can do for them right now.

 

Thanks for your thoughts on my post.

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