Every November 1st, it is the same thing. Panic begins to rise as I face another birthday and holiday season. I have five children and four of them have birthdays in the months of November and December. I have to have a plan if I want to financially survive.
- Set a dollar amount limit. This is a must for me; otherwise, I will go out and buy everything I think my kids would like. If I did that, I would have to sell my car to pay for it all. I have a set amount for every child for their birthday and for Christmas.
- Make a list. I make a list of items that they want and I write down the cost of each item. This helps me to decide what I can and cannot buy. Family members are always asking me what to buy the kids, so I tell them the items that are left on the list. Having a list also helps me keep from impulse buying. If I buy something that is not on the list, I have to mark off something that is on the list.
- Do some research. I research the item to see who has it on sale or if there are coupons available. By doing this, there have been times I have been able to purchase something extra with what I saved.
- Pay in cash. When I pay in cash, I am able to keep up with my spending better. I keep the receipts and the cash in one envelope. If I use my debit/credit card, I tend to lose track of the purchase and it can cause me to overbuy.
Kelly Jo Dye is a mother of five children, which includes a set of triplets (4 boys & 1 girl). She is a working mom, a military wife and student working towards completing her bachelor’s degree. She spends the weekends catching up on laundry and cheering her kids’ softball/baseball/football teams on. She believes in trying to find the humor in all life's little adventures; otherwise, with five children, she says you would find her in a corner, in the fetal position, crying.