It’s no secret that life around Christmas involves a tight budget for most families.. especially military families. Add in the many curses of a year-long pandemic and you’ve popped the top off of the stress meter. In my few years of experience as a military spouse, I’ve gathered some resources to help make Christmas on a military budget more manageable.
Plan out your budget
First a foremost, you need to get your budget together. What can you spend? Not, what do you want to spend, but what can you truly afford to spend? There are some excellent resources to help you get those answers.
I really like the website Pigly. They’re a whole bunch of resources jam packed into one website, and they’re free. Honestly, I don’t know how they’re providing all of this for free. They have budget calculators, a system where you can compare credit cards, and everything else that you can think of. My advice is to use that budget planner to list out all of your finances so you can clearly see what is left over for Christmas on a tight military budget.
Take advantage of free resources
Along with planning out your Christmas budget on Pigly, you need to do some research to see what free resources are being offered in your area. Four our local base, Hunter Army Air Field, there is a trees for troops that starts the first week of December. All you have to do is pick up a voucher, and then pick up a live Christmas tree! On the pickup day there are almost always a ton of trees leftover.
Some units have holiday parties near Christmas. For the ones that we have attended, they have been a free resource for families to enjoy some down time. The units have even been nice enough to have small gifts for the kids. One year the holiday party was held at an indoor jump park. They really are good to us.
Make use of DIY projects
Christmas on a military budget isn’t a bad thing. It doesn’t have to be a race to see what family can go the most in debt to put presents under the tree. Christmas is about memories.
It is about baking cookies with your kids. It’s about watching too many Hallmark movies. It is about scrolling through Pinterest for craft ideas. I always look forward to the holidays. I think some people find it to be a stressful time, but I refuse to feel that way! If you’re looking to enjoy the season and forget the stress, then you need to do more to love the moment rather than spending three hundred dollars on the latest gadget.
Stop thinking that Christmas requires you to go in debt to give your family gifts. Christmas on a military budget isn’t a bad thing because you don’t have a choice but to make do with what you have available.
If you’re looking to save money on Christmas gifts, then feel free to join my Deal Hunting Happiness Facebook group! I drop major Amazon deals, coupons for household products, and a lot of different ways to save money!
For military related resources, check out the Milsomuster App!