The holiday season is undoubtedly magical anytime but once you have kids, the magic really returns full-force. These days, as a single mom of two kids who are five and 10, my excitement about Christmas mostly has to do with watching my kids wake up bright and early and see what’s under the tree for them. The thing about being a single parent is, though, that I have to be extra careful with my holiday budget to make sure “Santa” accomplishes the Christmas must-dos and that there’s enough under that tree to avoid disappointment.
When you live paycheck to paycheck, figuring out how you’re going to afford to buy, not just your kids, but everyone else on your nice list presents, can be stressful. And the truth is, stressing over money can easily suck the joy and the magic right out of this time of year. It’s only my second year as a single mom to two kids, so I’m still learning a lot about how to budget, plan, and keep the magic alive. But I’ve also figured out that the holidays don’t have to completely derail your finances, no matter your income.
Here’s how I survive the holidays on my single mom budget: