In these frugal times we are all having to tighten our belts a little. With Christmas coming up, budgeting is probably to the forefront of most people's minds, especially when you have kids. Last Christmas, hubby and I decided to go for homemade hampers for that 'personal' (i.e. cheap!) touch.
I have a wonderful friend whom I love dearly who bought me the most beautifully exquisite crystal tree decoration. Our 'homemade Christmas' idea didn't seem quite so inspired as I presented him with a personalised gingerbread man...
I have discovered with Phyllis that she is a media child and will ask for whatever happens to be advertised on T.V. at the time. I have become very cunning, and will ask her what she wants from Santa during adverts for Pringles.
There are ways, however, of making your small fry earn for you. There are obvious ways, such as child modelling, but much as I love my small folk I can admit quite openly that it is not for everyone...
For older kids, paper rounds and Saturday jobs alleviate the need for providing pocket money, and serve the double purpose of freeing your house of teen friends who will eat all the food in the fridge and bump up the electric bill with a variety of games and gadgets.
To be a financially savvy parent requires one to think outside the box. There are several places where money is lying around for the taking, and having a small child makes the job of taking it much easier. Here are a couple of examples:
1. When Bobby was little we took her to a pub/restaurant for a family 'do'. She got a bit fidgety, so we allowed her to go for a little toddle around, always keeping her in sight of course. She came back with about £15 in pound coins. When I asked her where she got them from, she said that most of the empty tables had money (that's tips to you and me) on them so she just helped herself.
2. When Peter was about 18 months we took him to church. I took my eyes of him for a minute to check in my purse for change for the collection; when I looked up, the bag had been and gone and Peter had a fistful of fivers.
Now I'm a really honest person, so I couldn't keep the money my kids had 'found' but it just goes to show there is money out there for the taking.
Actually maybe don't take this advise. With an influx of mini criminals the government will have to introduce Baby ASBOs and Kindergarten Jail, which means our taxes will be increased to pay for it. On reflection, this is a false economy.
Now where did I put that number for the model agency...
Today: How much should you put in the church collection?
It's a tricky one. You don't want God to think you are mean, particularly as He decides on your fate after death, but on the other hand if you only go sporadically you don't want to give loads towards a church roof that you won't appreciate. I have a friend who just opens up her purse and empties out the contents. Some weeks God gets £10 or £20. Other weeks he gets 24p, a Kirby grip and a used bus ticket. It all evens out in the end.