Despite the current credit crunch, a visit to my local supermarket last Sunday, was a nightmare. People were piling their trolleys high with the usual festive food and drink. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people enjoying Christmas, but how much of this really necessary. How much will go in the bin on January the 2nd when we all decide that our waist lines need to shrink. The cost to our bank balances is one thing, but the cost to the environment in the long term will be much higher.
For several years I have tried to do my bit for the environment, recyling as much as possible. Only using the car for necessary trips and buying compost that wasn't peat based etc. Recently our household income decreased and I have been forced to live on a much stricter budget. Intially I thought it was going to be dreadful, but after living this way for the past six months, I have now realised that despite doing my bit for the environment for several years I was very consumer led and wasteful.
A typical example of my wastefulness was my weekly food shop, every week I would fill my freezer and fridge with loads of stuff and every week stuff would be thrown, because it was past its sell by date or had gone off. My fridge was so full that I just simply didn't realise what I had. Several months of ago freezer died and fridge was on its way out. Now having a limited income couldn't afford to purchase both together, so plumped for a new fridge with a large ice box, thinking oh well I manage, I get a freezer in a few months time. Currently, I still have just a fridge with a large ice box, and do I miss a freezer. Well the answer is no, we purchase only what we need, and now never waste anything.
In the last six months I have become a bargain hunter and a whole lot happier. I have everything I can possibly need, I have a lovely hubby, a great dog and a roof over my head. This xmas will be a simply one, spent in part on our own and in part with family. I like many others will enjoy the usual xmas goodies, but have not gone overboard. The children have all been looked after as have all my doggy friends.
To those of you on this message board like me who are on a limited budget, I hope like me you are managing too. I never thought I could be happy on less income, but I am. It has just made me realise how previously I was so wasteful, and thoughtless about how I treated money.
Best of all, I won't be looking at the bills in January and worrying about how I am going to pay them.
To those of you on here who might be feeling the pressure of Xmas, try not too, I understand it is particularly difficult to those of you with Children. But stick to your budget and stick to your guns, and don't go overboard. Xmas is about spending time with family and friends, that otherwise you might not get to see. True friends and family will appreciate the thought that goes into a gift and not the amount you spend.
Last of all call on an elderly or lone person this xmas, say hello, if you can invite them round for a cup of tea and a chat. Many people face a lonely xmas because their loved one has passed away and they have no family. This could be the best xmas gift to give, and the best thing you could receive is a smile and thank you.