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When the Budget Changes Your Plans

It’s birthday season at our house — the youngest turns 7 next week, the tween will be 10 in December, and the teen turns 15 (15!) at the beginning of January.

We have a few traditions to make their days special — parties, gifts, balloons, dinner. But, the holidays are approaching, and we’re still recovering from unemployment.

Everything in me wants to keep the status quo. These birthday traditions are such a huge part of our family, and it is hard to let go and feel like I’m disappointing them.

So, I’ve come up with a few alternatives that should be equally exciting — on a much lower budget.

The gift budget will be scaled down a bit, but it shouldn’t be a big deal. There are dozens of things on their wish lists, and I can choose lower priced items they will love just as much. The number of gifts is always the same anyway, with our present poem so I don’t think they’ll even notice anything is different.

We can still have balloons for their parties, but I’ll be nixing the expensive helium balloons this year. Instead, we’ll get a similar festive look with a few air-blown balloons hanging from the ceiling. But, the party will go on — with a slightly lower food budget, a theme that doesn’t require prize purchases, and loot bag goodies from the Halloween clearance aisle next week!

As for the birthday dinner, I’ve convinced the girls to get excited about dinner at home — anything their little heart (or stomach) desires! Which means the hubby will be out in the cold, grilling hot dogs, while I prepare mac & cheese inside. To go with our applesauce. Are my kids classy, or what?

Follow Heather on Twitter, Pinterest, and her blogs.

More from Heather:
Giving Gifts on a Budget

More on Babble.com:
How to Host Thanksgiving Dinner with Ease
How to Save Money on Health Care

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