I have kids that are 16, 13,10 and 6 years old. We all know that when kids get to this age that they want gifts that are expensive. All their friends have new mp3 players, high tech video games, cell phones, etc. As working parents we know how much these things cost.
I work at a factory, so spending hundreds of dollars on the newest gadget isn't in my
Budget. But since we love our kids and want to give them things they actually want and like, it makes it tough on us. So every year we spend too much money and then the bills come in, and our eyes bug out. Then we have to try and get overtime to pay them off. If you are lucky, you will pay off those bills before next Christmas.
I have found items that kids do like that aren't that expensive. Since it is winter, most kids like to get warm pajamas and slippers. Believe it or not, even my 16-year-old daughter loves to get pajamas with cool characters on them. The younger kids love to get
slippers with Spongebob, Barbie, or whoever is popular at the time.
You can get most of these items for around $20. Not only that, but since my girlfriend likes to keep the heat at around 64 degrees, I wouldn't mind a set of flannel pajamas myself.
Not to mention the fact that my 2 older children don't really care for toys anyway, so it would really be a waste of money to buy these things.
The other thing I have noticed is my 16 year old and many of her friends are into the retro look. You know, the clothes that we wore at their age, that we had hoped were lost forever. But it does make it easier to buy clothes without emptying your wallet. I think every city now has these resale stores, you know the ones, they sell used clothes, and when I go in them my allergies start bothering me. You can get some great deals in these stores.
Another great place to buy gifts is Ebay. I know some people are leery about buying online, but I have never had any problems. You can get some good deals on Ebay, but you have to be careful. If you have a product in mind you can check prices at different websites, like shopping.com or bizrate.com. Then you can make sure you are getting a good deal. The other thing with Ebay is to make sure to check the feedback of the person you are buying from. This tells you what other people thought of this seller. The last thing to check is the shipping charge. Some people sell things low, but charge a huge amount for shipping.
No matter what you choose, using the internet for research or purchase is a great time
saver, and maybe even a money saver. So good luck with your Christmas shopping this year and DON'T break the bank.
Mark McAuley is a 40 year old divorced father,factory worker and struggling website owner.
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