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Special Note...

Not every article in this newsletter will apply to you and your family. Our content will change monthly, so pick out the parts that work for you and skip over the rest.



Segment 1 - Editor's Letter

Segment 2 - Featured Offer - Christmas Details - a Christmas decorating book.

Segment 3 - What's New At

Segment 4 - Newest links on Free Stuff page

Segment 5 - Getting Finances In Order - Part 10

Segment 6 - Thrifty Holiday Ideas

Editor's Letter - It is December - which means Holidays and celebrations for many people. Shopping is another peak activity in December. With that in mind, we at Thrifty Living Tips have scoured the internet for deals and free items. Our newsletter this month will point you in the direction of many of these deals.

But soon we will be ringing in the new year and moving past the glitz of the season, so we are also posting some thoughts about saving money in the new year, making Hoppin' John for good luck on New Years Day, and finding a balance in your life.

My wish is that you all enjoy your holidays!

Linda Holmes


Featured Offer

A Wonderful Decorating Book

What's New At - Follow the links below to see what we've added to the site this month.

Visit the site blog to find out all our new updates!

Have you ever wanted to start your own web site? Now Site Build It! makes it more afforadable than ever...

SBI! Case Studies Sitesell is now offering a monthly plan. For only $29.99 a month you can build your own web site and start your business, or promote your existing business.

More Free Stuff -

One of the pages we added this summer was Free Stuff. We have now added more links to this page.

As we mentioned before - not everything advertised on the internet as Free is actually Free, so use caution. Some companies offer a free trial offer and when you sign up they put you on an every 30 day shipment. If you return the sample within their time period (usually 10 to 30 days) they will not charge your card, but otherwise they will.

If you are trying to get something free on the internet and in order to get it you have to enter your credit card information, most likely it is not free at all.

Sign up for our RSS feed to be informed when we add more free stuff to the site.

Here is a sample of the links we added this month;

Free Christmas Clip Art

Free Christmas Sheet Music (Be sure and follow the Creative Commons License specifications)
Free Christmas plays

Free Bible themed Christmas crafts, themes, plays, games and more.

Free Christmas Games online and

more Free Christmas Games online

Free printable Christmas Games (Mazes and such)

Free Christmas Quilt Patterns

Free Christmas Recipes (Includes a free Christmas Scenes Screen Saver)

Getting Finances In Order - Part 10 -

In January you made up your files and filed away all of your old bills and receipts.

In February you set up your end of year tax file.

In March you started maintaining your files.

In April you filed your taxes.

In May you continued filing your paid invoices and bills in your files.

In June you were in the swing of things and were keeping your bills paid on time and had an idea of your due dates and amounts due.

In July take a good look at your spending for the first half of the year. Are you spending what you intended on bills, groceries, clothing and misc items?

In August and September hopefully you stayed within your budget and are in a much better place financially than when you started.

In October you looked at your spending so far for the year.

In November you looked at your budget for the holidays. You wrote out your list of gifts and made a plan to get through the Holidays without going into further debt.

In December you will be sticking to the plan you made in November. You should be close to finished with your Holiday shopping. You may still be grocery shopping for the celebrations, but the gift shopping should be coming to an end. Now is the time to see how you have done. Did you stay within your spending budget? Have you avoided buying anything on credit? If you have - congratulations! If you did use your credit to cover holiday purchases, decide now how you will pay off the new debt. If you have an idea now, it won't be so hard to deal with when those bills start rolling in next month.

At the end of December you will close out your 2009 files. This means you will take all the receipts and put them in a large envelope labeled receipts - 2009. You will also need to remove all paid bills from your file cabinet. Place the 2009 files in a box labeled 2009 and keep in storage.

Finally you will need to store cancelled checks and bank statements.

Prior to filing all your paperwork away, check your file for taxes. Anything that is applicable to your tax return should be placed in the tax file. Luckily when you are ready to file your taxes in the Spring, if you are missing anything, it will simply be a matter of going to the 2009 box and searching through the stored paperwork.

Thrifty Holiday Ideas

The thriftiest holiday ideas are all about planning. The day after Christmas is the best day to start buying for next year. If you are brave enough to fight the crowds, the deals on Holiday decorations, wrapping paper, even toys, can't be beat.

For the current year, check out the deals and tips on Free Christmas Stuff and Offers on our Holiday pages.

For next year, start planning right now. Make a list of who you are purchasing gifts for, include a bit for at least two unexpected gifts. Carry this list with you all the time and whenever you are shopping, see who is on your list. If you find a gift for someone on the list, write the gift on the list next to the person's name. As the year progresses, your list will fill in and by Christmas next year, your shopping will be finished or very close to it. The advantage of doing your Holiday shopping all year is you can purchase whenever you find things on sale. You aren't spending too much because you are simply out of time.

Special Hot Chocolate Recipe In a microwave safe cup, stir together 1 tsp hot cocoa, 2-3 tsps sugar, 3 tblsps water. Heat to boiling. Add milk to top of cup and heat through but do not boil. Stir well and serve.

Serve Hoppin' John and Bring On The Good Luck! Serving the traditional Hoppin' John on New Years Day is supposed to bring good luck. Learn more about it from Wikipedia. Here is a recipe for Hoppin'John

These THRIFTY LIVING TIPS should get you started on a fun and thrifty December.

Next month look for Winter decorating ideas as well as a yummy hot chocolate recipe.

Please be safe and enjoy your friends and your family.

See you with more Thrifty Ideas in 2010!