Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Posts Tagged holiday

How to Stop a Spending Snowball

I have a not-so-frugal confession to make… I LOVE Black Friday. I shop ’til I’m ready to drop every year with my aunt and we get ALL our family’s Christmas shopping done in that one weekend.

It’s a long-time tradition in my family for adults to distribute envelopes to each other filled with our Christmas budgets for them on Thanksgiving. As a family, we grab the newspaper and comb through the Black Friday ads, decide what we want for Christmas and use the money in our envelopes to shop for for each other and ourselves in a fun, exhausting two-day experience.

This sounds crazy, I know. But after we’re done shopping, we give the things we’ve bought for ourselves to the people who gave us the money envelopes, who then wrap the presents and stick them under the tree for Christmas.

It results in a low-stress Christmas because:
  • We get all our shopping out of the way quickly.
  • Everyone gets exactly what they want and will love.
  • We get to spend the time spent shopping together, bonding instead of running around on our own trying to come up with the perfect gift.
  • After that weekend, we just get to enjoy the holidays.

 

The only problem is, that after a weekend of handing over cash constantly, it can be hard to stop spending. And once the budget is spent, if you keep spending, it could wreck your December budget or even have you accumulating debt that will follow you into the new year.

Here are three ways to stop the spending snowball in it’s tracks:

1: Keep out of the stores and off the shopping websites

There will always be more deals. Throughout the holiday, stores online and off will keep upping the percentage off offered, keep dragging out more showstopper deals and generally try to get you to buy as much as possible.

Once the budget is spent, you have to stop. Don’t fall for the ads or even the “perfect gift” that may suddenly appear in your feed. What you have is enough. You are enough and no gift will buy someone’s love.

2: Organize and wrap what you bought

One way to rekindle the joy of your purchases without spending more money is to “play” with what you’ve already bought for other people.

Now don’t unpackage their gifts, that would be horrible and tacky. But do pull everything out and organize it. Maybe spend some time carefully wrapping things and decorating them. Add loving touches like handwritten tags or messages.

Spending a couple hours making the gifts look great and stacking them under the tree will definitely get you in the holiday spirit and maybe let you feel like shopping time is complete.

Doing your wrapping early will also reduce last minute stress by eliminating one more thing off your to do list and make your home look more festive.

3: Volunteer

Whether it’s helping a family member or friend get ready for their Christmas, or helping a local charity, church or organization help your community members, giving back is an excellent way to make yourself grateful for what you have, as well as giving back to those in need.

A lot of people struggle at Christmas time, and even a small gift of time or your resources could be an enormous blessing.

Your Turn!

  • What are your holiday family traditions?
  • What is your favorite charitable organization to give to?

Merry Christmas!

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Wishing you a merry Christmas from all of us here at The Tiny Life! If you celebrate, we hope you have a happy and restful holiday spent with family and friends. As another great year draws to an end, we look forward to 2016 and bringing you even more great tiny house info, stories, and inspiration.

Warm wishes and happy holidays!

– The Tiny Life Team

A Holiday Gift from Us to You

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The holidays are officially right around the corner. This time of year I get excited about spending time with friends and family.

Our gift to you this holiday season is a free set of tiny house plans – for a tiny gingerbread house! Grab the tiny house enthusiast in your life and get ready for a fun afternoon of Christmas crafting. We are giving the plans away for free if you sign up for our newsletter! For those of you who aren’t yet on the newsletter, it’s totally free and we send out a weekly email with tips, tricks and other great stuff about making your way to living in a tiny house and living The Tiny Life. To get the plans, simply enter your email address into the field below and hit “submit.”

We wish you all safe travels during this exciting and hectic time. Happy holidays!

Your Turn!

  • Do you have a favorite tiny house gift you like to give during the season?
  • How do you like to celebrate the tiny house movement with friends and family?

 

How to Decorate Your Tiny House for the Holidays

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For me, one of the best things about the holiday season is decorating. When I was a kid, breaking out the Christmas decorations each December was almost better than Christmas itself (…almost). There’s nothing like the feeling of decking the halls with garlands and bows to welcome the holiday spirit into your home.

When most people think of holiday decor, they think of plastic tubs stuffed with tree trimmings and specialty candlesticks and outdoor light-up Santas. If you live in a tiny house, you probably don’t have the storage space for decor items used only once per year. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the decorating fun just because you live in a small space. All it takes is some extra creativity! Here are some of our tips for festive tiny house holiday decorating.

1. Miniature versions of existing decor

If you can spare the floor space, a tiny Christmas tree looks even cuter in a tiny house.

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Or if there’s no floor space for a tree, go even smaller with a tabletop version.

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Even the tiniest rosemary wreath will add seasonal color and scent to your tiny house.

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2. Utilize vertical space

Any sliver of wall or window can become a prime location for some holiday decor. If your door has divided lites, hang up some paper snowflakes! It takes up no space at all, but it makes a big visual impact.
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This DIY washi tape Christmas tree couldn’t be easier to make and takes up no floor space.

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And don’t neglect that overlooked swath of decor real estate – your ceiling! Hanging ornaments, paper crafts, or garlands can make your tiny house feel extra magical.

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3. Compostable decor

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to buy a single disposable plastic thing made in China in order to decorate your house beautifully for the holiday season. Greenery, fruits, herbs, and spices are all beautiful options that can return to the soil once the holidays are over.

These DIY pomanders are a traditional holiday decoration that will make your tiny house smell amazing!

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Pine boughs in jars, lined up near a window, are simple and elegant.

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Not much of a holiday baker? Tie cinnamon sticks around candles with twine and fake the scent of baking pies.

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4. Lights, lights, lights!

Twinkle lights are the perfect way to add ambiance to your tiny house; and once the holidays are over, you can use them for auxillary lighting year round. Use LED string lights for the smallest electrical draw.

Hang lights everywhere – in your loft, around your loft ladder or stairs, above your kitchen cabinets, around your windows, or hang them from the ceiling and around door frames as seen below.

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Use branches and lights to outline a beautiful Star of David.

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And don’t forget to decorate the outside of your house too!

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For more ideas on how to decorate a tiny space for the holidays, be sure to follow our Tiny House Holidays Pinterest board!


Your Turn!

  • What are your favorite small-space holiday decorating ideas?

Happy Thanksgiving from The Tiny Life

The_Tiny_Life_ThanksgivingIt’s Thanksgiving once again, and we wanted to wish a happy holiday from us here at The Tiny Life to those who celebrate. How can you celebrate the tiny way?

  • Tell your loved ones how grateful you are that they are in your life, and what it is about them that you’re thankful for.
  • Avoid the Black Friday crowds if you can! Put the money you’d otherwise spend tomorrow toward a goal (your future tiny house, perhaps), or spend it on a fun adventure with family and friends.
  • Donate to one of your favorite charities to show them how much you appreciate the work they do.
  • Put down the phone and enjoy a face to face conversation with someone.
  • Start a daily gratitude journal – write down three things you’re thankful for every day.
  • Take a moment to appreciate how far you’ve come toward reaching your goals, rather than constantly focusing on how much needs to be done.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Lao Tzu

Your turn!

  • What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?
  • How are you planning to spend the holiday?
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