When you are unemployed the holidays can be stressful because unlike people who have sustainable jobs and can keep earning money during the holidays when your unemployed that is not the case. This time of year can be great because we get to give the gift of giving and it can be exciting to see the reactions of your friends after they open your gift. When you are unemployed it also is a stressful time because while everyone else can afford to get all these expensive gifts when your unemployed it is not always in the budget to get something expensive for your friends. It can make some people feel guilty when they are receiving nice things and can’t get anything near as nice. I searched for a job for many years until I eventually gave up because there is so much discrimination in the workplace for disabled people and I realized I probably wasn’t going to find one. The holidays because can be stressful for me and many other unemployed people so in this post I am going to talk about how I save money and enjoy the holidays because if your too stressed out it takes the fun out of the Christmas season!

Workout out from home-When you are disabled working out is more difficult and sometimes not worth getting a gym membership when all you can use is like two machines, mats and weights which you can do all of that from the comfort of your own home. When you are unemployed you need to start thinking of ways you can get cut your spending and letting go of your gym membership is a great place to start because although gyms are great if you can afford it they can be expensive when you have no income and there are cheaper alternatives. Go for a walk, run, or find some free Youtube videos that you can follow along with because you would be surprised with how effective a Youtube video can be. I do free Youtube videos as part of my routine and although there are apps that I could pay for which would be cool to have access to more videos for me, it’s not worth it since I can only physically do about fifty percent of it. I just stick to the free Youtube videos but do more of them since they are shorter and refer to the fitness book I bought to take my results to the next level. You can buy some equipment like weights or resistance bands to make your workouts harder but if you can’t afford them you can still get a good workout in without them because if you have access to the Internet all the resources you need to reach your goals are at your fingertips.

Set a budget- When you are unemployed you really can’t go and mindlessly shop since you don’t have an income like someone with a job does and if you blow all your money in one shopping trip you are trouble and have no way of earning that money back. You really should set a budget for yourself and try not to stray to much from it to avoid spending tons of money on one person and then when you have to buy for someone else you have no money and they get a candy bar. If you spend tons of money on one person and hardly any on everyone else it will send a bad message that you are picking favorites so to avoid people thinking this set a budget you can stick to where everyone is happy and treated fairly.

Shop clearance-  I am not suggesting that you be cheap and get all your friends a stick of gum if you know you can do more than that because people can tell when your being stingy and won’t be happy about it. What I am saying is don’t start with the most expensive item on someone’s list because sometimes people ask for these crazy expensive gifts that they probably don’t really need and definitely shouldn’t be asking someone who is unemployed because it only makes us feel bad when we can’t even get a knock off version of what you asked for which usually people are very specific with the brands and don’t want anything else. Go to the clearance section first because sometimes you can really clean up and get more fun fun than than if you just wanted to get it done so you bought the most expensive thing on their list and gifted them the brand new iPhone!

Look for deals for online- Shopping is not the same for me anymore because stores tend to have a lot of potential triggers which can be exhausting causing high pain for several days after a even a short shopping trip of just a couple of hours.. I don’t go shopping all the time only when I have to because I don’t enjoy it as much but I still go sometimes because never leaving my home or not moving will cause depression and worse for my pain. Most people can do long shopping trips without severe consequences but I cannot do that so I try to get as much of my shopping done online as I can so I don’t have to be at the store as long. Doing all your shopping online is not always an option because sometimes the people you buy for are not easy to shop for so you have to actually go to the store for inspiration. I would much rather online shop because I am more comfortable but shopping in the store hanging out with friends still can be fun even though it’s not the same experience.

Make personlized gifts- A couple of years ago my friend Karly got crafty and made some artwork of my name which always says she is not good at drawing and that is where I disagree because if I were to attempt any of this would be no better than stick figures. This artwork doesn’t really match the color of my walls because we haven’t had a chance to paint them but that is okay because every time I see it I have good memories so it doesn’t have to match everything. If you can’t afford to really get much for your friends and family but are creative then why not put your creative skills to the test and make something because sometimes it’s the handcrafted gifts that are more meaningful. I don’t always keep gifts that are bought for me because sometimes I don’t have a need for them anymore and there is no reason to keep them but I never throw away thing people make for me because it feels wrong and reminds of that person.

Christmas is something I look forward to because I get to see my whole family which I don’t see that often but the preparations leading up to that point can be extremely difficult for someone with chronic pain. The reactions of your friends and family when they see what you got them can be exciting but also discouraging when they have high expectations that you know you can’t get. I use to stress about this so much because I wanted to get more but then I realized it’s not about how much money you spend that counts because that is not what Christmas is all about and if people can’t be grateful for even the small gifts that is not your problem but them being ungrateful which is not something you can change. The holiday season can be hard for people who are unemployed and you should try to get people things you think they would like but it shouldn’t overly stress you so that you’re in bankruptcy. You may be able to impress someone with your gift-giving but was it worth the hundreds of dollars if it puts you in debt so you can’t pay your bills? Probably not so just be honest with yourself and do what you can because most people don’t really care how much you get them and just want to be surrounded by their loved ones on Christmas Day. How do you stay within budget during the holiday season while being unemployed?

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