After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

How to survive a holiday recession

Many of us are finding our wallets a little thinner this holiday season. To avoid debt and get the most out of the holiday season, here are my tips for stress-free budgeting.
1.  Housing - Move back home or find a roommate. 
2.  Employment - Create your own job by developing a program for a non-profit and applying to foundations, corporations and government departments for funding.
3. Communications - Cancel your landline, switch to a cheaper cell phone plan and subscribe to an internet fax service where your faxes are emailed to you.
4.  Clothing - Purchase brand name clothing at Winners and outlet stores.
5.  Grocery - Shop at discount grocery stores such as No Frills or Buy Low Foods. 
6.  Entertainment - Apply for a SCENE Visa and Debit Card or get a Netflix account and watch all the movies you want for $8.00 per month.
7.  Internet -  Check your email and surf the web for free at the library or buy a used computer from a store that offers follow-up service and repair. 
8.  Fitness - Start walking outdoors instead of paying to exercise at a gym.  Stick to push-ups, pull-ups, sit ups and some dumbell curls at home if you must have more muscle development. Check with a medical doctor first.
9.  Restaurants -  Stick to affordable, healthy fast food such as Subway or a soup and sandwhich from Tim Horton's. 

10.  Xmas Cards and Gifts - Stick to E-Cards and avoid the postage and cost of traditional cards. Send out lotto scratch tickets and gift cards to your family and friends' favourite stores to reduce the likelihood of a poor gift choice.

More in Christmas Season

Filipino Christmas celebrates family, faith and great food

A Filipino Christmas is filled with rich traditions, some of which might come as a surprise.

10 holiday party tips from the gays!

Party etiquette to get you through the season, looking like a tree topper.

How to stay fit, happy, and healthy this holiday

Make your holiday a healthy one with a little planning, creativity and the following tips.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.