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post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

How are you guys budgeting Christmas presents this year? 


post #2 of 33

November is a 3 pay month for me, so I just budgeted some money out of that "extra" pay. Which means I will wait til the end of the month/ Dec to shop (which I like). Although if I order online, Ill have to keep mail time in mind.

post #3 of 33

Honestly, it'll probably mean skipping paying a bill (I have car insurance in mind) and running it a month behind until we file our taxes. We really don't have a spare dollar for buying things lately.

post #4 of 33

It's not much help for this year's advice; but, the best thing for me has been to buy things throughout the year.  I usually do 95% of my Christmas shopping between May and October.  I have a large plastic tote where I keep things until Christmas-time.

post #5 of 33
I've cut back drastically! Adults do NOT need gifts so they don't get them. Dd and the nieces get gifts. I generally give art and craft supplies to the nieces I would buy tshirt markers and tshirts. I would buy paint and paper. I go to michaels and buy one thing a week with coupons so everything would be half off. I make most everything for the gifts, candy, treats, etc. Sometimes the " magic" of Christmas is what you can pull together based on nothing; the gift of teaching responsible behavior (not buying more than you can afford!) , making something out of nothing, etc. sending the kids on treasure hunts for each other through the thrift store. Repurposing old items into new. Not being a consumer is one of the biggest gifts I can give my daughter.

If you celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, you can get cute Christmassy stuff on the after Christmas sales!
post #6 of 33

I made some vanilla extract for adult gifts.  The cost was 25 for the vanilla beans, 15 for the booze (bottom shelf vodka and bourbon) and jars. I bought 10 flip top bottles (holds 8oz each) but you can use mason jars or recycle jars. It takes 2 months to ferment. 10 bottles of pure vanilla extract for parents, siblings, teacher, instructors, etc.

post #7 of 33

I have to be honest -  I am not sure how to handle it this year. I started doing the Dave Ramsey total money makeover in September and part of that is to pay cash for everything. That's what I try to do anyway but it seems that every year I would put a few extra things on the card. I guess maybe there won't be any extras this year that I can't pay for with cash.

I know that with my toddler - we are planning to save money by repurposing her older brother's toys. They will be all new to her and she has no idea that they came from the closet not the store.


SunRise - that's cool that you made the homemade vanilla extract - every year I say I want to do that but then realize I've started too late

post #8 of 33

I started the vanilla extract a bit late too, but you can still give them as presents, and put a "ready on" date on it.

post #9 of 33
I'm trying to stay under $300 for my husband, kids and extended family. I have my stack of coupons and I have my Black Friday plan. I'm not buying anything that's not on my gift list. To pay for Christmas I've kept my spending really low the past month.
post #10 of 33
I've been budgeting throughout the year for all gifts, including Christmas. I expected the fund to build up a bit more than it did though, so I'm going to try to budget more into that envelope this month. I also do as many gifts as I can homemade. I've already knit my mother a hat, MIL a blanket, and I'm turning an old cupboard into a dollhouse for DD1. The men are more difficult to decide on things to make them though!
post #11 of 33

I am in grad school and pay $820/month. There is once every few months that I don't end up having a grad school cost (my courses are five weeks on, one week off), so I used that extra $820 to pay for Xmas. My December paycheck will be the same way, but just a bit will be for our kids and traveling from TX to MN. The rest needs to pay for my dr. bill for our upcoming baby. We really need a new mattress, but it just isn't going to happen this Christmas. 

post #12 of 33

we dont celebrate xmas but if we did we wouldnt be able to afford gifts.  we would have to go to those charity places for free presents

post #13 of 33
Originally Posted by rnra View Post

It's not much help for this year's advice; but, the best thing for me has been to buy things throughout the year.  I usually do 95% of my Christmas shopping between May and October.  I have a large plastic tote where I keep things until Christmas-time.


Same here.  My ideal is to end up only buying foodstuffs (nuts, dried fruit, tangerines, chocolate, etc) in December.  This year was a bit hectic with moving and I need to "assess" what I have in the tubs (I have three, but all are not Xmas gifts) and see if there are gaps.  Hopefully there will not be many, if any.  If I have to I'll just stretch things in Dec to make it happen, but over the years, I've kept my kids expectations low on purpose.  lol.gif 

post #14 of 33

I am making as many gifts as possible. My boys are getting felt sword belts and quivers full of arrows my husband made out of sticks and felt scraps (so they have soft ends). I found a large white wool sweater at Salvation Army that I felted in the washer and then cut into big loops (just cut straight across the body of the sweater) and then had the boys paint it with koolaid. It made really neat circle scarves and only cost a couple bucks. I will be baking a bunch also (cardamom bread went over well last year).  Also, I lucked out and found the main thing we wanted to get for our kids on freecycle. It is a used, very basic swing set, but the kids will love it and it gives us another way to spend time outside. 

post #15 of 33

Gentlymade do you have pics of the finished product of your felt/kooliaid painted creation? That sounds super  creative.

post #16 of 33

I didn't take any and they are wrapped now, but I will try to remember to take some when the recipients open them! They came out kind of tye dyed looking. I think they are super cute!

post #17 of 33

I let the kids use a turkey baster to paint/ squirt the kool aid on. 

post #18 of 33

We follow Dave Ramsey. He suggests creating sinking funds. Because of his suggestion we have a sinking fund set up for clothes, vacation, (a modest one) car repairs, christmas, and extra curricular activities. We set aside one hundred per child so now we have four children. We set aside four hundred for them and two hundred for nieces, nephews, grandparents (family photos) and some baked goods to share:) We did well this year, but then got a surprise bill that messed up our plans a bit. We have pulled it off and we are staying within our budget and paying the unexpected.

post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 

I think I'm going to have to look into Dave Ramsey :) DH and I got in a bit of a financial mess(after shopping) because a daycare parent didn't pay their bill *UGH*, I kicked them out of the daycare, and while they said they will pay, its been a month, so doubt it :(. With just DH's income coming in and 3 babies next year, definitely an approach I might look into :)

post #20 of 33

We do informal sinking funds... I have a rough mental designation in my head on how much we can spend on different things but only have one bank account it all goes into... It is separate from our long-term savings, and also from our day to day checking account, so I just think of it like short term savings.   Every month, after we do monthly bills and envelopes for food, gas, and allowances, we have a certain amount that we save (aside from emergency savings) and that's good for taxes, larger purchases, gifts, travel, auto insurance, smaller medical bills, etc.  I know roughly how much I can spend on things, and how much I should have in the account at certain times of the year (like property tax time or when auto insurance is due) and I always leave a little cushion.  Then, given the budget I had in mind already, I buy through the year what we need.  This month my Christmas goal was about $200 per our two kids.  We don't buy toys throughout the year and have no extended family to shop for, so that's what worked for us.  DH and I are not getting each other presents this year either.  I ended up spending about $250 per kid, (a big purchases each and some smaller ones) but I'm going to put some of the stuff aside for their upcoming birthdays, so we don't have to shop twice.


It's not a perfect system but it works well enough...

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