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#1 of 33 Old 11-09-2012, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How are you guys budgeting Christmas presents this year? 

 


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#2 of 33 Old 11-09-2012, 03:54 AM
 
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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.


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#3 of 33 Old 11-10-2012, 05:11 PM
 
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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.


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#4 of 33 Old 11-10-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 33 Old 11-11-2012, 05:50 AM
 
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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!
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#6 of 33 Old 11-11-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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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.


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#7 of 33 Old 11-11-2012, 06:25 PM
 
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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


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#8 of 33 Old 11-11-2012, 07:37 PM
 
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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.


Sara - Mum to C (10/02) ; m/c 10/07; 7/08; 3/09; Lucy Olive Feb 28, 2010 !
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#9 of 33 Old 11-12-2012, 07:44 PM
 
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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.

Kate~ Mama to two.
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#10 of 33 Old 11-14-2012, 10:03 PM
 
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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!

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#11 of 33 Old 11-25-2012, 06:31 AM
 
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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. 

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#12 of 33 Old 11-25-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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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


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#13 of 33 Old 11-26-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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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 


- single homeschooling mom to 16, 14, almost-12, and 10
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#14 of 33 Old 11-27-2012, 12:07 PM
 
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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. 

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#15 of 33 Old 11-27-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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Gentlymade do you have pics of the finished product of your felt/kooliaid painted creation? That sounds super  creative.


"If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere." -Vincent Van Gogh
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#16 of 33 Old 11-28-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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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!

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#17 of 33 Old 11-28-2012, 10:24 AM
 
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I let the kids use a turkey baster to paint/ squirt the kool aid on. 

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#18 of 33 Old 11-28-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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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.


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#19 of 33 Old 11-30-2012, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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 :)


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#20 of 33 Old 12-01-2012, 04:05 PM
 
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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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#21 of 33 Old 12-02-2012, 04:53 PM
 
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I shop clearance and end caps year round for Christmas and birthdays. Last Christmas I had over $1,000 worth of stuff and spent less than $300 on it.

 


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#22 of 33 Old 12-03-2012, 06:53 AM
 
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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. 

Look into taking them to small claims court.  It isn't actually all that difficult (you can do it on your own--no lawyers need to be involved) and you may get your money back.

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#23 of 33 Old 12-03-2012, 11:03 AM
 
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That stinks alaskamomma:(

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#24 of 33 Old 12-04-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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I'm selling things on ebay and setting that $ aside for christmas. Each child is getting 1 handmade gift, either from etsy or our local holiday crafters market.  DS1 is also getting some dinosaur books I have found at thrift shop throughout the year.


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#25 of 33 Old 12-06-2012, 04:14 PM
 
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We are in a black hole financially, we just can't make ends meet, and we are short by A LOT. I did get an amazon gift card via swagbucks & used that to buy DS socks (he was still wearing baby socks... he's almost 4... hide.gif) and a couple very small things for Christmas. Fortunately we've never set any precedent for Christmas being extravagant, so he'll be OK with very little. What I am worried about is gifts for other people... we had agreed to do nothing but now DH wants to give something to his family (7 adults), and he wants to bake for coworkers and others, etc. and I'm freaking out because that's money out of our grocery budget, we can't even afford to get DS a proper present and we may lose our house so in my mind all these things need to wait until some future Christmas when we don't have such huge financial stresses. Someday we will be financially stable (or at least able to have more income than expenses!) and then we can buy decent gifts but I feel like in the meantime we just need to stay afloat. Not sure what to do, I don't want to be stingy or steal Christmas joy but we have a child who needs food & shelter... *sigh*

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#26 of 33 Old 12-08-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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We are in a black hole financially, we just can't make ends meet, and we are short by A LOT. I did get an amazon gift card via swagbucks & used that to buy DS socks (he was still wearing baby socks... he's almost 4... hide.gif) and a couple very small things for Christmas. Fortunately we've never set any precedent for Christmas being extravagant, so he'll be OK with very little. What I am worried about is gifts for other people... we had agreed to do nothing but now DH wants to give something to his family (7 adults), and he wants to bake for coworkers and others, etc. and I'm freaking out because that's money out of our grocery budget, we can't even afford to get DS a proper present and we may lose our house so in my mind all these things need to wait until some future Christmas when we don't have such huge financial stresses. Someday we will be financially stable (or at least able to have more income than expenses!) and then we can buy decent gifts but I feel like in the meantime we just need to stay afloat. Not sure what to do, I don't want to be stingy or steal Christmas joy but we have a child who needs food & shelter... *sigh*

 

Could you have your DS make them something? Even something as simple as a card. Then it's giving them something, but it's not necessarily money out of your budget. Or you could do something like a saltdough ornament. It uses ingredients, but it's not much. We don't have much money in our gifts budget, so I make a lot of our gifts. Pretty much anything that's for someone outside of our house is made, mostly knitting. DD1 is also making gifts for people because she wants to. 


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#27 of 33 Old 12-09-2012, 11:16 AM
 
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Crunchy mom, That just stinks! I am feeling very poor this year, but we are able to meet our needs. One year I got a Christmas job. I got a job at a portrait studio that had an end date and I loved it. I want to be a stay home mom and for our family it just works, but a seasonal job helped that year.


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#28 of 33 Old 12-11-2012, 04:54 PM
 
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Throughout the year I usually collect several rebate "credit cards" and some cash rebates.  I set these aside for the holidays.  We still end up spending some, but it really knocks the total down. It feels great to walk into a store to do Christmas shopping with a rebate credit card for $100 and the freedom to shop and leave feeling like you really haven't spent anything :)

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#29 of 33 Old 12-11-2012, 05:03 PM
 
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Also, Crunchy_Momm - I agree with you - this isn't the year where you should feel pressured to buy for other people. Especially adult family members.  There are some very inexpensive things you can make (salt dough, bird food, etc.) but if you are not in a position to meet your own needs then this is the year to wish them a Merry Christmas :) 

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#30 of 33 Old 12-11-2012, 10:36 PM
 
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We came at Christmas gifts late- just started this week.

We decided on $500 maximum for our Christmas budget this year. We talked as a family and decided on a family gift which is a bit pricier this year so we aren't really getting many things.

We spent very little on our anniversary or other occasions and have been pretty frugal so we have a little extra money set aside.


Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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