Christmas - It's seriously in 126 days

Yes, I'm thinking about the holidays already....

In particular, when doing up my revised budget yesterday, something occurred to me. I've arbitrarily decided I would like to save up $500 for Christmas spending, but realistically I will spend WAYYYY more. Last year, I spent over $1,200 on gifts and over $600 on decorations. YIKES!

This year I won't spend neeearly as much on decorations, but it's likely I would probably spend $50-$100 on a few things (ie. a tree, among others)

How will I spend less on Christmas gifts!? There are so many people that I exchange with....Last year, I really really tried (two really's, that means it's true) to be thoughtful and considerate with my gift giving - not just super spendy. I think I achieved that, but I was ALSO super spendy. This year I want to try to be thoughtful without breaking the bank.

This year I'm looking at a minumum of 14 people, and that doesn't include any potential work-related gift exchanges or others that may come up. That list includes:
  1. My mom
  2. My dad
  3. My brother
  4. Lindsay, my brother's girlfriend and my roommate
  5. Jordan
  6. Lisa - a very good friend of mine from childhood
  7. Amy - a very good Friend of mine from recent years
  8. My grandma
  9. My grandpa
  10. My Nanny (my dad's mom)
  11. One of my cousins (I have a pile of 'em and we draw names every year)
  12. Cheryl & Rob - Jordan's parents
  13. Jordan's grandmother
  14. Jordan's brother
I clearly will need to put some extra $$ towards Christmas.

How many people are you shopping for this year? What's your budget?

14 days until I am credit card debt free


  1. How do you spend less on Christmas gifts? Well, I'm planning on calling my dad and asking him if we can just put a limit on our Christmas gifts this year to save money. He's been 'under-employeed' since December last year, so I think he'll be relieved to hear this.

    My problem with Christmas is that I always feel like my gifts "aren't enough" - like I should get the person more - especially with my sister (I think I spent like $150 just on her last year, because I love her so damn much). So this year I'm sorta doing the whole "shopping early" thing - keeping my eyes open now for things to get everyone. I've already bought my grandma's gift (a BEAUTIFUL pea coat that, in March, was on sale around 85% off).

    I have a few items that I've found that I think my sister will love, and I'm going to buy her stuff through Amazon.com so I can use my Swagbucks. So far I have $80 in Amazon.com gift cards that I have redeemed or that I can redeem if I want to use them - so that will make a pretty nice dent in the money I spend. Ideally I'd like to ONLY use that $80 for gifts and none of my personal money (but I know this will NEVER happen).

    Also, I'd say that something personal is worth more than something expensive. So I'm planning on making some coasters for some of my family members with pictures of us on them. There is a pretty nice video explaining how to do this. I'm going to make a set for my grandmas on each side and my uncles and their families. I can buy almost all of the materials I need through Amazon, so it is pretty sweet. =)

    Only two more weeks! I love the count down! =D

  2. For Jordan's family, are you guys buying joint gifts?

  3. I think that if you write us all down in your notebook, and write down what you buy and how much it cost as you shop, you will avoid the "oh that is so perfect for so and so" and re-buying for the same person. I don't know where you got that habit from!

  4. Last year I saved $500 for Christmas and it was barely enough. I'm a frugal shopper and try to keep everyone's gift amounts about even. I feel like if I spend $100 on one person, I have to spend that amount on another.

    This year, I'm also going to save a little, but not nearly as much as last year. But I also have a rewards debit card and I will be putting my rewards points toward gift cards for people this year instead of buying gifts.

    I actually do what your Mom suggested. I tend to write down all the names of people I need to buy gifts for, then I brainstorm ideas and then put a price on it. It really works and keeps me on track.

    Another thing that J and I do is we agree that he buys the gifts for his family and I buy the gifts for my family and we call them joint gifts. I win on the deal because he has a larger family than I do, but it definitely helps our budget since we don't have a lot of money to spend on gifts.

    And really... it's the thought that counts anyway.

  5. My strategy has been to save $20 every pay since last Christmas to use for this one, so I'll have about $520 to spend (I get paid every 2 weeks, so 26 pays days between Christmases.)

    Also, due to saving for my wedding next summer, I've planed to tone down gifts to the family, and asked them to do the same since they'll be making a trip here, plus (presumably?) wedding gifts.

  6. @ Frugal - Last year we bought gifts separately, but I think this year I would like to do joint gifts.. we haven't talked about it yet, but I imagine (since you asked) I'll probably bring it up with him shortly :D

    @ All - great comments everyone!! I love to hear what everyone else is doing for Christmas


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