Author Topic: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?  (Read 3808 times)

CloserToFree

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OK, let's come clean on how much we spent on the holidays this year (in my case, Christmas).  Here are my numbers:

2016 Christmas Spending
$25.00 - used train set/tracks/table for son
$9.21 - book set for son (Amazon)
$29.99 - joint gift for niece and nephew (Amazon toy)
$13.85 - joint gift for other niece and nephew (Amazon toy)
$79.44 - gifts for family abroad (they send us a really generous package every year and we never reciprocate, until this year)
$100.00 - cash gift for secretary (standard practice in my industry/law firm envronment)
$10.44 - set of 25 holiday cards and small cookie tins for additional secretaries I work with
$134.00 - 50 customized photo (paper) holiday cards and postage (mostly to older family members and friends)
$23.81 - 200 e-holiday cards for the rest of our list (mostly younger)
$48.09 - Costco groceries for Christmas dinner (we hosted)
$6.99 - DVD of one of our favorite holiday movies that wasn't available streaming anywhere (on sale on Amazon)
$54.37 - 3 custom photo albums for grandparents and nanny
$200.00 - charitable donations (we did this in lieu of gifts with in-law side of family)
$500.00 - bonus for nanny

Grand total: $1,235.19

The good: Spent zero on decorations (reused artificial tree and hand me down decorations), reduced xmas card spending by sending mostly e-cards, limited number of gifts we bought for family members (skipped all presents for the adults, including DH), skipped office gift exchange, economized on Christmas meal groceries, bought mostly used gifts for our son.

The bad: Still spent too much in total; could have been creative and saved money on secretary gift (spending less than $50 instead of $100, with some more advance planning), could have given smaller charitable donations (but don't mind this as much because it hits two birds with one stone - we would have done some charitable giving anyway); overspent on gifts for family abroad - could have bought fewer things and done more homemade gifts with advance planning; overspent on gifts for nieces/nephews - next year will agree to do smaller gifts, like books or one small toy each.

How much did you spend on the holidays this year?  Ideas for ways to reduce this next year?

MrsDinero

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2016, 11:48:27 AM »
$348 - Kitchen Aid Mixer for hubby (Amazon)
$12 - Duplo block set for my 15 months old (Big Box Store)
$15 - Several books for my 15 months old and 3 month old (Amazon)
$15 - Book for my my father in law (Amazon)
$40 - worth of yarn and 2 months of my time to crochet brother #1 a blanket for his bed (JoAnn Craft Store)
$30 - worth of yarn and 1 month of my time to crochet my father a lap blanket (JoAnn Craft Store)
$20 - worth of yarn to crochet my niece fingerless gloves and a cowl (JoAnn Craft Store)
$30 - Cash for my niece to buy whatever a 13 year old wants to buy
$10 - Yarn to crochet my mom fingerless gloves(JoAnn Craft Store)
$?? - Boots I bought them on sale a couple years ago but forgot to give her.  They were 32 british pounds 2 years ago.
$0 - Nothing for my younger brother, he says he wants me to make him something but doesn't know what yet.  Every idea I threw at him was "hmmm maybe".  He is always indecisive. 

$45 - Personalized cutting board for friend 1 (Etsy)
$12 - Mini lego thing for son 1 of friend 1 (Etsy)
$10 - Wood dinosaurs for son 2 of friend 1 (Etsy)
$7 - Lego shaped bath soap crayons for son 1 of friend 1 (Etsy)
$7 - Dino shaped bath soap crayons for son 2 of friend 1  (Etsy)
$0.5 - 2 boxes of crayons I bought at the after school sales (Walmart)

$31 - Personalized cutting board for friend 2 (Etsy)
$10 - Wood dinosaurs for son of friend 2 (Etsy)
$7 - Dino shaped bath soap crayons for son of friend 2 (Etsy)
$7 - Eiffel tower shaped bath soap for daughter of friend 2 (Etsy)
$13 - Eiffel tower necklace with initial and birthstone for daughter of friend 1 (Etsy)
$0.5 2 boxes of crayons I bought at the after school sales (Walmart)

$31 - Personalized cutting board for friend 3 (Etsy)

Total $701.

WOW!  I had no idea I spent so much!  Believe it or not this is trimmed down from previous years.  Obviously the biggest expense was the Kitchen Aid mixer for Mr. D.  He loved it!!  We agreed to a limit of 1 present to each, no price restraint.  Last year it was slippers this year a mixer :) 

Also next year I'm not going to do the massive friend gifts anymore.  These friends are more like family so we have been gifting for years but it has started to become a chore (for all of us), so I said this will be the last year for the big gifts.

I'm not sure how much we spent on our family holiday cards.  Maybe $60? and we spent $50 for a tree.  No new decorations.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 12:13:08 PM by MrsDinero »

EEBookDesign

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2016, 12:10:14 PM »
Almost nothing! My husbands family always buys presents for the kids, I dont feel the need to add to that (I have 3 kids). The presents we gave were jars of home made jam (from green tomatoes from the garden) and things the kids had made in school. We brought turkey to the christmas dinner, but instead of buying a whole turkey we just bought a bunch of legs at the farm. It was less pretty but delicious and there was plenty for everyone!

All in all it was about 25 euros (we live in France). The day after Christmas we had a dinner with friends where everyone brought their christmas leftovers. It was free and we enjoyed an evening full of nice food and wine :)

We have a home made tree (made with sticks that we found in the forest) and christmas decorations that my mother in law was going to throw out :). My own family doesnt celebrate christmas with presents, so no spending there either.

Me and my DH never exchange gifts.

« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 12:13:11 PM by EEBookDesign »

sleepyguy

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2016, 01:23:50 PM »
Didn't keep precise track, but ballpark would probably be about $1200-1400

Most expensive item was a gift for my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law.  They've had a tough holidays as a family member passed away.  Being in Toronto they are big Toronto Maple Leafs fans (hockey), I attended a work party and had auction of amazing tickets.  Paid $300 for face value of $600 ($300 each), I probably could ebay/kijiji them for like $800, haha... hmmm....

One of the more expensive holidays for us but 2016 has been good to us overall (even though GF was out of work for 4mths).

ketchup

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2016, 01:48:39 PM »
Put 70 miles on the car visiting my mom, and bought my sister some books, so right around $50 total.  Not too bad.

Kevin S.

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2016, 01:49:34 PM »
$225 for gifts for my fiancé and mother.

$ 80 bucks for fancy xmas dinners, movies

FIRE_at_45

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2016, 02:30:42 PM »
Didn't keep precise track, but ballpark would probably be about $1200-1400

Most expensive item was a gift for my Father-in-Law and Brother-in-Law.  They've had a tough holidays as a family member passed away.  Being in Toronto they are big Toronto Maple Leafs fans (hockey), I attended a work party and had auction of amazing tickets.  Paid $300 for face value of $600 ($300 each), I probably could ebay/kijiji them for like $800, haha... hmmm....

One of the more expensive holidays for us but 2016 has been good to us overall (even though GF was out of work for 4mths).

What!?  You are going to punish them some more. :)  Good deal.  Here in Vancouver we stop going when our team sucks.  Not in TO.  BTW, I am a recovering Maple Leafs fan turned Vancouver Canucks fan and now not watching at all.

I only have to buy for my kids.  I re-gifted some consumable stuff I got at work (wine, chocolates) for parties I attended.

Tennis racket (used CL) - $15
Fishing pole (used CL) - $25
Electronics game (Amazon - signed up for cc) - $20
Backpack - $48
Experience gift (Team Canada women) - $52
Stocking stuffers - $10
Turkey - $10 (won't count the rest)

Total - $177

Can't keep up to other's decorations so I don't bother.  Picked up a free artificial tree from a neighbour's garbage.  It looked as good at the real one I usually buy from Home Depot for $30.

 




Travis

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 03:45:48 PM »
$20 -  NatGeo magazine renewal for MIL
$30 - Books for son
$47 - family photo/Christmas cards for 40 people
$25 - Gift card to restaurant for sister (thanks for hosting Christmas Eve)
$25 x 3 - Gift cards for nephews/niece
$27 - chocolate covered prunes for grandmothers (3)
$139 - legos, books, and a couple other items for four people
$134 - various gifts for SIL, BIL, their son, and one or two of DW's coworkers
$44 - fuel for dad's SUV we borrowed (ouch, but better than renting)
$70 - food while traveling
$80 - airport parking.
So...
$500 in gifts
$200 in travel

Last year and the year before we spent $560 on gifts. Two of my best friends specifically said no to us gifting their kids this year.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 10:15:23 AM by Travis »

khangaroo

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 05:19:40 PM »
According to my credit card statement:

$198 - (20) copies of Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover for friends and family
$51.60 - Shipping for above books
$32.49 - crafts for my daughter
$72.20 - more crafts for the daughter
$36 - Nike jacket for Aunt
$37.99 - (2) baseball cap for Uncle
$61.38 - Imgur Secret Santa Gift
$284.99 - Comforter for parents
$66.58 - more crafts for daughter
$244 - Ultimate Sack 6000
$179.99 - Sheepskin Rug for the Ultimate Sack 6000

Total = $1,015.62

I also like to spoil myself during Christmas that way I get the gifts I want :D and that was just mostly clothes for $894.16

So if we were calculating holiday-inspired spending then the total would be $1,909.78. A little abashed as I usually do not spend this much but I did spend $250 on "charity" by giving away TTMM and went big on my parent's gift since they've done so much for me the past year. My budget was $1,500 so I kinda blew it.

frugalfelicia

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 05:26:23 PM »
Gifts for kid: $100
Gifts for other people: $300
Car rental/gas to visit family: $85

Was pretty much what I wanted/expected to spend this year.

okits

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 08:46:52 PM »
Approximately $1160 CAD (about $860 USD for any horrified Americans reading).

About $100 CAD each in gifts for DH, DD, DS, MIL, FIL, niece, nephew.  $30 for stocking stuff for SIL & BIL.  $10 for my parents.  I would guess DH spent $250 on gifts and gift cards for me.  $60 for the wonderful childcare workers at DD's daycare.  $20 on Christmas cards and $30 in postage.  Another $20 on food. $40 in gas to visit family.

The number seems high given I busted my ass searching for sales, rebates, and freebies from loyalty programs or promotional campaigns (that's why my parents' present only cost $10 - for the shipping).  We gifted our children noticeably less stuff than niece and nephew received from SIL & BIL, and bore only a tiny bit of the cost of food/drinks.

We gave each other/received $300 in gift cards for things we would be spending money on, anyways.  Necessities we gave each other/received as gifts amount to about another $120 we would have spent, otherwise.

Plans to downsize next year include suggesting a secret Santa among the adults in the family, e-mailing more Christmas greetings, and DH and I not exchanging gifts.

There's a good chance this was the last big family Christmas before FIL ends up in a long-term care home.  With no part of the family experiencing financial hardship we weren't interested in rocking the boat and just wanted my ILs to enjoy a typical Christmas.  It was a happy one. 

GoConfidently

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2016, 09:06:13 PM »
$150 - OxFam donations in the names of others
$45 - jars and ingredients for homemade jam and marmalade from free produce
I also gave several works of art that would have retailed for $350 or so.

I received: three works of art, two plants, crafts from my nephews, and a gift card.

This year was about experiences and not stuff. It was wonderful.

AlienRobotAnthropologist

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2016, 09:23:24 PM »
Gifts:
Father - $100
Mother -  $65
Sister -    $20

Travel by car: ~$100
Decorations: $0 I'm lazy and spent time with my parents so I enjoyed their stuff
Food Splurges: ~$20

Sailor Sam

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #13 on: December 27, 2016, 09:25:35 PM »
$273  Airline tickets  (points!)
$20  Uber
$320  Gifts for 8 people
$35  Misc food and conveniences
$648 Total ($375 cash)


Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2016, 09:46:41 PM »
$642 on gifts (for 13 adults)
$135 non-gift Christmas expenses (tree, stocking hooks, lights, stuff like that)
=$777 total

We were aiming for being much more generous this year. There is undoubtedly increased grocery spending there, as we stocked up a lot in order to host and feed many people (17 people over at various points on Christmas!)

Coulda been a lot worse. I was guessing $1k for the Christmas season.

Mezzie

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2016, 12:21:20 AM »
I'm taking my family to the next Star Wars movie, so it'll be about $240 for recliner seating for the dozen of us..
We probably spent about $5 on gas to visit everyone. I wasn't sure how far we were going, so we didn't use my electric car.

FiguringItOut

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2016, 09:34:26 AM »
About $200 on gifts and another $40 on collectible tree ornaments. 
Not bad at all.

Mariposa

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2016, 10:04:29 PM »
$60 gifts for the boy
$400 gifts for other people's children (We've been doing this for years. The reciprocal gifts this year, though, were out of control. We're going to have to do something about this next year.)
$500 charitable donations
$50 skincare products for me (Total yearly budget is maybe $75, but I don't wear make-up. We're mustachian-lite.)
$160 used iphone 5S to replace my 7-year-old iphone 3GS
$30 record album for DH
$120 eating out
$30 cards and postage
$300 daycare lady
$100 super
$50 babysitter
---------------
=$1800
We didn't even travel this year.

N

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2016, 10:31:12 PM »
385$ for our family of 4

big_slacker

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2016, 06:07:48 AM »
Right around $700 here.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2016, 06:16:59 AM »
$521 personally + whatever my SO spent (separate finances).

soccerluvof4

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #21 on: December 29, 2016, 06:52:51 AM »
Family of 6, we spent our 900$ we got from our Citi Cashback card plus and additional 200 for a total of 1100$ which isn't to bad in my opinion with 3 of the 4 being teenagers and I spent 100$ on a gift certificate for my wife and a card. We don't normally exchange gifts but I wanted to do something for her this year and we haven't really bought our-self anything "New" as far as clothes goes for the last 2-3 years. This includes also God Parents gifts etc..

pancakes

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #22 on: December 29, 2016, 07:25:11 AM »
On gifts $40 ($20 each for office secret santas).

Then there was $1200 on accomodation, about $70 on petrol and $300 or so on food. We had no family around this Christmas and I'm 30 weeks pregnant so we decided on a holiday so we weren't moping around at home feeling lonely and to spend some time just us before the baby arrives. Accomodation this time of year by the beach was a killer but the weather was kind to us and we had a great time.

Livingthedream55

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #23 on: December 29, 2016, 01:29:10 PM »
$600 total for two daughters (age 24 and 19) and $100 total for everyone else.

CloserToFree

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2016, 01:44:26 PM »
Thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far.  Fascinating to see the range of budgets and to get some creative gift/ gift avoidance ideas for next year too.  Keep 'em coming!

Toffeemama

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2016, 02:10:19 PM »
I accidentally posted a similar topic in Ask a Mustachian; here's my response from there:

According to my YNAB report, my household spent $992 on holiday items, including gifts, decorations, and food treats.  We have 3 kids, and do gift exchanges with husband's entire family (13 people), and 2 members of my family.  I'd like to get the number down to $700 next year.

twojabs

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2016, 03:04:38 PM »
£250, equivalent to $305 for presents for 2 adults and 1 three year old, food for 5 adults + the little man :)

surprised at much cheapness!

stashgrower

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Re: How much did you spend on Christmas/Hanukkah/the holidays this year?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2016, 12:49:47 AM »
Gifts, food and travel: <$100.

Gifts were homemade for a dozen people.
Food was homemade and fresh produce.
Travel was public transport and car.