Author Topic: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?  (Read 4614 times)

carozy

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What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« on: December 05, 2016, 06:27:20 AM »
How much do you budget for holiday gifts?  Do you usually meet the budgeted amount or go over?

This Christmas I am budgeting a bit extra since I have the money and I want to.  Usually I budget around $300-$350, that's for around 9 Christmas gifts and 4 December birthdays, plus the odd few additional Christmas gifts.  I probably go over just a bit but I am pretty good at finding deals and giving good joint gifts which saves me money.  (This year I'm getting a video game console which is bundled with games which works out to $10/person, although I will give additional smaller gifts to each.  So things like that.). I try to keep the gifts at $15/ person, and try to find bargains in what the person would like.  For family or friends I'm closer with the amount is higher and they get more gifts.

Just wondering what other Mustachians are doing.  Also, if you have any crafty or money saving gift ideas, please share!  I am still in the shopping/making stage.

Thanks!

KBecks

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 06:29:19 AM »
Usually around $500 but we are spending a lot this year on the kids.  My husband is having a great year at work and we are in a critical phase of the kids' childhoods where they are not going to be kids for very much longer, my little one still believes in Santa, so we're going to give them some big presents and do it up a little more.   We'll be more austere in other months. 

MayDay

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 06:52:23 AM »
Just gifts is in the 300-500 range. It can be on the higher end if you include "gifts" that we were going to purchase anyway, like a new coat for H.

If you include travel over the holidays it skyrockets. Just our plane tickets are 2k this year (although that is unusually high).

Kitsune

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 07:08:04 AM »
This year we're hitting 650$CAD, which is more than I'd like, but is what it takes to cover things nicely, it seems. We're doing more handmade things, and more budget-conscious things, than we did in the past few years, and it's made a difference of a few hundred, so it's nice to see the impact of the effort.

This includes:
- Gifts for each other (75$ limit - not huge things, but, like, my husband is getting a watch and 2 expensive books he's been oogling for 6 months)
- Gifts for our kid (about 120$ total)
- 'larger' family gifts (mom, dad, in-laws, both my siblings, my husband's younger sister and our niece - we stopped doing presents with his older sister and just focus on the kids, which is nice)
- 'smaller' gifts- friends (4 of them close enough), grandparents and great-aunt (2), cousin (we usually buy him a bottle of scotch and he buys us a nice bottle of rum, so it's totally an exchange there... )
- Cash holiday gifts. Childcare lady (100$ cash) because she's amazing and takes great care of our daughter and we appreciate her. 25-30$ for the mail lady (we do a LOT of online shopping because we're super rural, and she'll deliver huge packages, bring them around the back of the house so we don't have to get them in town, drop them off at my in-law's if they need a signature, etc - basically, she makes our life a LOT easier. I know not everyone does this, but...)

And then there's holiday meals. Fortunately, the traditional food isn't horrifically expensive (tourtière, cretons, and the like...) - maybe add 50$ total for 8 tourtieres spread across 4-5 holiday meals, and then cretons for 2 weeks (and more meals), and butter/GF flour for cookies...

So, in conclusion: holidays are expensive. Less expensive than they could be, and more expensive than they should be. Good thing they make us happy, or we'd be pissed about the expense. ;)

FLBiker

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 09:27:40 AM »
I am definitely a scrooge, so bear that in mind.

I think I spent about $100 on DW, and $50 on DD (1.5 years old).  DW will probably spend ~$50-100 on me, and same on DD.  She'll probably spend $100 or so on her folks, and we'll spend about $100-150 on other family members.  So that looks like $400 to $500?  But if we're talking about just me, it will be under $200.  And I would happily spend less. :)  I just sent my dad my wishlist, and it was a couple of books, some soap (shaving and normal) and deodorant.  Bah humbug. :)
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 09:29:38 AM by FLBiker »

sjc0816

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 09:49:19 AM »
I'm hoping we can get away with $1,000 or less. This is not by choice - DH and my families buy gifts for everyone (ridiculous and we've attempted to change this....but it's not happening and we do not like to be considered scrooges). Plus my two kids, teachers and some for charity. DH and I do not buy for each other.

cats

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 09:59:41 AM »
We are generally in the $100-200 range.  However, "immediate family" has started to expand in the past few years, with some of the "kids" getting married and now grandkids either in the picture or likely to be soon.  So I made an attempt at scaling things back by suggesting a Secret Santa for the adults.  We've settled on a $50/person limit, which means $100 spent between husband and myself.  Other gifts we are purchasing include:

-photo calendar for my parents, featuring highlights from their grandchild's first year of life--we ordered from Shutterfly, if you keep an eye out they often offer a "free" calendar as one of their deals (you still pay tax & shipping), and the quality is really nice.
-photo book of aforementioned grandchild for my inlaws.  Husband found a deal where we get one for free, not sure of the details as he is handling it all :) 
-Husband got a hat he really liked at the REI garage sale this past weekend for $15 and informed me that it was my gift to him.  It sounds like he may be getting a gift for me also, which I guess would be similar dollar value?  I have no idea.  Our baby is going to be 10 months at Christmas and we spend more on his daycare each month than we do on rent, so he gets no gift this year (well, hopefully he views a whole day with Mom & Dad as a gift...)
-"staff appreciation" gift at daycare...$25.  While I kind of dislike the "mandatory gift" thing, I can appreciate that it's laid out clearly and keeps things from getting out of hand.

So I guess we will come in around $150.  Our bigger expense will probably be hosting friends over New Year's.

Some other ideas that I have done in the past, not necessarily free but can help to keep costs in check:

-box of food: buy some local specialties, pad out with handmade things like fruitcake (GOOD fruitcake), hot chocolate on a stick, cookies, etc.  Pretty much everyone likes food, right? 

-handmade cards.  I have done cards with "embroidery" (say a tree or star outline) using leftover scraps of yarn from knitting project.  A bit fiddly and time consuming but very pretty.  We have some family members who don't do gifts (which we appreciate), but do seem to appreciate a unique card. I've also done ones where I cut out a design and then past a piece of tissue paper behind, sort of a stained glass card.

-knitted items: little shawls, hats, mitts, etc.  These typically need to be planned way in advance (takes time to make them), and they aren't necessarily ultra-cheap as good yarn can be pricey.  I have a huge yarn collection from my more spendy days so for me it is more like a slow decluttering and the cost is a sunk one.

-group gifts--this is a good one for parents if you have siblings.  My parents really don't need any stuff so my brothers and I have often pooled together and bought them a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant or theater tickets. 
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 12:30:36 PM by cats »

Torran

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 09:59:56 AM »
£225.

The majority goes on family (5 adults + my niece and nephew), then 2 gifts for friends, 1 novelty gift for family friend, 1 work secret santa.

ketchup

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 10:51:20 AM »
I'll probably get my sister a book of some sort, and maybe my parents too.  GF and I don't really exchange gifts, so that's about it.  Probably less than $50 all-in.

marcela

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 10:57:32 AM »
I'm at $335 with three gifts outstanding. This covers 1 birthday, 9 family gifts, 1 work secret santa, and 2 angel tree gifts. Still have 4 gifts outstanding.

Four gifts will be shipped so I need to add that into the budget.

Question for the group: I am partially supported by a coordinator (10%) and my boss who I share support with asked me to contribute to a cash gift. This is something she and the person who had my position previously had done every year. The trouble is, I don't know how much to give. I don't want to be stingy, but my boss makes almost 100k more than I do and I'm the sole income for my family.
How much to give?

WootWoot

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 11:54:28 AM »
Around $200. This year it will be a bit higher because my siblings and I are chipping in to buy my mom a flat-screen TV.

alewpanda

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 10:07:58 PM »
Our budget is about 20-30.00 a person.

We buy for each of our parents, siblings, and our few nieces and nephews.  We occasionally are involved in work or friend gift exchanges, but those are smaller or 'silly'. 

Often siblings share larger gifts (my sister and I gave my youngest sister teka sandals in the same size she had tried on when she visited me in the summer). 

Gifts are generally simple -- my hubby and i asked for a specific type of travel mug for each of us, headphones for him, coffee from my sister cuz her workplace roasts incredible coffee, journal for me, specific book, local chocolates, etc.  My siblings seem to stick with a similiar, or slightly lower budget (they are all younger and unmarried), but nobody cares ultimately.  My family are definitely 'givers' all the way around...so I expect gift giving to continue, and I never expect anger at smaller or cheaper levels of gift giving.  We also home make gifts at times.


Ultimately the total number of gifts at christmas comes in around 20ish gifts...so I guess our budget is around 400-500 dollars a Christmas season, although if I can find an item a little cheaper than normal, that lowers the amount for that particular gift and lowers the overall budget.




terran

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 06:57:41 AM »
Usually around $500 but we are spending a lot this year on the kids.  My husband is having a great year at work and we are in a critical phase of the kids' childhoods where they are not going to be kids for very much longer, my little one still believes in Santa, so we're going to give them some big presents and do it up a little more.   We'll be more austere in other months.

I can't remember where I ran across this (probably one of the FI blogs), but something you might consider with this is what happens when your kid goes to school and talks about all the great gifts "Santa" gave him/her and how that makes the poor kid feel. The suggestion was that Santa give modest gifts and (if you want) you give the big gifts.

Kitsune

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2016, 08:05:53 AM »
Usually around $500 but we are spending a lot this year on the kids.  My husband is having a great year at work and we are in a critical phase of the kids' childhoods where they are not going to be kids for very much longer, my little one still believes in Santa, so we're going to give them some big presents and do it up a little more.   We'll be more austere in other months.

I can't remember where I ran across this (probably one of the FI blogs), but something you might consider with this is what happens when your kid goes to school and talks about all the great gifts "Santa" gave him/her and how that makes the poor kid feel. The suggestion was that Santa give modest gifts and (if you want) you give the big gifts.

One set of 'poor' friends (had kids in their early 20s, mom is a teacher and dad is a pastor...) specifically didn't let their kids believe in the whole Santa thing because, and I quote, "we didn't want them to think that the rich kids were better, or better behaved, or more loved, or somehow more worth Santa's gifts". So... yeah. That.

KBecks

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2016, 08:29:49 AM »
Usually around $500 but we are spending a lot this year on the kids.  My husband is having a great year at work and we are in a critical phase of the kids' childhoods where they are not going to be kids for very much longer, my little one still believes in Santa, so we're going to give them some big presents and do it up a little more.   We'll be more austere in other months.

I can't remember where I ran across this (probably one of the FI blogs), but something you might consider with this is what happens when your kid goes to school and talks about all the great gifts "Santa" gave him/her and how that makes the poor kid feel. The suggestion was that Santa give modest gifts and (if you want) you give the big gifts.

We don't spend a lot of time in our house talking about Santa, and I decided when they were younger that I was not going to make a big deal of it.  However, it seems that kids get the idea of Santa.  I am not going to feel guilty in any way for giving my kids toys at Christmas.  That is my family's choice and business.  If a poor kid feels bad or jealous that my kid got a Playstation or ipad, that's not my problem.  It's not.   My kids know that some kids don't have money for many gifts, and they know not to brag.   I have never bribed my kids with you have to be good because Santa is watching, etc.   I refuse to worry about this. 

Giro

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2016, 08:36:45 AM »
I'm embarrassed to admit what I will spend.  My husband always asks for an extremely expensive gift.  I don't buy him much throughout the year, so I always like to get it for him.  I'm hoping he pays down my auto loan in return.  That way, it's like I didn't spend anything at all.  :)




marcela

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2016, 09:54:37 AM »
Usually around $500 but we are spending a lot this year on the kids.  My husband is having a great year at work and we are in a critical phase of the kids' childhoods where they are not going to be kids for very much longer, my little one still believes in Santa, so we're going to give them some big presents and do it up a little more.   We'll be more austere in other months.

I can't remember where I ran across this (probably one of the FI blogs), but something you might consider with this is what happens when your kid goes to school and talks about all the great gifts "Santa" gave him/her and how that makes the poor kid feel. The suggestion was that Santa give modest gifts and (if you want) you give the big gifts.

We don't spend a lot of time in our house talking about Santa, and I decided when they were younger that I was not going to make a big deal of it.  However, it seems that kids get the idea of Santa.  I am not going to feel guilty in any way for giving my kids toys at Christmas.  That is my family's choice and business.  If a poor kid feels bad or jealous that my kid got a Playstation or ipad, that's not my problem.  It's not.   My kids know that some kids don't have money for many gifts, and they know not to brag.   I have never bribed my kids with you have to be good because Santa is watching, etc.   I refuse to worry about this.

I like the idea of Santa bringing smaller gifts because of the inequality mentioned. Kids already know there's differences between how their family spends/lives, why make it an even bigger deal from Santa too? Would it really be a problem if your kids knew that you had gotten them the Playstation and Santa gave them the new book? They will still be getting the same presents, its just where they think they are coming from that changes.

I'm a red panda

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2016, 10:18:12 AM »
I do $50 per niece or nephew. Right now I have 8 of them.  For many, this will be a check, for some it will be something specific they requested.
Then I try to do about $30 each for my parents, DH's parents, and DH's grandmother.
I feel cheap with these amounts, but we've settled on it.  I feel like it really should be closer to $100 a kid and $50 for the few adults I get gifts for, but that just seems like a ton of money to part with all at once...

I do about $50 total to the giving tree families from the neighborhood and work.

So about $600 in gifts.  There is usually another $100 in shipping fees, though I try to minimize that as much as possible.

DH and I do not exchange gifts. We do not yet have living children.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2016, 12:26:36 PM by iowajes »

Kapiira

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2016, 10:53:30 AM »
I just added it up and it's about $1,300 (gifts for our family of 2 adults and 2 kids, 6 nieces and nephews, parents, grandparents, teachers, ect).  Some things are not frugal at all, like the electronic drum set for the family.  Some things are more mustachian, like money into travel accounts for nieces and nephews.  Overall, I'm pretty satisfied.  I'm more frugal, my husband is more spendy.  Over the years we've come to level of holiday spending that we're both comfortable with.

Cranky

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2016, 11:18:16 AM »
I plan on about $1000. It's our main gift giving occasion, and I try to give fairly "big" useful gifts rather than trinkets that end up as clutter.

3 adult children and a son-in-law.
My sister and her husband, and my dh's brother and his wife.
My mom.

I give a gift card to a friend who rides with us to church, and I give hand knit socks to a whole bunch of people. Some years I hand out a lot of homemade jam or cookies.

Kitsune

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2016, 11:30:55 AM »
I try to give fairly "big" useful gifts rather than trinkets that end up as clutter.

This is where we fall on toys. Our kids get toys (trinkets up to bikes - ANY toys) at Christmas and birthdays, period. So we spend a bit more on, say, a play kitchen with really great play food (omg the number of hours that thing has clocked since last year, 100% worth it), instead of 10$ for small toys here and there throughout the year and 50$ less at Christmas.

I figure, if it's gonna add up anyway, I'd rather it add up to good play instead of more clutter.

But that said, holidays still add up. As everyone said, it's not individual gifts - like, a 30$ gift is not a HUGE amount by any stretch of the imagination. It's 20x30$ that adds up reallllllll quick.

Goldielocks

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2016, 11:32:04 AM »
I'm embarrassed to admit what I will spend.  My husband always asks for an extremely expensive gift.  I don't buy him much throughout the year, so I always like to get it for him.  I'm hoping he pays down my auto loan in return.  That way, it's like I didn't spend anything at all.  :)

Yeah,  we were planning to not be too extravagant, too.  (except for my hoping for a bike kit, crossing fingers).  But yesterday when DH asked for new clothing for Christmas, and I went on line to order him what was needed (hard to find his size in the stores here), the hassle of the cross border pickup and import duties had me order an entire year's worth of clothing at once to avoid future shopping.

So, he will get a mega ton of new clothing, and one $35 gadget.


tomatops

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2016, 12:23:34 PM »
- $200 total for both nephews (good ol' RESP contribution)
- $70 on SO (really, $35, but it's an activity, so had to get my own ticket too)
- $0.00 on parents - they like it when I take them to the movies each year, which I do on points
- $20 on Secret Santa with friends

Around $310 CAD total.

Cranky

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2016, 02:34:47 PM »
Honestly dh and I wouldn't do gifts for one another at all, except the kids would think it was weird. We're old. We've got plenty of stuff.

We usually agree on some useful item we were going to buy anyway, and wrap that up in Christmas paper.

I think I enjoy doing stockings more than anything else, though.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 01:53:02 PM by Cranky »

Mikila

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2016, 07:07:18 AM »
$600 for 18 gifts.

We use cash back CC rewards to purchase some gift cards, included in total.

Dave1442397

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2016, 07:15:51 AM »
Question for the group: I am partially supported by a coordinator (10%) and my boss who I share support with asked me to contribute to a cash gift. This is something she and the person who had my position previously had done every year. The trouble is, I don't know how much to give. I don't want to be stingy, but my boss makes almost 100k more than I do and I'm the sole income for my family.
How much to give?

Honestly, if that were me, and the company has an HR department, I would go ask them what the company policy is. I know that where I work (large company), there's no way a supervisor would be allowed make a request like that.

If HR respond as expected (ie, that's not a valid request), ask them to issue a reminder to everyone (not specifically your boss) as to what's allowed and what's not. Then you have an out without feeling pressured.

Dave1442397

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Re: What is your Christmas (or holiday) budgets?
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2016, 07:24:55 AM »
Our budget will be around $400 this year. We usually buy one larger gift for our daughter (something she's been asking for, but we tell her it has to wait), and some bit and pieces that we would have bought anyway, like boots, clothes, art supplies etc.

I usually buy something for my wife, but I never want anything myself, so I sometimes just wrap a couple of things I already have just to stop the in-laws questioning my poor wife as to why there's nothing under the tree for me :)

We're also sending $100 to my wife's poor relations in the Philippines. There's a long backstory there, but they certainly do nothing to help their situation. We tend to stay out of it. My brother-in-law sends money every month, but we decided it's just going to be a once-a-year deal for us.