Author Topic: Christmas budgets and plans  (Read 9231 times)

RetiredAt63

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Christmas budgets and plans
« on: December 02, 2014, 05:59:02 AM »
Gail Vaz-Oxlade had a Christmas plans budget contest and started posting the winners today (http://gailvazoxlade.com/blog/?p=6489).  I thought it was very interesting to see how her readers were doing the same sort of thing as we discuss here - cut back on gifts, plan ahead, do fun family things and enjoy the holiday more.

My wonderful, inexpensive plan for the holidays?  Take food to all the parties I am going to.  My DD gets a gift (not sure what yet).  I do a bit of easy knitting for a few people as the spirit moves me and the yarn tells me who it wants to go to.  What this means is that I am knitting things in colours that I like but won't wear  ;-).  Visit a good friend who lives several hours away.

My biggest expense? Gas to visit the friend.  That will be money well spent.

We have threads already on Christmas gifts and so on, but what are people's overall plans?  Travel?  Family at your place? Something else?  I doubt I will see many Christmas trips to the Caribbean unless of course you already live there ;-)

Also, how many of us read Gail's blog?  It is just as interesting, in its own way, as MMM's.

alsoknownasDean

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Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 06:22:16 AM »
I'll go to my parents' place with the family there (including my brothers and grandparents).

There'll be giving/receiving presents, but we kind of have an agreement to keep each present to a nominal value. All up I'll end up spending about $200.

Should be good. I'm mostly looking forward to the food :)
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 06:24:30 AM by alsoknownasDean »

RunHappy

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 06:38:07 AM »
The majority of my gifts this year are handmade, hats, scarves, booties, shawls, sweaters, etc (but yarn is not always cheap).  My SO and I agreed to no more than 2 gifts for each other, keep the costs low and make the gifts practical.  We're saving to buy a house and FI so we want to focus our money on those goals.

Edit:  I'd never heard of Gail before, but I'm now following her on Bloglovin'.  Thanks for the recommendation!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2014, 06:51:17 AM by RunHappy »

lielec11

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 07:03:55 AM »
I wish I could convince my fiance to be spend less during the holiday season. She LOVES Christmas (the decorating, the cooking, the family time, etc.), and that is absolutely fine. However, she also LOVES to give gifts which can get a bit out of hand. I try to limit ourselves to a dollar limit, or at least a quantity of gifts, but whenever I bring it up she gets mad and says I'm a grinch. Seriously, she gets angry, so I just drop the conversation. This then almost forces me to purchase more gifts for her because I'd feel like a douche receiving all these wonderful gifts from her, with minimal to give in return. Even though she tells me "I just like to give, you don't need to spend the same on me", I know she'd be disappointed.

Help!

pachnik

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 07:16:52 AM »
I buy a present for my husband.  My niece and nephew are older now so I buy them gift cards or give them cash.  We take my parents out for dinner in January since they really don't need anything.  I usually make a batch of cookies or buttertarts for the office. 

We spend Christmas Eve with in-laws who do a smorgasbord.  This year my side of the family is doing Christmas Day on Boxing Day.  I will probably host Christmas Day on Boxing Day this year.  I am really excited about Christmas Day since it will be just me and my husband.  Our plan is to go for Chinese food and then see a movie.  Maybe walk around looking at Christmas lights too.

I really enjoy the decorations and lights and put less of a focus on the junk food.  I have put on 5 pounds this fall and would like to 'wear that off'.  All in, I think it will cost about $350.00.  This includes hosting Christmas. 

I used to read Gail's blog everyday and felt a big smug doing it since by Gail's standards, I was just fine.  I basically switched over to MMM/forum and have had my smugness handed back to me.  :)   I rarely look at Gail now though I did watch her shows too. 

going2ER

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2014, 08:21:33 AM »
The activity I look forward to the most is making and decorating cookies with the kids, although they are now 10, 17 and 20 we still have fun. Other than that we rotate who in the family makes dinner, this year is my turn so it will be an added expenses, but it only happens once every third year so it works out and there is only 12 of us in total so not a huge family.

I used to watch Gail, no longer have cable so I don't anymore and I hadn't check to see if you can watch her show online. I also used to read her blog, but I don't just want to be out of debt, I want to FIRE, so I don't find her as strict as she could be or maybe its not as strict as I want to be.

LibrarIan

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2014, 08:34:43 AM »
I finally got everyone in both families (mine and the wife's) on board with scaling back to one gift per person - couple gifts acceptable. Man, let me tell you. In years past the in-laws would buy lots of presents. I just wanted to hang out, eat food and chill. What finally got them to give in was medical bills and tuition payments. I'm hoping after those hurdles are cleared they won't decide to start going Christmas crazy again.

samburger

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2014, 10:16:26 AM »
We're going to all manner of Christmas festivals this year, most of which are free. Gift-wise,  spouse and I will exchange little things, and we'll probably get something small for my parents. We'll do a Hanukkah dinner at our house, and we'll do Christmas day at my parents' house.

Our biggest expense this year was buying decorations. We had nothing but a tree and two ornaments as of a few weeks ago.

All in all, we'll come in at under $300.

MandalayVA

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2014, 11:07:30 AM »
1.  Whatever it costs to make a nice meal.  Maybe forty bucks.

2.  See aforementioned nice meal.

The most we do decoration-wise is plug in a little fiber optic tree to entertain the cats; our neighbor throws a wreath on our door.  I have cards left over from last year.  That should cover it.

GuitarStv

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2014, 11:44:12 AM »
Budget: 0$
Plan:  Glare at people until they leave me alone in the basement.

Meggslynn

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2014, 12:31:16 PM »
My Christmas budget is about $1000. Start to finish. That includes a massive LLBEAN $500 rug that we bought for our cold front room.

I used to read Gail for many years. I actually found out about MMM from a poster posting this site in the comments.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 11:01:18 AM by Meggslynn »

dcheesi

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2014, 01:49:55 PM »
I usually aim for $50/person, and wind up closer to $75. I always try too hard to "balance" the gift tally between recipients, which leads to me buying too much for everyone.

This year I've been informed that I'm officially the only family member with money. So I'm expected to cover all the standard gift requests for everyone else, while limiting my own expectations severely. Not that I really mind, as I'm well past the point of wishing for things that I can't afford or justify buying for myself.

southern granny

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2014, 05:04:19 PM »
probably around $1500.  That includes $750 to buy season passes to a nearby theme park for my son, daughter in law, and 4 grandchildren.  They will also get a few smaller presents to have under the tree.  Gifts for my daughter.  She is single and living alone so pretty much our gifts are the only ones she receives. I give $30 cash to 4 nieces and nephews.  I will send $75 to relative who is spending Christmas  in prison.   DH and I don't usually exchange gifts, but we may try to take a short trip between Christmas and new years.  If we do, that will be additional money.  This is the second year we have done the theme park tickets.  They used them a lot.  It is a big expense, so I don't know if we will continue to do it. 

BPA

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2014, 05:26:49 PM »
I don't have a budget, but I did sell enough stuff on kijiji to pay for more than half of the Xbox One my son wanted for Christmas.  I used Shoppers Optimum Points to buy him a few stocking stuffers and chocolate for my mom.  I also bought her a new robe.  I bought my boyfriend's parents an Entertainment Book for $15. So, my total for presents is about $300.  My mom is cooking Christmas Eve dinner and my boyfriend's parents are cooking Christmas Day's.  I will bring candied sweet potatoes. That will cost me about $10.

My brother, sister, boyfriend, and I no longer exchange gifts.


1967mama

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 05:47:14 PM »
I don't have a Christmas budget BUT I just started up with YNAB this week, and have made a Christmas 2015 category! What a concept!

I used to LOVE watching Gail Vaz-Oxlade when we had cable. She has all of her shows online at http://www.slice.ca The show is called "Till Debt Do Us Part" for those who weren't aware of this excellent resource. She's pretty hard on people, much like Mr. MM.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2014, 05:52:02 PM »
I love seeing how many people watch(ed) Gail.  On TV she was somewhere between Dave Ramsey and Mr.MM, but when you read her books and blogs you can see she closer to MMM, but working with an audience that is barely ready for Dave Ramsey.  Her own financial house is definitely in order.

Of course the truly spendy will see her show and dismiss it and her, never watch it at all - and they are the ones who would benefit the most. Sigh, I speak from experience.

MelodysMustache

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2014, 06:14:39 PM »
My Christmas budget this year is unusually high, around $2000.

My daughter is working abroad and was not home for the last two Christmases.  My big gift to her was the ticket home.  My family is going to have a weekend getaway to a local tourist town to enjoy the Christmas festivities.  The usual gifts for my wonderful generous family (frugal on those this year) and gifts to my daughter's SO and his very nice mother to welcome them to the family.

So, it's a bit much.  I am so delighted that we will all be together that I don't mind going the extra mile to make it nice.

NinetyFour

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2014, 06:48:21 PM »
My budget will probably include gas money and camping fees.  Hopefully (depending on the weather), I will be at a campsite in southern Utah.

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2014, 07:49:46 PM »
We are spending a total of $659 on Christmas.  This includes $110 for food (3 course meal on Christmas day eve, all adults are bringing their own drinks and seafood to have with their main meal).  The remainder was spent on presents for 23 people (inc myself), working out at $23.87 per person. 

I have shopped throughout the year, picking up good deals when I see them.  For eg I bought a 56 piece stainless steel cutlery set for $50 (marked down from $199.95)..this is for my BIL who is moving out of home.  I have also picked up silver jewellery and perfume packs on sale.  Some families are getting a board game (on sale for $3!!!), instead of an individual present to each family member like we normally do (and this usually costs us upwards of $80).

Next year I hope to spend less overall but not sure how to do this and keep up a good standard of quality gifts.  I have tried to get family members to do a secret santa but they will not.  They won't even consider doing presents for the children only.

Feeling over it, and wanting to to just boycott next year.  Maybe my husband, myself and our daughter can go somewhere on holidays instead : ) ...

Davids

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2014, 08:13:10 PM »
Since I am Jewish my Christmas Budget is $0.

MBot

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #20 on: December 02, 2014, 10:12:01 PM »
To buy for 3 families (one who will do the "draw names for gifts" and two who won't); 17 people in total: $345

To get there and back (Honda fit, 9 hours each way) and in-town driving; $200

We save $50 a month for this and other travel for seeing family.

Lyssa

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2014, 07:46:34 AM »
200 EUR for presents for parents, brother and grandmother. SO and I agreed not to buy gifts for each other thus year since we just moved and bought a lot of stuff for our new place during the last weeks. Travel expenses are cheap, only about 40 EUR additional train fare (additional to our railcards).

All in all a very mustachian christmas.

Lia-Aimee

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2014, 08:21:22 AM »
$100 on plane fare (would have been ~$600 if not for visa points)

I'm lucky that my extended family doesn't do gifts for adults, and we have no children in the family anymore. 
Mum & Dad get something nominal (DVD & book ~$40) they may or may not give me some cash towards the flight. 

And then I'll throw all that extreme frugalness away by taking my sister shopping and burning through $400 or so.

lifejoy

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2014, 09:43:44 AM »
I love Gail! Her radio show is good too

1967mama

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2014, 02:05:33 PM »
library joy,

On what radio station do you listen to Gail? Do you know if you can listen online? I didn't know she had a radio show!

Thanks!

lifejoy

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2014, 03:34:41 PM »

library joy,

On what radio station do you listen to Gail? Do you know if you can listen online? I didn't know she had a radio show!

Thanks!

Online!! If you search Gail Vaz Oxlade radio show, you'll definitely find it! And you can watch her shows on slice.ca: til debt do us part, money moron, and princess! Sooo good. If you ever find a way to watch earlier seasons of TDDUP, please let me know :)

One Noisy Cat

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2014, 04:07:06 PM »
I will get my cat a catnip toy

RunHappy

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2014, 07:41:26 PM »
I was talking with a friend tonight. Her extended family are doing a themed gift exchange this year.  Everyone is buying a board game, wrapping it, then everyone picks one that is not theirs.  I'm not sure how they are going to handle duplicates, but I love the idea.

MrsPete

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2014, 08:02:55 PM »
I've enjoyed her TV shows but didn't know she had a blog.
I look forward to reading it!

Nickyd£g

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2014, 04:26:41 AM »
My budget for Christmas - gifts, cards, food, train fare or car hire to my home town [only 30 miles] is £180. 

My workplace has a thing where they take money off your wages every month Dec through Nov, and you get it back in November pay.  I requested they take £15 a month and got my £180 last week. 

I have bought pretty much all my gifts - none of which are expensive - and have plenty of decorations so no need to buy any.  Food wise, it will just be me, and I'm on a healthy eating plan so I won't be buying in tons of chocolates/booze/cheeses etc.  I'm planning on eating beef wellington (from Aldi for £7) with veg and a nice £5 bottle of wine on Christmas day, which I am looking forward to.

Helvegen

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2014, 10:11:11 AM »
Probably around $500. About half of that is my daughter's gift I got back in August. The rest of it is baking supplies, postage, gift exchange, Christmas tree, some additional decoration, and stocking stuffers.


Joshin

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2014, 10:39:50 AM »
Less than $100. All we have to supply for the dinner is two pies, and the ingredients come out of the regular grocery budget.

I already made the cards for our relatively small card list, using stash items. Less than $5 in postage.

I bought the two nephews "like new" used books, for a total of $3, on small business Saturday. I also made a taggie doll for the three month old niece, who really has no need for a present but c'est la vie.

The husband gets a set of of four Guinness pint glasses I scored at a garage sale this summer, along with a 6 pack of said Guinness. Ordered my mom a photobook from our summer road trip, using a free Snapfish coupon that printed on the back of my grocery receipt back in October.

The kids each get a Lego blanket I knitted, handmade PJ bottoms, books from the same used sale, a Lego set each, a handmade ornament (tradition), and a few other odds and ends I picked up throughout the year. The Legos were the expensive items, but I bought them through Amazon with free shipping, and went through Ebates so I got 4% cash back.

Each year I try to spend less than the previous year. Kids don't need a lot, because of they have three sets of grandparents and two aunts that will more than make up for what we don't buy!

gooki

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2014, 01:33:13 PM »
$400 is the budget this year. Half it it has been spent on a new Xmas tree. Can't wait to hang out with my family, and sample the food.

Albert

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Re: Christmas budgets and plans
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2014, 01:58:30 PM »
Airplane tickets 250 euros, small gifts to everyone (niece mostly) 50-100 euros. Otherwise spending level about the same or less than regular.