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Our Christmas Budget

July 7th, 2019 at 12:07 pm

It's July! Time to think about Christmas or any other December holy day you may be celebrating. These holidays come at the same time each year, so there is no reason we cannot plan ahead to save and make a budget.

We budget for Christmas gifts over the full year. A set amount each month to accumulate by December and ready for spending. That amount for us is just $50 per month, or $600 in total for Christmas gifts.

Our budget may be considered small to many, but our gift recipient list is rather short, covering my husband and myself, our two daughters, two nieces, our three parents. Occasionally, my husband and I skip gift for ourselves as we usually buy what we want, when we want it.

Now notice I referred to gifts only. I do not budget for other Christmas related expenses, which can include photos, new clothes, cards, postage, gift wrap, decorations, party supplies, food and baking supplies, babysitting services, and travel. We already budget monthly for food, clothes and travel, so we tend to inflate those categories during the month of December to adjust for increased spending. We rarely buy new gift wrap and cards, preferring to stock up at the end of season clearance IF we expect we need things during the next year. I did look at last years expenses that came from our Christmas budget and it does look like I included postage costs, likely because the gifts themselves came in under budget.

We are on schedule to have our $600 by December 1. I have already purchased two small gifts! I find shopping as early as possible so helpful in managing the busyness and stress of the season.

I will write more in a future post about some tips for those of you who have not yet started a holiday budget.

Do you have a holiday budget? Do you save ahead of time? What is your budget, does it include more than just gifts? How many people do you buy for?

5 Responses to “Our Christmas Budget”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    We also save in a Christmas Club account and start it in November for the next year. We get our "pay out" the first of November. It sure is nice having the money to go and buy gifts. I should also budget for stamps and other things since we send a lot of cards.

  2. Buendia Says:

    We do the same! I save $65/month, and it's for gifts. The food budget absorbs the extra food costs (which is really not much extra). We buy something for the house rather than get each other gifts, and the rest of the gifts are for F and for her cousins... so it's the kids we buy for. I start buying gifts around August.

  3. Jenn Says:

    I do budget for Chrstmas but don't have a special account as you all describe. The total amount differs depending upon our situation and needs each year. This year we will have a HS senior so one gift will be a laptop that he'll take to college next year. We did the same for his older brothers for Christmas their senior year. So a more expensive total expected this year. Our gifts are for kids mostly - five of our own plus five nieces/nephews, and any serious girlfriends. I created an Excel sheet to budget and to remind me of expenses that I might forget. It includes things like photo cards, postage, tree, new or replacement ornaments/lights, gift cards for the mail lady & garbage guys, nice wreaths shipped to our parents. It used to include teacher gifts when the boys were young as well as entertainment. (Sweet Lights and sometimes the Christmas trolley in Hershey.) i do include special food - holiday cookies fundraiser at church and ingredients for our seafood gumbo dinner. My husband & I haven't bought gifts for ourselves since we had kids.

  4. mumof2 Says:

    I but things on sale all year for christmas, I budget a certain amount each year and just hit the sales...I hate shopping around christmas time way to many people...over here in australia certain stores do a 6 month lay away for christmas presents so people can get what they want and pay off over 6 months...but our girls are old enough they usually just want money...so we buy them a small gift that they want and give them money

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    I don't have special Christmas account, just a budget category for the Christmas funds in our main checking account. I'm thinking our girls are going to start wanting more cash, which will definitely help ease the stress of Christmas.

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