Holiday Spending

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:47 AM GMT
    I don't budget for the holidays. What are some of the strategies you guys use to pay for the big day? What's an average Christmas cost these days? I know it's in the $1000's for me, food, booze, presents. What's reasonable? Expected by your different families?
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Dec 11, 2009 5:48 AM GMT
    Hmmmmm...wish I could answer this..but I always spend the holiday alone. icon_neutral.gif
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    Dec 11, 2009 2:12 PM GMT
    Don't ever get yourself in debt for the holidays.

    In this case, definitely shopping small and smart is the best way to spend the holidays.

    It's the wrapping, the thoughtfulness, not the price tag.

    If you got friends who only see the worth of a gift by its barcode value, then maybe it's time to get less self-centered and selfish buds and replace them with kinder and gentler kinds of guys.

    Follow Daddy Santa's rule, great things come in small packages. WOOF.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Dec 11, 2009 2:23 PM GMT
    I like Woofydude's advice....

    Part of the issue with holiday spending is the "expectations" we place upon ourselves and from others. I would suggest you adopt a strategy for you, not based on what others want you to do. It should be a reasoned and well considered spending approach. I don't care whats "average" or what others do.... what makes it right is what you can afford based on your time and
    money.

    If you choose to cut back, don't feel bad, thinking "well I can't really afford to do it" this year..... just tell people, I'm adopting a reasoned spending pattern.
    My thoughts are... get gifts for those who mean the most and individual gifts for some others (and take some time to get some nominal, unique gifts).
    If you don't have the time, give a nominal gift to a store they like.
    You took the time and thought about them. That means much.

    Christmas is a time to enjoy. Don't turn it into a time you bankrupt yourself of money and time and get tense. Life is about much more than that.
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Dec 11, 2009 2:24 PM GMT
    MMmm...Christmas eve dinner is usually done (paid and prepared for) by my aunt and my mom.

    As far as shopping I generally buy one present each for my sister, brother, immediate cousins (just 4), my aunt, her husband, grandparents, and of course my mom. Everyone does the same.

    With friends, we set a limit of $50 pesos and we do an ''Invisible Friend'' game where everyones names goes into a hat and we draw one name each. It really saves money ;).

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    Dec 11, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
    RST2009 saidI don't budget for the holidays. What are some of the strategies you guys use to pay for the big day? What's an average Christmas cost these days? I know it's in the $1000's for me, food, booze, presents. What's reasonable? Expected by your different families?


    The best rule: DO NOT SPEND MONEY YOU DO NOT HAVE. To do otherwise is stupid.

    If you get sucked up in the consumerism of The Holidays, you're the sucker capitalism wants you to be.

    At our house, we don't do the gift-giving thing. It sets expectations. It causes grief. It's expensive. We haven't done gifts for several decades now. It's really pretty silly when you think about it: buying stuff you can't afford, for folks who may, or may not, want it, and, if you live on credit (DUMB), paying it off all year. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
  • dreamer121

    Posts: 265

    Dec 11, 2009 4:51 PM GMT
    way too much.

    welcome to credit debt and the penny pinching the months following to pay it all off... But its all worth it to see the shining faces of friends and family... and the warmth of their love... awwwh.

    Oh well, of to do more holiday gift shopping! Hanukkah starts tonight, gotta find some Jewish friends so I can join in!!!!
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:04 PM GMT
    I prefer to make presents for my friends. This year I'm making mix CD's, knitting a tuque and a few socks, and a few other random things I like from instructables.com

    http://www.instructables.com/

    It does help that I have a lot of time on my hands to spend on making the presents.
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:15 PM GMT
    I too, prefer to make things. Which reminds me that I'd better get started. Although this year I'm also giving out jackets with company logos. (Which may be morally questionable.)

    When I was a kid, my parents usually had "christmas club" savings accounts. You put in ten or twenty dollars every week and withdraw it all in November. I think the company that Dad worked for also matched some of it.

    Another habit I got from Dad is to dump all my pocket change in a jar in the closet every night. Carry it down to the bank once a year to be machine-sorted and changed to bills. Before the days of debit cards, this could build up to a thousand dollars pretty easily, but these days it's closer to a hundred.

    (Note: The lady at the bank told me to put the change in baskets and run it through the dishwasher next time. She didn't seem to get it, when I asked if that was legal.)
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Dec 11, 2009 5:26 PM GMT
    Before these last two years, my budget was always about $600 to $800 dollars, but buying tickets to A Christmas Carol, or buying everyone a Christmas brunch would usually shoot it way past 1,000.00. I started saving up for Christmas usually with my annual bonus which was paid after the first week of April. In the summer I would actually get some really nice presents bought for the impending holiday season.

    When I was in a relationship I can remember certain Christmases where the presents alone toppled $1500.00. I don't think either of us used any credit to buy anything. But I do remember having to save up money months in advance to have enough for Christmas.

    This year Christmas will be very sparse, to say the least. The grinch has already come and gone and we will be eating the popcorn and cranberry garland this year.
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:30 PM GMT
    Ugh, christmas gifts for my family are costing me an arm and a leg. My youngest brother turned 21 on the 7th of this month, so I got him a car. My other brother's car is broken so I'm fixing that. I paid to get new carpet put in my older brother's house that he just bought. My dad's getting tons of crap for our new house, and I paid for my mom to go on vacation. I'm just lucky that I paid off all of my credit cards previous to this!
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:35 PM GMT
    Another reason to date Collegekid.... you get good presents.


    As long as he can put up with me making him gingerbread men as his present. i don´t do the big Xmas spending thing. I´ll give some money to my (tiny) nephew in his bank account and buy a book each for my parents. other brothers.. bleh no idea
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    Dec 11, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    I eliminated gift giving years ago.
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    Dec 12, 2009 2:19 AM GMT
    Gift cards are a way to go... iTunes for some and the AMEX gift cards for those who are just too hard to shop for.

    I wouldn't ask for anything more myself, expect for cards to Hollister, Express, or Macy's lol
  • Acorns

    Posts: 273

    Dec 12, 2009 2:36 AM GMT
    I don't buy people gifts. I make them think I'm sorry about it if I receive one.
  • oursirpeace

    Posts: 199

    Dec 12, 2009 2:49 AM GMT
    collegekid2004 saidUgh, christmas gifts for my family are costing me an arm and a leg. My youngest brother turned 21 on the 7th of this month, so I got him a car. My other brother's car is broken so I'm fixing that. I paid to get new carpet put in my older brother's house that he just bought. My dad's getting tons of crap for our new house, and I paid for my mom to go on vacation. I'm just lucky that I paid off all of my credit cards previous to this!

    You could be someone's 23 yr old sugar daddy.

    On the topic, I'm spending Xmas alone as always. And I'm getting myself a nice suit, some Armani Exchange sweaters, and maybe a leather jacket, which will cost me around $1,000 in total. I don't see myself spending more than that with a part time job.
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    Dec 12, 2009 3:16 AM GMT
    I write out a list of things I want to get people. I estimate the cost. I withdraw that amount of money from my account, and I pay for everything in cash. But that's just for presents; my parents pay for the Christmas food and booze (yay) coz we have it at their house. But for presents, we don't really have a limit but we don't go nuts either.
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    Dec 12, 2009 3:21 AM GMT
    Thanks guys, all sounds sensible, I may have implied I feel I need to overspend, I do not go into debt, just seem to spend a lot over the season and wonder if others do as well to just get through all of the parties, meals, gift giving etc.

    I love me some xmas. And it is centered around family and friends ultimately.
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    Dec 12, 2009 3:23 AM GMT
    Well, just spend what you think you can, but don't spend on plastic. I truly do love giving gifts and cash cards at Christmas as it is a special time for me.