Budgets are something we discuss a lot. And many would say I have no budget, but rather monitor my money with the expenditure table in which I forecast a year. I would say I have a budget, but we won’t go into that.
At Christmas I make a detailed budget and stick to it. It usually starts with figuring out a dollar total and then dividing it up to save year round. I start with the “fixed” or non-negotiable things like hosiery and food and adjust everything else.
Our Christmas budget has changed a lot over the years as our families have grown, jobs and incomes have changed, and the children have gotten older. But it’s about $ 2,000 a year right now. This includes good ones, vacation activities, and all gifts.
Plus, our traditions have changed. While we are still very much involved with gifts, I think we all got a lot more thoughtful about giving. I know that I work very hard every year to find a wow gift for every child and then to meet some needs and one or the other wish. Experiences have also become my favorite gift.
I love tradition
Our roller coaster life has really prevented us from creating many traditions that stick. Stockings stay. Kind of a game on Christmas Eve. And we tend to have a “junk food” day at Christmas with our family dinner the night before. While almost all of my Christmas traditions cost little to no extra money, I feel that now that the kids are older, I want to create some kind of experience tradition. But I have no idea what that is supposed to be.
I know everyone has a different feeling about this. I personally love Santa Claus. I love how excited children get when they talk about him, and for many years we had Christmas presents as well as presents from each other. But after the twins came to our family, the financial burden was too great for me.
I wrote a “goodbye” note to all of them from Santa for a year. They are still talking about how devastating it was. (A terrible mother’s idea, by the way.) I’m not sure what the kids will do when they have kids. Of course I’ll support whatever they decide, but I like the idea of just a Christmas present or two. Not only does this limit things, but it also sets a reasonable expectation of what Santa Claus can do. That worked for me when Gymnast and Princess were younger.
I wrote a few months ago about my wish to use my Christmas budget a little differently this year. I haven’t completely given up on this idea yet. But I also haven’t come up with any brilliant ideas or figured out what they might look like.
Some people spend $ 0.00 on gifts and that’s 100% okay. Although Christmas always be christmas Even without the gifts, there is a large part of me who get real pleasure from exchanging a gift.
How do you decide how your budget will be divided? What are your non-negotiable?