Today I wanted to share with you all how hubby and I decided to pay for Christmas this year. After last Christmas causing our coffers to dwindle and our pockets to empty, we decided that we needed a plan so that we wouldn't be stressed about money come Christmas. Goodness knows there's enough other things to be stressed about!
So we decided roughly how much we wanted to spend on Christmas this year and started saving a little bit every month. We decided we wanted around $300 for Christmas gifts for both of our families. His family is fairly easy because they do a gift exchange, but my family is more chaotic and generally people try to get something for each person. Once we decided how much we wanted, we decided to set up a savings account and set direct deposit at the first of every month for $25.
The one small glitch we had was that we didn't actually set up the account until... August (I know, right. Terrible). We hadn't spent any of the money, but we hadn't specifically separated it from our checking account either. Thankfully neither of us are wild spenders so it was pretty easy to leave that money alone. We both knew what it was for.
We have just about all our gifts purchased and we have about $55 left in our budget. So it looks like we are on target! And it's been soo nice not having to worry about where this money is coming from or if we're accidentally borrowing money from some other needed category. We already have wrapping paper and tape so I think we are ready for Christmas! And not a moment too soon. :o
I think next year I'm going to set a goal to have Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving. This means I'll probably up our auto-deposit a little bit so that I have the money on hand earlier. Shopping around the holidays is just so stressful! I like it when I have space to think to myself in the aisle about whether I want the red or the blue one without 15 people crowding past me. Sheesh.
What about you? How do you budget for Christmas? What do you think about taking a portion of tax return money and setting it aside in a savings account for Christmas / holidays / birthdays?