People keep sharing this announcement on facebook…
There are just 91 days left until Christmas!
I assume they are either sadistic or it’s simply that misery loves company, but for some reason they feel the need to send out these reminders and ensure we all hear that clock ticking. For me it means I start to worry about how to budget for Christmas.
Some years I start my Christmas shopping in the summer. These are the years that I’ve had a little extra money and I’ve come across something that I was sure one of the kids would love. Other years I do it all in one big haul on Christmas Eve (I actually did that once). Most of the time I cram it all into December and regret my procrastination immediately. I don’t enjoy shopping, so deciding to venture into the stores during a time of year when people are really not at their best when it comes to shopping malls, well… it just makes it worse. Then you add in the expense of doing it all at once and the whole thing just becomes one big cause for anxiety.
In recent years, online shopping has made this whole process a little easier so the budget for Christmas is the only real concern. Factoring in the cost of groceries, my family size and the extended family we need to buy for, I realized I need about $1200 for Christmas.
- Groceries for Christmas dinner, including turkey: $100
- Kid gifts: pajamas, book, toy, outfit, stocking, other (usually a big family gift): $200 per kid = $800 for my family
- Gifts for extended family & others: $300
Some of you may feel this is a very frugal Christmas (which is my goal) and others will think we are spending a lot, but that is what I decided is reasonable for our family.
So…we have 91 days. That’s $13 a day. Or if I don’t want to shop in the week before Christmas, $100 a week needs to go towards Christmas shopping between now and December 18th. That’s manageable. However, imagine if I started on January 1st and completed my shopping by December 1st. That’s 334 days to budget for Christmas. That means I would need to save:
- $3.59 a day OR
- $25.15 a week OR
- $109 a month
$109 a month sounds a lot better than $100 a week, so I’m going to try and set that goal and keep it. How do you budget for the holidays?