Christmas spending

Happy Christmas everyone! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season (though I can’t quite get used to that very American saying `Happy holidays!).

I have had some lovely downtime with the family, though I have to admit my financial mind never stops ticking over, even at this time of year.

We had a very low-key Christmas and it was lovely. It was partly an enforced situation because we had been concerned about graduation right up until December 21. My family decided to swap no gifts, except that my son received a gift from all the usual quarters (he’s the only grandchild in the family). Although this gift embargo might seem mean-spirited, it’s really not, as our family commonly bands together at some point in the year to buy something for someone in the family when it comes up (ie if their favourite musician is coming to town and they’d like to go to the concert).  This way, we tend to give gifts the person actually wants.

As for hubby’s extended family, we do continue to buy gifts for the children. This is an enjoyable arrangement and not too costly in the scheme of things. Also, this is the final year we will probably do it for some of the `children’ as they just graduated university and are about to move out of home – at 24, 23 and 21 they don’t really qualify anymore!

Anyway, this is what we ended up spending this Christmas:

Hubby: $100 for a fishing reel he has wanted for 6 months. On the plus side, it was marked down from its usual price of $139.95.

Me: Not sure exactly but suspect hubby spent about $80 on two lovely good quality candles and six Royal Doulton wine glasses.

Our son: We spent $50 total on a 36-piece animal farmhouse, two books and some stocking fillers.

Nephew: $35 for a bottle of spirits (don’t worry, he is over 21!)

Father-in-law: $20 for `scratch-it’ lotto tickets.

Niece and nephew – family #1: $50 (total) debited to parents account to spend in post-Christmas sales. 

Niece and nephews – family #2: $60 for two ties (the boys are about to start work). Our niece received her Christmas present earlier this month as part of her birthday present.

Parents – family #2: $10 for a box of chocolates as they do a lot for us.

Food and alcohol: $100 – we bought all of the food and some of the wine for our champagne breakfast with the family on Christmas morning. We didn’t need to buy Christmas wrap or cards as we already had a stash.

Our total Christmas spend was $505 which represents just over half our usual Xmas budget. The funny thing is, it was by no means a less enjoyable Christmas for the reduced spending. This year, it was somewhat necessary to reduce the budget since I haven’t worked over this whole final semester of uni and we have had lots of added expenses over the last six months (my island elective plus graduation are just two that come to mind).

It is worth considering ways to keep our Christmas spending low in the future. I think I’ll keep the usual $1000 budget but if we can pull in the actual spending below that again in 2009, I would be very impressed.

1 Comment »

  1. Bill Cash said

    Nice Story, hope your family had a good holiday.

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