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Another deposit into the Christmas Fund

September 6th, 2012 at 07:25 pm

We have a budget of $1000 to spend on Christmas gifts. We have 3 kids (we spend about $150 on each child) and 4 nieces/nephews, plus parents/siblings, etc. And we have 5 kid birthdays around the holidays which we loop into the same fund. Until I sat down with pencil and paper last year and detailed all the people we bought gifts for, I never knew we spent so much around the holidays!

So now we plan way ahead for it. We can no longer afford to charge $1000 of gifts in one month and expect to be able to pay off our credit card in full in January.

Last year was the first year we saved up our Christmas money before Christmas. I started in July and by the end of November we had squirreled away all $1000. We had a garage sale, sold some stuff on Craigs List, put aside health care reimbursement money, and I did some survey work on mturk.com.

This year we've done some of the same. Minus the garage sale (not so many things to sell this year). I just deposited some of hubby's work travel reimbursement money into our Christmas fund. We now have saved $475.25. And I've spent some of it already. Got a great deal on some Little People toys at Toys R Us last month.

And I took $200 of the fund and bought Amazon.com gift cards, since our grocery store is offering 4X fuel rewards for gift cards. We usually order quite a bit of our Christmas presents form Amazon, so this way we also get a discount on gas.

I actually LOVE saving for Christmas and trying to find the best prices on the things I'm looking for. I comparison shop for toys every week through the ads. Many people think I'm nuts for shopping this early, but I really enjoy it.

Have you started thinking about Christmas?

5 Responses to “Another deposit into the Christmas Fund”

  1. snafu Says:

    Terrific plan and important to plan seeking the best possible prices. I start buying baking supplies in September and spread out food costs when items are loss leaders r sale priced. We've bought a few gifts but since we no longer have 'Santa' tykes in our extended family we've reverted to the family name draw system usually done at Thanksgiving Dinner [Oct.8].

    We have a family tradition of personally making at least a part of important gifts. It's fun to try out newly learned skills and I figure that's part of why our late gran made it seem so important.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I generally start buying early, and look for great deals. This is the first year, that I have saved specifically for it. As you will see on my blog I'm saving up using non income sources, and I'm over $800 at this point.

  3. Sarah@DTS Says:

    I am glad you reminded me. I don't want to keep the same mistake of shopping late. Although I have not tried or thought of shopping this early, I think it would be a great idea. This way, I can start keeping my eyes open for great deals and grab the opportunity right away while its early.

  4. Jerry Says:

    I am totally thinking about Christmas, and I tend to do so all year long. Smile It leads to less stress at the holidays when I get some gifts throughout the year, and offers me a little insurance that I can enjoy the holidays more. Great job on finding the deals! I am flying back to the States this weekend for a conference and hope that I can find some nice things for my girls while I am there... it's almost OCTOBER!

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