Today’s project was to read Chapter 1 of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas (Did you sign up for your free copy yet? If not, click here and fill out the form to be emailed a copy.) and to determine your Christmas budget.
Our Christmas Budget
We typically start planning for Christmas spending halfway through the year. Since we use a cash envelope system, we just start socking away most of our gift cash for Christmas. In addition, we also save up our Swagbucks Amazon gift cards to use for Christmas presents. And I keep my eyes open for other ways to earn free gift cards or products that would be good for gifting.
By the time December rolls around, I usually have a nice stash of gift cash plus gift cards to use for gifts and this becomes our Christmas budget. By doing it this way, we don’t have to dip into any of our regular savings or other money to pay for Christmas–we just have to plan ahead and then look for deals to stretch that money as far as possible.
This year, I’ve saved up around $250 in our gift envelope plus Amazon credit that I’ll be using for gifts. We’re scaling back on Christmas presents this year and just drawing names for our extended family members, so this should make it pretty easy to stick with our budget.
Jesse has a separate cash stash that he uses to buy gifts for me and our kids for Christmas (most of it is from his blow money!), so I only buy a few things for the kids. I found a couple of deals on Black Friday that I snatched up, so other than stockings, I’m done with their shopping!
Did you figure out your Christmas budget? Share it with us in the comments. And if you’re blogging about this challenge, I’d love it if you left a link to your blog post, too. Let’s encourage each other to simplify and savor this season more.