There I was, decorating our artificial (and obviously so) Christmas tree, humming a jolly tune, when all of a sudden it hit me.
No, the tree didn’t fall over.
I realized that we haven’t set a budget for our Christmas spending. D’oh!
I’ve made a list of people I want to give to, but my husband and I haven’t established an overall budget for how much we’ll spend on gifts this year.
It’s already December 5 (20 days until Christmas!), and I figure it’s time we sit down and crunch numbers.
In the future, I hope to have part of our budget set aside to save for gifts. But this year is our first Christmas as a married (merried?) couple, and it just hasn’t come up yet.
I don’t have a final dollar figure in mind yet, but this much I know:
• Our family (and probably friends) would likely be uncomfortable if we spent a ton of money on them. They know we’re just starting out, and would probably appreciate a meaningful (but frugal) gift.
• At the same time, I don’t want to give a gift that’s just plain cheap. Know what I mean?
• We’d like to be generous, but stay within a reasonable budget.
• Homemade gifts are certainly an option; but gifts of time and service aren’t this year. Meep.
What’s the story with your Christmas gift-giving budget?
Do you have set amounts to give to each family member/kid? Does your extended family draw names out of a hat, a la “secret Santa”? Do you save a little bit each month for Christmas gifts?
Relevant posts found in my blog reader:
Visit The Digerati Life for a whole collection of Christmas-related money tips.
Wooly Woman has outlined specific goals for her Christmas saving by putting certain amounts in savings and being extra-conscious of flexible spending.
Joanna has some great ideas on low-impact (on the environment/budget) gift-giving–ideas that are sure to have a high-impact on recipients.
SAHMmy has ideas for how to maximize your Christmas budget, and smart ideas for keeping track of what you’re spending on presents.